Romain Gauthier was born in 1975 in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland, the cradle of fine Swiss watchmaking. It was here that Romain developed his passion for traditional Haute Horlogerie, his grasp of mechanics and engineering, and his eye for design. Having specialised in precision mechanics at technical college, Romain qualified as a constructor of precision machinery in 1997.

A year later, he started his first job as machine programmer-operator at a horological components manufacturer that he helped turn into one of the best-performing facilities in Europe. Determined to build from scratch not just his own high-end watch, but also his own high-end watch brand, Romain completed an MBA in 2002. His final thesis was the business plan for his own watch company. After working behind closed doors on his own timepieces for three years, he launched the Romain Gauthier brand in 2005, unveiling its first timepiece, Prestige HM, at Baselworld 2007. This was followed by Prestige HMS (2010), Logical One (2013), Logical One Secret (2014) and Insight Micro-Rotor (2017). These encompass classically refined pieces, contemporarily casual creations and ethereal objets d’art, all featuring supremely finished in-house movements. In 2013, the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – the Oscars of watchmaking – awarded Romain Gauthier’s Logical One the prize for Best Men’s Complication. Romain Gauthier’s ability to create exquisite timepieces is in large part thanks to his manufacture, based in Le Sentier, Switzerland, that he has steadily built up. The manufacture employs skilled craftsmen and time-honoured watchmaking tools alongside experienced technicians and cutting-edge production methods, allowing Romain Gauthier to design, produce, decorate, assemble and regulate in-house all movements for the brand’s timepieces.

Key dates

At technical college, Romain finds his forte: making machine parts on lathes. He specialises in precision mechanics and, on graduating, starts his first job as a machine programmer-operator at a horological components factory.

Romain reflects on his Vallée de Joux roots, grasp of engineering and ability to make components, and he asks himself why he has not yet tried designing his own watch. In his free time, he begins work on designs that become more and more elaborate.

Romain sets his sights on building not just his own watch but also his own watch brand. He studies for an MBA in his spare time to get the know-how he will need. His final thesis is the business plan for his watch company.

Romain visits watchmaker Philippe Dufour to see if, in the modern age, one person can still create a movement on their own. Inspired, Romain is even more determined to pursue his dream of creating his own watch and brand.

Impressed by Romain’s design and ambition, his boss grants him after-hours access to the factory’s tools and machines so he can develop parts for his movement. Over three years, Romain spends evenings, weekends and holidays doing just that.

Romain sets up his eponymous company in Le Sentier, Switzerland. Within the first year he employs his first watchmaker to hand-finish and assemble the movement he has been working on, Calibre HM 2206.

Calibre HM 2206 powers Romain’s first watch, Prestige HM, which the brand presents at its debut Baselworld. The show is a success. Exuding all the traits of fine Swiss watchmaking, Prestige HM is the first piece to grace the Romain Gauthier Heritage collection.

To complement the brand’s watchmaking atelier, Romain invests in a number of automatic lathes and sets up a team of production specialists to ensure that Romain Gauthier movements can continue to be developed entirely in-house.

Launch of Prestige HMS, an evolution of Prestige HM with added seconds and a more contemporary aesthetic, including a partly openwork dial.

Launch of Prestige HMS Natural Titanium, the brand’s first watch in titanium, launching Romain Gauthier’s Freedom collection of timepieces featuring high-tech materials and a more casual style.

Featuring Romain’s revolutionary constant-force movement with ruby-link chain and push-button winding, Logical One is launched to much acclaim and puts Romain Gauthier on the horological map. Logical One wins the prize for Best Men’s Complication Watch at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

Logical One Secret Diamonds is launched and begins Romain Gauthier’s Exception collection of unique pieces lit up by virtuoso displays of decorative crafts.

Romain Gauthier brings production and watchmaking operations together at a brand-new, purpose-built manufacture in Le Sentier.

The launches of Prestige HMS Black Titanium, Logical One Natural Titanium and Black Titanium, plus ‘Enraged’ limited editions of Logical One and Prestige HMS, ensure the growth of the Romain Gauthier Freedom collection.

Boasting a finely-finished in-house calibre featuring a bidirectional micro-rotor and 80-hour power reserve, Insight Micro-Rotor – Romain Gauthier’s first automatic timepiece – is launched.