WHAT IS THE FIRST MEMORY OF THE THREE OF YOU MEETING?
AURÉLIEN - We've been friends for almost 20 years, and we've been developing the brand together for 10-15 years.
I met Laurent on my first day of high school, and Laurent met Sari on his first day of college, and that's how we all became friends.
HOW DID THE FIRST FOB WATCH COME ABOUT?
AURÉLIEN - For the first FOB watch, we decided to start developing a pocket watch together. We had an old pocket watch in our hands, and we thought that this object was very interesting, but we wanted to modernize it. It seemed accessible and at the same time complicated, which also attracted us. Then came the development of the R100. That's when we worked with a lot of craftsmen to try to develop a technique to wear the R40 watch on the wrist with this new object adding something singular, something special in the world of fashion accessories and jewelry.
SARI- The creation of this first watch reflects the philosophy that we have been developing since the beginning, accepting things as they come, and letting ourselves be carried along as one gear movement leads to another, telling ourselves that in the end, we will arrive at something that will turn and move us forward. Today, this is our guiding principle and the way we draw and create, and it also means accepting to go down paths that are open to us and that were not necessarily calculated or planned, but that have made us produce extraordinary things.
WHAT DOES THE CITY OF PARIS EVOKE FOR YOU?
SARI - Paris is where the FOB adventure started for all 3 of us.
Paris for us is also the district of Arts and Crafts, the Marais, where we participated in our first Fashion Week. But it is also the Museum of Arts and Crafts where there are all these technical inspirations, the Pompidou Center just next door where we opened ourselves for the first time to art, creation etc... These are all these influences that we have in Paris, and even more specifically in this district which is called "the district of the Clock"! It's a district where we also met our first watchmakers, and there are still a lot of craftsmen there today. You wouldn't think it when you pass by, but in fact behind all the doors there are many workshops with whom we worked, with whom we learned the first skills.
And finally, Paris is also the city where we experienced a lot of things together, where we had a lot of fun!
WHAT ADJECTIVES WOULD DEFINE FOB PARIS TODAY?
SARI - If we had to describe FOB, I would say that it is an independent, poetic and technical brand.
HOW DO YOU CREATE CONTEMPORARY WATCHMAKING?
LAURENT - By freeing ourselves from the existing codes in watchmaking - which have led the industry to mimic all brands. The first thing we wanted to do was to reinstall new codes (design, aesthetics, images) and create our own DNA, while of course perfectly respecting the technicality and quality of the products.
And then there's creativity: always trying to bring something new, redefining the watch product as a creative product that can be worn like a jewel, that still makes people dream, and takes them on a journey through a new story. It's really about taking inspiration from the past - and from an already well-established watchmaking industry - to invent a new watchmaking product for the future.
HOW CAN WE FIND YOUR INSPIRATIONS THROUGH YOUR COLLECTIONS?
AURÉLIEN - The universe of our brand is very much linked to science fiction, to the mechanism, to the wheels. For us, the automatic mechanism represents something fascinating simply because you don't need batteries, it's self-sufficient. You just have to wear the watch, and the watch turns by itself. It's something pretty, poetic, skeletonized movement was obvious for us to integrate an automatic movement and not to let it be seen was a bit of a pity, for us it was obvious from the launch of the brand. We also strive to develop a minimalist spirit: black, which is very present in our collections, evokes sobriety and elegance. It also refers to a more poetic and dystopian universe.
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION IN WATCHMAKING?
SARI - For us, there are two important things in watchmaking. There is the "fashion accessory" side, which is what you will wear on your wrist, and there is the more poetic side, the relationship with time. All three of us studied engineering, we did a lot of physics, we approached time as an object of study, and "working with time as a raw material, how you represent it with an object" is something that fascinated us very quickly. These are the two ways of perceiving watchmaking that we find in our work today. It is in the design of the watch that you have to feel what is past, what is future, what is present. And that's how we work on time with our watches.
LAURENT - Each of the models we create, and this is also why we chose watchmaking, is because these are models that must last over time, there is no product that will be created to disappear after a year or two. That's what we like about watchmaking, it's a long-term industry and it's something that inspires us a lot. Every time we create a model, the idea is to make it evolve over time, or to use it as inspiration for another model, as happened with the gousset watch, which then inspired all the collections that came after.
WHAT DRIVES YOU?
LAURENT - Since the beginning, we have been passionate about the product, the technique and the different specificities that we have discovered over the past 10 years. We have been able to work in the Chanel workshops, we have been able to work with incredible artisans around the world. What drives us is to always push the limits of feasibility through the medium of watchmaking. And then, it's the human adventure between friends. To work on a common project and to see each year how it grows, to see that there are more and more respondents and followers of the brand, it excites us and encourages us to continue both in our creativity, in our learning of watchmaking, jewelry and jewelry.
HOW DOES YOUR PAST INSPIRE YOUR FUTURE?
SARI - All three of us are engineers, we have always had an appetite for technology and the basic skills that helped us develop our first models. And even if today we do very different things, we have always kept a hand on the whole process of product development and production, where since the beginning we work very closely with the factories because we put our nose in the technical plans.
WHAT WATCH WOULD YOU DREAM OF CREATING?
LAURENT - The idea would be to go beyond the watch and to go almost into art this time, by creating an FOB object that goes beyond the watch, a rather monumental object.
That's what we would dream about in the next few years. It's really about using watchmaking as a medium that goes beyond the wrist and that would dress up interiors, thought of as a sculpture.