Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S03 ep9 : Guillaume Tetu, Hautlence Watches, [?????]
Interview with Guillaume Tetu
A group of passionate watch engineers from "Neuchatel" [the anagram of Hautlence!].
Hautlence: Hautlence is a brand we have decided to create six years ago starting the point that we
wanted to give the best products we can provide to the collectors, that mean doing a real design in
the movement, displaying the time in another way, respecting the traditional craftsmanship.
Hautlence: When I was young boy, I was 12 years old, I had my first lessons to learn how to draw
something and how to make it, that being the first technical approach. And I fell in love with that,
to draw the idea you have and to realise so after that my training was organised around that, to do
what we call now design and technical design, general products and after that I came in the
Hautlence: I was born in Leone and I have done my study in France basically and after that my
first job bring me to Switzerland in general to work for a supplier of metallic straps for Rolex and I
have discovered that world off in one way the industrial the technical the high tech and … manual
finishing and both of the world are mixing perfectly and the watchmaking industry is crazy for
Hautlence: It was my first job and it was a … job because my company was sending some people
to reinforce the team so I have done that during roughly two years. After that, funny life, I met a
person during a wedding in France in that wedding I was close to the logistic and supply chain
manager for Tag Europe and he told me oh I think we need somebody like you in our team I will
just let know the people and bring me your resume. I have sent an email and two months later I
move my furniture to Switzerland and I decided to live there because I became a computer ID
designer for Tag Europe and honestly I had seven years of full fun.
Hautlence: Starting with the designer, the sketches and the ideas with the brand managers, with the
marketing, and I was just in the technical part of that so just making it real, making it … making it
in a prototype and be sure that you can realise that for the industrialisation. I have done that seven
years and participating into present project like the Monaco 69 a different micro timer with a
digital movement, it was really, really good with external designers from Renault car design team
in the centre it was amazing.
Hautlence: After working seven years like that using start up movement and doing design I said
why not doing design inside, why not taking care of the movement, as I’m not a watchmaker I did
not know what was the mess to do that but it was okay we have learn so we have decided to sketch
few ideas first because we were friends discussing around a bottle of wine, we said that there was a
backbone always with the same thing, new way to display time having fun with that, showing
beautiful mechanisms and we said but the collectors, what is the proposal for them and if you’ll
remember in 2001, 2003, there was just … Felice … small independent doing crazy job but not in
the brand building spirit and we have said okay why not creating now a brand organised around
that kind of spirit, but we were young and quite stupid because it’s a long, long, long, long way to
do that so we found the partners and of course as you can imagine for a brand like Hautlence the
biggest investment is in R&D so we have been doing our R&D in house and developing the
Hautlence: We have … of Le Chatelle, Le Chatelle is a place where it’s the area of the beautiful
mechanisms of the craftsmanship because in … you have all the talents, the savoir faire is there so
we have mixed that to have Hautlence name so it’s an anagram.
Hautlence: I’m not a watchmaker, I’m just involved in the product DNA because I am I feel what
we have to do, first we brainstorm, we think about how we display what will be the issue in term of
energy it’s always the same, it’s mechanical think and specially in a watch you have not a lot of
energy and you need to have that running a long time very efficiently so with smaller small
dimension it’s really a nightmare but what we are putting in Hautlence this is some other industry
mechanical solution to help so this is why we are a little bit creative because we are not thinking as
Hautlence: Ache… is the first model we have created it take us two years of R&D to work on this
one, two years with one full time engineer, one longer time involved watchmaker and a lot of
talents outsourced and in house to work so the challenge is mix first the mechanical problem and
after that the aesthetical problem and this is my value if I can say, I love it.
Hautlence: We are a niche brand that mean we are selling to the top collectors of the world, and
people enthusiast to have something really different so we have a limited database of customers
but a kind of addict customer database, they want to continue to follow a brand specially a brand
like us which is really close to the customer, we have an owner’s club, that mean I meet the final
customer, we produce around 200 piece a year.
Hautlence: The watch price range from 40,000 Swiss francs to 68,000 Swiss francs and the current
… and the … we show you later is over 200,000 Swiss francs.
Hautlence: You cannot come in a restaurant with your Ferrari because it’s too big but you come
with your watch and that private club understand which type of crazy guy you are, the collectors
they want to be different, most of the time they have many watches and at the end when you have
already lets say 10 Patak Phillipe you want to say okay here we come with something special and I
have seen that all over the world I have visit in Taiwan I went in the big store with all the best
brands, well known brand, recognised and historical and when I have shown the Hautlence product
take the magnifying glass he had a look and he give me the watch and he said, how can I fight
against that kind of weapons.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Guillaume Tetu, Hautlence Watches, ????