Editorial - Is there still creativity in watchmaking?

Those in search of original watches should sometimes take a closer look. Because by stepping out of one's mental box, one finds a lot of creativity.

One of the criticisms of watchmaking that I have heard most recently is that of an alleged lack of creativity.
It is a pity that those who criticise are often the same public who turn up their noses at something new. While celebrating the genius of Gérald Genta, who in the 1970s designed watches that were revolutionary for the time, it seems to me that history is repeating itself. Just as Genta's designs took years before they met the taste of the general public, I notice the same difficulty today in being intrigued by less conventional watches.

I am thinking for example of Audemars Piguet's Code 11.59, perhaps penalised by the cumbersome personality of the Royal Oak, but initially denigrated by many.
Or to brands that take original paths such as that of Roger Dubuis, which has renounced dials on its watches to the point of taking the concept of the skeleton watch to extremes, and which is still not well understood because of this.

Let us tell the truth. There is no lack of creativity in watchmaking.
Interesting are the collaborations with design studios, such as those of Rado on the True Square collection. But also the image transformations, such as the one implemented by Ulysse Nardin, particularly with the Diver collection and the Diver X models.

Or the reinterpretation of symbols, such as the winding rotor placed on the dial by Perrelet to recall the invention of automatic winding, which over the years has turned into a turbine. And what about the Zeitwerk by A. Lange & Söhne? Perhaps the only mechanical digital watch that has managed to achieve worldwide success by sublimating Lange's large date display design.

And then, coming to niche independent brands, I recall the completely original concept of the Ressence watches and the possibilities opened up by Agenhor with its AgenGraphe chronograph calibre, used today by Singer and H. Moser & Cie. Creativity, in style and technique, permeates contemporary watchmaking. All it takes to appreciate it is to be observant and, every now and then, to step outside the usual patterns.

Dody Giussani