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Creating Watch Magnificence, One Petal at a Time

Creating Watch Magnificence, One Petal at a Time

Creating Watch Beauty, One Petal at a Time

Alexandre Beauregard has been busy. The Montreal-based watch designer is getting ready to point out 16 of his ladies’s watches — most of their dials was flowers by his distinctive carved petals — at Geneva Watch Days.

The designer’s small impartial model shall be making its first go to to the present, scheduled from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. And Mr. Beauregard, 47, mentioned he hoped that showing on the similar occasion as main manufacturers like Bulgari and Breitling and in a division that included Bianchet, Hautlence and HYT “offers an enormous publicity for us.”

He intends to point out watches just like the 18-karat white gold Dahlia, a one-of-a-kind piece with a 33.8-millimeter dial circled in purple coral petals, a petal-shaped winder, a rotating flower above the central tourbillon and a diamond-studded case. “I wished it to be a watch that was designed, thought and made fully for girls, and a critical watch,” Mr. Beauregard mentioned in a video interview from the book-lined workplace in his workshop.

The same mannequin with mother-of-pearl petals in a grey gold case was shortlisted within the women’ complication class on the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève competitors, however the prize was gained by Van Cleef & Arpels’s Girl Arpels Planétrium.

Reginald Brack, a watch business advisor, mentioned each manufacturers had similarities of their approaches, creating “a chunk across the haute horology, but in addition across the gems and the posh valuable metals.”

“And the whole mannequin,” he added, “is designed from the bottom up, with every bit incorporating the gems as a part of the design from the start.”

The worldwide head of watches at Bonhams public sale home, Jonathan Darracott, mentioned he believed that Mr. Beauregard’s ornamental designs stuffed a distinct segment available in the market. “Particularly with lapidary, and stones, and utilizing expertise that aren’t essentially the factor {that a} watchmaker can be at residence with, and creating stunning watches which are close to sufficient artistic endeavors,” he mentioned.

“For while there are producers like Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille and Patek Philippe, who sometimes do extra extravagant and unique issues, their mainstays are fundamental watches, whereas that is the opposite method round,” Mr. Darracott added. “His mainstay is doing these unique design watches and doing them with numerous aptitude.”

Born in Montreal, Mr. Beauregard was launched to watchmaking by a good friend whereas they each had been in highschool. He didn’t give attention to it immediately, however did examine graphic design and style, amongst different topics, which he mentioned taught him a structured design technique that he nonetheless makes use of: to “have a technical place to begin earlier than you go loopy with artwork,” he mentioned.

Living proof: Round 2017, the spherical form of a watch dial impressed him to consider the rounded floor of cabochon-cut stones and, from that, “the flower virtually immediately was the very first thing that I drew,” he mentioned.

“I simply draw issues and if I prefer it, I work upon it,” he mentioned, including that he could make about 200 sketches for only one dial.

After faculty, Mr. Beauregard labored half time as a waiter and a carpenter, and had small roles and manufacturing jobs on a wide range of movie and TV tasks. Then, in 2003, he purchased a laundromat, referred to as Buanderie Bonin, and expanded the enterprise right into a business laundry for resorts.

However a couple of years later he started on the lookout for a brand new undertaking, and determined to pursue his ardour for watches. “I noticed that the watch business was masking lots of fields that I like, drawing, technical, the enterprise aspect,” he mentioned.

In 2009, utilizing some financial savings and the proceeds from the sale of two funding properties, he based Montres Beauregard Inc. At first he experimented with wooden watches, however modified to stones in 2013 after assembly Yves St.-Pierre, a lapidary artist based mostly in St.-Boniface, Quebec. “It was apparent right away in my thoughts,” Mr. Beauregard mentioned, “that may look so cool on a watch.”

Mr. Beauregard mentioned Mr. St.-Pierre had taught him methods to choose stones and carve and polish them: “I labored with him at his workshop, like an apprentice, after which I arrange my very own workshop. And now he comes right here three days every week to work with me, so it’s been an ongoing studying for the final 9 years.” (The boys even have traveled collectively to the Tucson gem reveals in Arizona in February to purchase stones).

However Mr. Beauregard mentioned he has developed his personal method of working gems like topaz and turquoise and minerals like phosphosiderite, shaping them into cabochons, which have flat bases and rounded domes, for his petals. He makes each 2.4 millimeters to three millimeters thick, “when often it’s underneath one millimeter, so there may be lots of depth in my dials.”

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Whereas the designer works on his concepts and executes the stonework in Montreal, his timepiece elements — together with automated tourbillons and quartz actions — are made in Switzerland by varied suppliers. The watches are assembled there by Fimm SA and saved in a department of UBS financial institution in Geneva, and Mr. Beauregard arranges their supply. (Mr. Beauregard himself hardly ever wears a watch as a result of, he mentioned, “it’s not snug to work with” — though, for conferences in Switzerland, he wears a prototype white gold watch accented with white jade from an early assortment that was by no means produced.)

In 2014 he arrange Beauregard SA, in Switzerland — as a result of the notion is “you might be extra dependable since you are based mostly there,” he mentioned. He additionally modified the Montres Beauregard title to Ville Marie Manufacture to purchase and promote stones to different manufacturers (which he declined to establish, citing confidentiality.) A former material manufacturing facility in Montreal now homes his watch-related operations, the laundry enterprise and Mr. Beauregard’s residence.

The watch enterprise made 168,000 Swiss francs ($176,000) final 12 months, Mr. Beauregard mentioned, however his personal wage comes from the laundry firm and one other rental property, he wrote in a later electronic mail.

The corporate’s web site now shows 4 watch collections and made-to-order stone cuff hyperlinks (6,310 Swiss francs, excluding taxes) that he says he primarily sells to a Center Jap and Asian clientele at commerce gala’s like Jewellery Arabia, held every fall in Bahrain.

The collections embody Lili Sweet, a 33-millimeter gold quartz timepiece that swaps the flower theme for a spiral lollipop design utilizing stones like carnelian, topaz and amethyst separated by a sliver of white opal (beginning at 26,500 Swiss francs, excluding taxes).

There are not any hour markings or title on the dial as “it could intervene with the design and the look of the watch,” Mr. Beauregard mentioned. As a substitute his brand is stamped on the again.

As for the longer term, the designer mentioned that quite a few issues had been deliberate for 2024. He intends to open a boutique in Geneva with one other model, which he declined to call, and is engaged on a jewellery look ahead to males with a brand new mechanical central flying tourbillon.

The design, nevertheless, is proving to be what he referred to as “far more troublesome” than his ladies’s watches. He’s attempting to create a stained-glass impact on the dial — “impressed by the enamel work from St. Petersburg on the time of the czars,” — however “you might want to match the stones completely into the sample,” he mentioned, and the stones are simply damaged.

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