Episode #6: Zenith, Girard Perregaux and Jaeger-LeCoultre before, now it's all about Nivada Grenchen and Excelsior Park!
Guillaume Laidet might not be a name you instantly recognise but there is no doubt you’ll be familiar with his work. From 2010-2015 Guillaume spent his professional career working at Zenith, Girard Perregaux & Jaeger-LeCoultre in various marketing and communication roles. From there he went on to found William L.1985 watches crowdfunding over €375,000 and reaching sales of over 100,000 watches in more than 50 countries.
Since then, Guillaume has more recently spent his time in the world of Nivada Grenchen as he’s dedicated the past year to re-launching the well-adorned historical watch brand. Guillaume has a plethora of experience in the watch industry and his dedication and passion always comes across.
Let’s hear what he has to say as he takes part in our '15 Questions With’…
1. Let’s start with something everyone is always interested in, what’s on your wrist at the time of writing this?
Today it is the Chronomaster Broad Arrow automatic prototype. I've just got it back this week from Fedex after a few months travelling around the world as different publications have received it for coverage. This watch has travelled more than all of us during lockdown!
2. What was the first watch you remember that left an impact on you?
It was an Omega Constellation from the 1950s that my father would always wear. I remember wearing it when I was younger and not wanting to give it back to him. Amazingly, he finally offered it to me a few years later as my business school graduation.
3. How did you start working in and around watches?
I was rather predestined to work in wine and spirit as I am from Cognac and did all my internships in this industry (that I love) but the first job I found in Marketing was at Zenith in Switzerland. I had the chance to work with a great team managed by Jean Frederic Dufour (the current CEO of Rolex). I learnt a lot from this experience and from there I never looked back.
Finish the following sentences:
4. The best-kept secret in watches is…
To not believe everything you read. Let's just say not every watch brand that says they're 'sold out' has genuinely sold every watch - a lot of it is marketing.
5. The one watch that got away from me was…
A Royal Oak 14100, unfortunately!
6. If I wasn’t working in watches, I’d be working in…
Probably the wine and spirit industry, as discussed previously.
7. What is one thing you think is missing from the watch industry today?
Universal Genève! I adore that brand, they have some incredible watches, I'd love to see this brand back on the scene.
8. Tell us about one watch that took your breath away recently?
It's not so recent but the Jaeger-LeCoultre SpheroTourbillon was super impressive and beautifully done.
9. What is your most prized possession in your collection?
It would probably have to be my unbranded vintage 36mm chronograph. In fact, that exact watch gave me the idea to start my own brand (William L. 1985).
10. Date or no date?
That's a tough one, I'd have to say no date.
11. What was your most recent watch purchase?
Actually, it was a beautiful Omega Equinoxe. It's a rare and crazy watch that mixes a Reverso style case with a Royal Oak bracelet and a digital display. It's the sort of watch that would be perfect for a 1980s James Bond...
12. And the next watch you’ll be adding to your collection?
I'd love to add a Patek 3800 in full steel with a blue dial to the collection.
13. What is something you feel passionate about in the world of watches?
The story behind a watch brand is always super interesting but if I had to pick one aspect I'd go for the movement of watches. It is crazy to think how all those tiny pieces of metal have the ability to bring life to mechanical watches. I love how this is such a universal appeal between the #watchfam across the world.
14. What is one piece of advice for people out there looking to make it in the world of horology and watches?
You need a passion for the products and industry for sure. Oh, and make sure you're on time for meetings!
15. Tell us about something you’re working on that is really exciting?
I'm currently spending time developing the re-birth of Excelsior Park which has been a super exciting project to manage. I can't wait to see those timepieces on wrists all around the world.
We'd like to take this moment to thank Guillaume for his time and for featuring on 15 Questions With. To check out everything about Nivada Grenchen and Excelsior Park make sure to follow them on Instagram here and here.
Interested in learning more about Nivada Grenchen and our thoughts on them? Check out our coverage below:
(Re) Introducing Nivada Grenchen Watches
Taking A Look At The Nivada Grenchen Depthmaster
Hands-On With The Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver