Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S03 ep12 : Thomas Pruvot & Edouard Meylan, Celsius Phone Watch, [?????]
Interview with Thomas Pruvot & Edouard Meylan
Is it a pocket-phone-watch or a watch cell phone? It is above all a resolutely novel nomadic object that pushes the boundaries of imagination. A flying tourbillon more offset than any existing model and powered by the patented "Remontage Papillon" endows this nomadic object with an extraordinary, fusional dimension
CELCIUS: The idea was to create mechanical phones, the reality today is a first product called
Ludis, it’s an amazing product, people talk about a phone, people talk about a pocket watch with
we hope people see a piece of art in there, it’s a really symbolic product, it talks about a lot of the
history of watchmaking, all the way to telecommunications we put a tourbillon in there that was
traded for pocket watches, we want people to see this product as the ultimate pocket watch of the
CELCIUS: We love mechanics everything is to do with gears, with things moving so we think the
functions of the phone in a totally different way, with mechanics, trying to harvest the energy to
capture energy and optimise the use of that energy and make beautiful functions just like
watchmakers have been doing for 100 years now.
CELCIUS: At the beginning of the idea I took the plane to go to Hong Kong and I have no watch
and I look the time on my cell phone and when I go in the plane I switch off my cell phone and so I
have no time so I was thinking oh if I put mechanical watch on my cell phone even if I have no
battery or if I switch off my cell phone I could keep the time when I arrive to Hong Kong I see lot
of watch shop and I say oh maybe there is something to do with a cell phone with a watch,
mechanical watch on it.
CELCIUS: We start with like 10,000 Euros start the business you know it would be quite easy, it
took us six years to make sure everything was right and the idea evolved, it was a real integration,
the fact that we have those patents around gathering energy you charge it every time you open and
close the phone. The idea was to have a kind of automatic watch you know so you don’t have to
wind it or to charge it.
CELCIUS: We cannot put an automatic watch on a cell phone because you don’t move the cell
phone like your wrist so we had to rethink that and that’s where the first patents came in so we
decide to use a clam shell phone each time you open it you have three hours more on the power on
CELCIUS: At the beginning tourbillon was created for pocket watch because it was to remove the
… effect on the spring and now tourbillon is on the wrist watch but there is no interest to use a
tourbillon on the watch, we decide to add the tourbillon on the cell phone because the cell phone is
the pocket watch of the 21st Century. So it’s always in the same position yeah always in the same
position as a pocket watch.
CELCIUS: We was working with a company originally B&B, we did the design they did the
development then we worked with MRC it’s all team … people from Patak as well specialising in
CELCIUS: The market of the mobile phone or luxury mobile phone is pretty virtue started it 10
years ago but it’s still a niche market, we’re really inspired for example by people like R… who is
our godfather is sitting at the Board of the company and the people I’m targeting are all the way to
the top there they want something amazing they want something crazy and price is maybe
secondary. So we said okay let’s go for the craziest product because everything that’s going to
come after will look simple or just value for money.
CELCIUS: We have a capacity of two pieces per month, it takes six months to produce one piece.
We have 35 people working on it, we’re a team of 10 but we do more the development, the
conception all engineers and then we work with partners in the market because it’s just too much
to do yourself for a small company like ours. So we started early last year probably have delivered
now 20 pieces something like this and we hope to do the same this year and it looks pretty good.
CELCIUS: The owners of our products what they, they’re not buying this phone as a smart phone,
they don’t need all the functions it’s more like the intimacy phone it’s the red line, the line you use
for special moments for family.
CELCIUS: People come in the shop, when they see our product they like it and they come and they
say but is this as simple as the Nokias of the 90’s, we believe it’s more simple than that. And they
don’t have to charge it every day, on the other side we’re working on finding ways to convert this
kinetic energy that we generate for example through the opening and closing of the phone to power
the battery as well and that’s what we’re developing at the moment as well.
CELCIUS: I come from the electronic industry, I was working in a company which produced
electronic devices and I was industrial design manager of this company. I was working in China a
lot to produce these electronic devices and it was to go in Hong Kong for this first job I have the
idea of this cell phone. I passionate by old car, sports car and watch so if you look sometime you
could see the shape of some car sports car on the cell phone and I, especially Aston Martin, it’s my
inspiration but I never work in the watch industry or luxury industry before to create Celcius.
CELCIUS: I’m an engineer myself so I have a business background but I grew up in the watch
valley you know so my family, my cousin everybody’s been in the watch industry, I work in the
watch industry as well so basically we found that we were complimentary. Three guys at the same
level managing the company with respective responsibilities.
CELCIUS: We try to look for the best watchmakers who would help us to hand in hand I must say
based in Geneva is our partner for the first movement and second product we’re working with Jean
Francois … and … they did the Opus 10 last year, it’s an amazing team and then slowly we’re
doing more and more ourselves, the third generation of products that we’re working on right now
in the pipeline, we’re doing everything internally but obviously the production we don’t have
enough machines we’re talking about 700 mechanical parts in one phone, you know a phone
usually is like 70 parts, most of them in plastic, all ours are in titanium, carbon fibre, sapphire
crystal you need amazing machines for that so we have to work with partners, but we look for the
best for that.
CELCIUS: And a lot of people say you’re crazy, a lot of people don’t know what is it, is it a watch
is it they don’t understand the phone from our family to most of the people we meet have been
extremely doubtful about the product. I mean my family has been in the watch industry for 20
years and now because they see figures, because they see people buying it they start to believe in it
but before they were like what are you doing, you know five generation of watchmakers and
you’re doing cell phones. The same with mine. We have a lot of people here coming and say well
did you sell any and they would be surprised to see us again you know we launch the brand now a
year and a half two years ago and you didn’t disappear, people are buying those kind of things.
CELCIUS: We had a customer over the winter arrived at the shop his wife was like you’re like a
kid opening a present in front of the Christmas tree because the guy you know probably billionaire
and was just looking at this product like he had never seen that before he had amazing watch on his
wrist, he had a beautiful car, but this thing was just bringing the sparkle in his eyes.
CELCIUS: People say but it’s the price of a Ferrari, yes but our customers have 10 Ferraris, they
have 20 apartments, they’re not going to buy an apartment for 250,000 Euros, they want something
different that makes them dream that brings emotion and I think this product is all the interactions
you have when you open and close you hear the beautiful noise of the mechanics, you make a call
you even hear the tick tock of the tourbillon. You look at it you see the tourbillon, you we
developed our own ringtone that is a beautiful mechanical ringtone, mechanical songs, yet because
in the future we might have a mechanical ringtone that plays with mechanics and all those things
together develop a product that has so many facets that it is really something you want to play with
that brings just the sparkles in our customers’ eyes.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Thomas Pruvot & Edouard Meylan, Celsius Phone Watch, ?????