Romain Gauthier: The Art Of Overcomplicating

When planning Baselworld, I really wanted to have a chat with the people of Romain Gauthier. I wanted to know more about the Insight Micro Rotor, and of course I wanted to see ‘The Logical One’, a watch that has a chain in its movement.

When the appointment was set, I geeked out. Not for the obvious reason (having set an appointment with this amazing brand), but because my appointment was with a man named Steven Rogers. (If you are not a Marvel fan: Steven Rogers is the name of Captain America). My inner child freaked out, more than I’m proud of.

At Baselworld, we had a nice, relax chat with Steven. He was one of the most passionate people I have ever seen about a brand.

Even tough Steven wasn’t Cap, I was still blown away when I left the Romain Gauthier booth. Why the hell is this brand so unknown? This was one of the most impressive presentations I had seen in Basel. Their passion and craftsmanship is out of this world.

The Logical one blew me away. To make sure the movement is given constant torque, they use a chain. But why? Because a pulling chain is more reliable than an unwinding spring. It doesn’t matter if your power reserve is at 100% or at 5%, the movement will always recieve a constant, even torque. This makes this movement one of the most complicated, accurate and fascinating time-only movements around.

The links of the chain are rubies, giving it minimal friction when in motion.

Why is this brand so small and unknown?

The reason you don’t see Romain Gauthier watches in the streets or in an everyday jeweler, is because they have a very small production ( 60-70 pieces/year), and their prices being between €60.000 and €130.000. Not an impulsive buy.

Even though they are in the same price segment as a Richard Mille, MB&F or a complicated Patek, they don’t have the same name or fame. And I know why: I’s not instagrammable.

While this might be seen as a weakness, their customers might view this as a strength. People who buy a Romain Gaultier are not your average watch buyers. The main focus goes to the movement and the finishing, and most watches are in full platinum or red gold, so they don’t have that bling factor.

The people who buy this are people who are after quality, not status. If you want maximum status in a watch, you buy a yellow gold Rolex, period. Your neighbour might wear a Romain Gauthier without you knowing, while this costs 5 times as much as your average yellow gold Rolex Submariner.

The average Romain Gauthier customer wants quality, but also wants to stay low key. These are the same people who take the badges of their RS6, and the people who don’t tell you about their yacht every five minutes, because they don’t like bragging. A very rare breed indeed.

A big shoutout to Romain Gauthier for making such extraordinary watches.

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