When did you start Seconde/Seconde/? Where did the idea come from?
I started to work under the Seconde/Seconde/ name around 2018. I spent the 10 years prior to that in a startup I co-founded, which was at the intersection of electronic devices and high-end horology. We never managed to be profitable, and in 2015 I had to close the company. I was really down. Fed up. Lost. My confidence was super low, because I basically found out I was not good at running a “business.” I wanted to stay connected with this watch industry, but unlike my previous venture, I wanted to do something on my own, without the need for raising millions—something small where I could be the only boss. Buying vintage watches and trying to “twist” them sounded kinda feasible. I knew it could be a bit controversial, which is never bad.
Did you feel like the watch industry was missing humor?
Not really. I’m not an advocate for “more fun in watches,” actually. I consider the watch industry as an establishment, and the establishment has the right and probably the duty to stay rigorous and serious. The more serious an establishment is, the more room it leaves to “weirdos” like myself to twist it, to play with it, to bring another perspective. So I’m not really rooting for a change in the watch industry about that. The vast majority of the market is not asking for “funny timepieces.” What I’m doing is not for everyone, and should remain niche. I’m happy to grow my little garden outside of main street.
How did you connect with Isotope? What made them a good fit for what you do?
The good fit for me always comes from the idea, the concept. If the concept is good, interesting, and unexpected then the rest will follow. This is always better and easier if there is a human fit also, but my driver is mostly the excitement I feel when I find an idea relevant to me. With Isotope, the human fit was there, too. José, the founder, is super passionate and into details. We’re both able to lose hours on some stupid details, not necessarily concerning the product. That’s an important marker to me. People that irrelevantly lose their time on some micro details nobody cares except themselves. I could feel that pattern with José, and then I could feel the bromance was not far away.
What is the idea behind the watch you came up with?
The idea with Isotope came with a context. Isotope was so far kinda bringing fun and colors around diving watches. So I wanted to go the opposite way. I wanted to go dark. I wanted to suggest how diving is dangerous, and as a generalization, how living is dangerous. I wanted to go “Memento Mori” with watches.