Roger Dubuis, Founder of Roger Dubuis Horloger Genevois, on life of semi-retirement.
What is retirement or semi-retirement like for you? I don’t consider it a retirement. It has been great, and I am still following my passion. Now I have no obligation to arrive on time. I can come and go as I please. I also have more time to be a grandfather to my grandchildren. So I am a bit anti-social these days around the manufacture.
Do you miss being a full-time watchmaker?
I don’t miss watchmaking that much; but having said that, I do miss sitting at my watchmaking desk and doing something. The company is so kind to me and they set up a little private studio for me. I can do what I want, and I am also consulted by the watchmakers as to how to solve the problems that they face. It’s more like I’m playing a godfather role to them. It’s like being back at work, but yet it’s not.
Did you always want to be a watchmaker?
Yes, I always wanted to be a watchmaker ever since I can remember. It all started with me falling in love with the church clock in the village where I grew up. I came from a family of carpenters, so I learnt to appreciate artisanal skill. It all started with the village cobbler who was also the keeper of the steeple, and I was asked to help him with the tower bells. I was fascinated with the mechanisms of the clock, which led me to a lifelong love for watchmaking. When I became of age, I left my family and began my watchmaking education and career.