In­ter­view with Chris­tian Lattmann, CEO of Ja­quet Droz

WatchTime - - Spotlight - Jaquet Droz Automata - Ques­tions by Lo­gan R. Baker

LB: How do Pierre Ja­quet-droz’s orig­i­nal au­tom­ata in­flu­ence the way the mod­ern brand de­signs and pro­duces watches to­day?

CL: It's the spirit we are keep­ing alive that in­spires our cre­ations. There's a deeply emo­tional value in all our cre­ations. We strive to cre­ate as­ton­ish­ment, that feel­ing we get when we come across some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary. We feel this emo­tion a lot as chil­dren and it sadly dis­si­pates as we grow up. We keep it alive by en­sur­ing ar­ti­san work­man­ship is a big part of each time­piece, that our watches are crafted by hand. Our au­tom­ata are truly works of art; there is noth­ing like the feel­ing you get when they come to life. LB: Does the fu­ture of Ja­quet Droz rely on its past? Ja­quet Droz has claim to a unique part of horo­log­i­cal his­tory – how can that be lever­aged to­ward the fu­ture growth of the brand?

CL: Ja­quet Droz is one of the old­est Swiss watch­mak­ing brands. We are cel­e­brat­ing our 280th an­niver­sary this year. Our motto of fu­ture growth de­pends on the abil­ity to pre­serve the past. But we are not stuck in the past. We are uphold­ing the defin­ing spirit of Ja­quet Droz to build our fu­ture. We want to cre­ate beauty and emo­tion. LB: You’ve worked for mul­ti­ple other brands in the Swatch Group. What chal­lenges does Ja­quet Droz of­fer that dif­fer from other his­toric brands, such as Breguet and Blanc­pain? What ben­e­fits does it of­fer?

CL: Each of the three brands our Pres­i­dent Marc Hayek over­sees has a very dis­tinct iden­tity and he wants to keep it that way. The main dif­fer­ence is Ja­quet Droz is less well known than the other brands, but our an­niver­sary this year is a chance to tell ev­ery­one about our amaz­ing his­tory while in­tro­duc­ing our great new cre­ations, new au­tom­ata, new time­pieces from our Ate­liers d’art and a new ver­sion of our iconic Grande Se­conde. LB: What was your re­ac­tion the first time you viewed the Writer, the Mu­si­cian and the Draughts­man? How did it in­spire you? CL: As­ton­ish­ment. I felt like a lit­tle kid wit­ness­ing such an in­cred­i­ble tech­ni­cal and aes­thetic tal­ent. I re­al­ized to what ex­tent Pierre Ja­quet-droz and his son were ge­niuses and we sim­ply must carry on that legacy. LB: In 2011, the film Hugo was re­leased and it fea­tured au­tom­ata heav­ily. This is per­haps the largest pop cul­ture mo­ment for the au­tom­a­ton ever. Was there an in­crease in in­ter­est in Ja­quet Droz time­pieces dur­ing that time? CL: When the film came out, we gave a Ja­quet Droz watch to the ac­tor Asa But­ter­field and the di­rec­tor Martin Scors­ese in trib­ute to the won­der­ful story. We def­i­nitely saw more in­ter­est in our watches. We are also in­tro­duc­ing a new au­tom­a­ton at Basel­world this year called Le Poète, whose de­sign was in­spired by the au­tom­a­ton in Hugo. So it did leave a last­ing im­pres­sion.

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