Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S04 ep9 : Delaneau [ Geneva ]
Interview with David Gouten & Brigitte Morina
In 1949, DeLaneau was founded in Biel by the couple Rolf and Yolanda Tschudin. Our creations were as visionary as their two founders. We became renown for creating exceptional jewellery timepieces for private clients and elite collectors. Prestigious jewellers of Geneva and Place Vendôme, Paris, counted on our outstanding craftsmanship. Our distinctive, colourful and exclusive creations simply stood out in the world of jewellery watchmaking. During the 1970s, DeLaneau took the decision to reach for the sky and ignore the watchmaking conventions of its day. The use of rare metals and precious gems became a goal in itself. Searching for new modes of expression, DeLaneau created eclectic, colourful and mesmerizing creations. Engaging the world’s expert gem setters and goldsmiths earned DeLaneau the title “The jeweller of watches”. Outstanding craftsmanship was combined with priceless materials to form highly exclusive jewellery designs.
10:25 - 10:34
I'm David Gouten , CEO and I'm Brigitte Morina the Chief
10:43 - 11:05
Delaneau means to me outstanding craftsmanship so dedication, passion love
for art, love for real true archisinal work. It means history and it means
freedom. Because there is freedom in creation which you will not find in
any of our company.
11:13 - 11:40
First I was the black sheep of the family because I started my career in the car business and then I'm so proud of my father that I wanted follow his pops, get closer to him So I moved to Switzerland and I entered the watch business and I always say that because I'm humble. I entered the watch business through a small door. I was heading a strap company so i go to know all the big names by being a supplier.
11:47 - 11:58
Leather straps then a small independent watch company then Winston as a
challenge where it was no where 25 of us. One year and a half before that
the watch division of Winston was nearly bankrupt.
12:07 - 12:38
I worked in a Gallery, there was an old guy Mr. Spa who was handling
purchase and one day he said come, come to my office. Okay and there was
box, he say okay this is our collection, you design it for us with strap and I opened the box and there was too many repeaters. There was a Tourbillion and not even a paper was signed and I took it back to La Chaux au Fonds, First time i had so many crazy watches and this is Switzerland. This is the old style of doing business, you shake hands you trust people.
12:49 - 13: 16
My purpose, I was a 12:49 in sales. I got this Delano watch, I saw it and I loved it. It was an enameled butterfly immediately chose my client and I did have to come and see this. This is just something else. The Judging’s they were really known as so called the Jeweler of watches and we're still a jewelry watch with other elements than just jewelry.
13:24 - 13:51
They were looking for somebody who was a CEO. Why? Simply because
when you are so creative, so much freedom you need a frame. You need
commercial direction, you need strategy, and you need to try to improve
production ratios not controlling the freedom of creativity but at least
discuss with suppliers, organize things. That's the rule. So it's good team
14:00 - 15:24
Ten years ago everybody wanted a Tourbillion, even the cheapest brand.
Look, I'm credible, I'm a watchmaker, I have a Tourbillion. Now you see in
this world that all the big brands, the big names they want enamelled dials.
We've been in it for 10 years. It seems that the fear that they don't have it so they need to go in fields where they don’t belong. And when you're a big brand doing thousands of watches how can you explain to your client, look I'm doing unique pieces. Enamel are unique pieces it cannot be replaced.
I'm sorry I won't give names but people claim and their well known in
the 14:40 their dials are stamped. They call it Cold Enamel. Cold
Enamel doesn't exist. It's lacker, it's got nothing to do with what we do high fire enamel where the boss is not a man, is not a lady, is not an Enamalist, it's the oven. You missed it, your dye is gone your color is gone and consumers don't see this yet. Once they will do it. It will be exactly like Louis Vuitton in China. It's a luxury brand but it's a mass luxury brand. Now people are turning Channel to Hermes because they see, okay this is more pure luxury.
It will be the same but it will take time so for a brand like that I know we have to resist, we have to be strong but if the spirit is there you can survive.
First of all it's a high fire diamonds, high fire enamel and
it's 15:39 15:40 Means that once the dyes are finished our artist, they brush it, they polish it with diamond paper so it's quite risky operation. Any small bubble, anything the dial is gone and then they will apply on it a translucent enamel and re-cook it again and then it will give a lot of depth to the colors.
The heart of the company is our enamel knowledge and know how. If we
lose it, if we want to do like the others then okay, there's no point, there's no point. We have to be different.
16:25 - 17:17
I love impressionist, I love Monay. I love poppy flowers and I was driving
and I saw this field and I said gosh, this would be just so beautiful on
enamel, like Monay used to paint and I came really enthused 16:40 so the
girls said oh what if you would do that. And that came back to me and they
showed me was it something like that you were thinking of? I said 'can we
try?'. The first style was for her, she came really easy, she was very unhappy she said it's really not getting there and we leave it. Sometime later she said, 'I think I got it'. And now it's like taking small grains and bigger grains of enamel and put fire in it in different temperatures which gives that look.
It's their work as we said they go from A to Z, from the design, from the
idea to the finished product, between 25 to 100 hours per dial depending one the complexities; without the research, yes without the research, just the painting.
Yea, the emphasis is on the dial and we have classical cases,
sometimes 17:56 would say no with this dial I want baguettes, ruby
baguettes, emerald and we go a bit more crazy on the colors. This year we
have deb lock a module on the movement so complication where we can set
the hour and minute wherever we want and be just as creative as we want.
What we are doing here is the same we create king stories with our
Enamelist, with diamond setters, with engravers because we won't hype. It's
not all done in house we are using the best outside because they have to
respect the enamel. If we want to set diamonds the diamonds are set after.
The engraving is done after. If the damage what the girls have done. So they have to respect each other and they would choose who are the best and that's the key partnership.
There was one client and she said, I'd like to have; I liked frogs and we
never did frogs. So we've been drawing about, made about 50 sketches and
send it back and forth and she said 'that's the direction I want and then we've created her own Visio Frog Watch. Doing a frog with volume but set so we have changed our usual technique of enameling but the result together it
became really, really funny. It was not outrageous but the animal itself it's not something we had in the collection. The fact that she chose a volume piece made us do the opposite, enamel was not in the center, was not the focus so I can tell you even here emotionally we are not in the center.
Diamond setting is in the center so you know what under the frog so where
the frog was coming she even painted it. Nobody will ever see it but she
pained it just as it looked. I will be a Purist, I will do until the end. But for us it was also a challenge technically to be able to do in volume such a thing. So we used stones that we never used, we set it. The frog was set in white gold but the but the mouth of the frog was pink gold so it was so little details that you go be 20:19 .So this is how happy she is. She said that she would love to get another one in a different color. So okay new challenge ahead.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Delaneau Watches