Thierry Oulevay was already an experienced watch industry entrepreneur when he met Christophe Claret in 2001 and decided to launch a new brand concept at the very highest level of watchmaking.

Oulevay had just sold his stake in Bovet Fleurier, a brand he had resurrected in the 1990s and, with an award-winning case design, he had established himself among prestige watchmakers.

“When I met Christophe Claret, I found myself in perfect harmony with his vision of watchmaking,” said Oulevay. “We quickly agreed to launch exceptional watches at the very top of the range. Each model would be a patented world premiere, each watch execution would be unique.” They also discovered a common interest in art deco.

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Oulevay graduated from Babson College, Massachusetts in 1982 then worked in France and Germany for a high-end food company. But he dreamed of being an entrepreneur, not a manager.

His break into the watch industry came in 1989 when he met Alain-Dominique Perrin, the president of Cartier. The Vendôme (now Richemont) Group had also just acquired Piaget and its managing director, Francis Gouten, invited Oulevay to join the company.

Jean Dunand