Most watch lovers have a fondness and strict appreciation for watch maker Vianney Halter – who is the man behind Janvier Manufacture, a number of interesting timepieces (including the iconic Antiqua), has set the bar for luxury steampunk timepieces, and is a respected personality in the world of horology. Haute Horlogerie Magazine recently interviews him (link below), and I suggest the short read due to Vianney’s actually straight forward and sober responses.

Any watch industry journalist knows that while you need to interview the CEO’s of major brands in the hope that you might get some advertising income out of them down the line, said brand executives mostly make for pointless discussions. They speak in vagaries, are overly positive, and often only speak in “brand mantra.” Independents are  often much better to speak with, and Mr. Halter makes for a good opinion.

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Here is probably his best quote from the interview:

“[T]his year I’ve seen some totally out-there products that take buyers for fools. If there’s one lesson 2009 should have taught us, it’s never again, yet looking around I can see this isn’t necessarily the case. Watchmaking, like banking, is prepared to go back to the same old ways that hastened its fall. It bothers me to see contractors in dire financial straits.”

In response, Christophe Roulet, who interviews him ponders whether the statement is too “pessimistic.” Is that really the best response? I think Vianney felt very positive about being able to vent his feelings. Nothing like calling a interviewee “pessimistic” to have a real chilling effect on the conversation.

Check out Haute Horlogerie Magazine’s May 2010 interview with Vianney Halter here.

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