Christian Etienne - Watchmaker
In the village of Porrentruy where I grew up, watchmaking as well as the manufacturing of watch parts of all kinds was already long established since the 19th century. It is therefore not strange that many families living here, including my own, were intimately involved in some aspect of watchmaking. Even today in the 21st century, traditional watchmaking culture is something that regularly touches everyone’s daily life here, and the watchmaking school of Porrentruy, established in 1840 is still actively training watchmakers to fulfill the future needs of the Swiss watchmaking industry.
Indeed, my own family was also involved with watchmaking for three generations, specializing in creating the ‘jewels’, the ruby red stones you will see in every mechanical watch, essential for their perfect functioning. Against such a personal history, together with my childhood fascination for small things, it was clear from my earliest days that watchmaking was to be my destiny.
I originally spent many years as a specialist in the restoration of complicated clocks, pocketwatches and wristwatches of all kinds including many horological rarities found in famous private and public collections throughout Switzerland, in addition to my teaching activities at the Porrentruy school of watchmaking (today officially known as the CEJEF Division Technique). Later, in 1996, a new world opened up for me via an advertisement from Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi which led to a watchmaking position assembling all kinds of fascinating and complex contemporary movements that were quite different from the vintage horological pieces I knew so well. This extended experience enabled me to come in contact with many brands with whom I would later collaborate in the long term, such as Ulysse Nardin, Paul Picot, Parmigiani, Greubel & Forsey, Girard-Perregaux, and Omega as well as Richard Mille, for whom I finished and assembled the brand's extraordinary perpetual Planetarium-Tellurium.
Within the last recent years, at the request of many private clients, I started with the production of my own wristwatches, using famed vintage movements from different manufactures, which I combine with dials, hands and cases of my own design, all manufactured in the highest quality, to create a 100% Swiss Made wristwatch destined for the appreciation of collectors everywhere.