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When people have a wide experience of and a shared passion for the same industry, it is hardly surprising when they come together and set up shop on their own. Emeric Delalandre, Henrik Gaché, and Gregory Gaucheé, the founders of the new French brand Hegid, which aims to put the power of customization in the hands of the customer, bring a wide array of experiences to the table. Blending skills in the fields of marketing, sales, and design, this trio left behind their careers working for and with major international brands to start their own company that had the power to effect change in an industry they love.
Based in Paris, France, Hegid is positioned as a brand that puts the build quality of its products front and center and pitches them to the young-middle-aged, fashion-conscious, role-model-inspired demographic. The concept is simple and consists of a “dressing complication:” A central waterproof capsule containing a self-winding mechanical movement and a traditional time display can be easily locked in different-shaped case carrures (French for “middles”) to completely change the style, look, and even the function of the watch. The bracelet is also interchangeable.
Henrick Gauché’s true passion is for real artisanship and mechanics. Although he is not a trained watchmaker himself, he often spends time in the watchmaking workshop, applying his significant knowledge to certain tasks that require an extra pair of hands.
Meanwhile, brother Gregory Gauché brings years of experience from the automotive industry to industrial proceedings. His background in designing bodywork components for the likes of high-end German brands, as well being behind several collaborations between carmakers and luxury brands, has been invaluable in developing the Hegid watch concept and arriving at a product that is not just attractive on the wrist, but also expertly machined to ensure long-term functionality.
To ensure the product would work as planned, the Hegid team has invested in two years of research on the project, testing and developing the security and longevity of the case capsule as it inserts into whichever surround the customer chooses. The invention that brings new opportunities for “evolving watchmaking” is patented.
Of course, the main advantage of this concept is that customers can change their minds in less than 20 seconds if they own a selection of case carrures. The customer owns a capsule that is designed to last for several generations. A capsule costs the price of a luxury watch, while the elements (carrures and bracelets) offer an affordable means to diversify a collection.
The initial launch offers three distinct styles. The Exploration collection is identified by the largest case (a 42mm square) and, therefore, greatest wrist presence. It is also the most avant-garde of the initial trio. The most classical of the bunch is the Laboratoire option, which is a traditionally styled 38.5mm case with a softer, rounded shape. The sportiest model in the debut collection is the Vision timepiece, which boasts a rotating bezel and brushed surfaces.
While Henrick Gauché brings the technical expertise and the industry contacts, Gregory Gauché brings the design talent. Delalandre, the youngest of the three (and closest to the target demographic), is responsible for marketing, having worked for Apple. His experience at a modern and dynamic company like Apple taught him a special lesson: Watchmaking needs to be reinvented. And what better to empower the next generation of watch collectors than to hand them a product they can reinvent on the fly?
All the cases are made in France due to the necessary precision. This unusual step, in line with the brand’s vision of fashion-luxury watchmaking, means that a total of 85% of the value of each Hegid is added in France. The remaining 15% is Swiss-sourced, starting with the top-grade Sellita SW200-1. The elements are designed, produced, assembled and prepared by French watchmakers. The movements are regulated between 0 and +5s to be the closest to the top Swiss quality that Henrick loved promoting during his previous career.
Hegid plans on a quarterly update to its range, with seasonal novelties adapting to current artistic trends. The brand also hopes that the huge potential for individual customization will encourage passionate watch enthusiasts to buy this product for a budding collector. The debut range from Hegid will retail around €2,800 per watch (includes a 2400€ case capsule, a €250-350 case carrure, and a €50-200 strap of your choice). Learn more about the brand at hegid.com.
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