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Being Pierre DeRoche: Heir To The Throne – A Blessing Or A Curse?

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Having been born into a family empire, particularly a renowned and successful one, can be a blessing or a curse – great if you’re up for it; not so great if you’re not “feeling it”. Imagine you were Jaden Smith but had a passion for particle physics rather than hanging out at celebrity parties with parents Will and Jada. The question is: do you rebel against the heritage, or give up and play the game?

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Pierre DeRoche put up a bit of a fight but eventually the watch world drew him back in, because, you see, Pierre is actually Pierre Dubois, a name of genuine nobility when it comes to Swiss watchmaking’s formative years (see Claude Meylan for another example). It’s the very same family that gave its name to Dubois-Depraz, the one-stop complications shop for the likes of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and TAG Heuer (its Calibre 12, for example, is a basic ETA 2892 automatic movement, enhanced with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph “module”).

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Pierre’s two brothers willingly went into watchmaking but for a while, Pierre resisted – he became a sports teacher, returned to university to study economics, went back to work at a big Swiss bank… Then finally acquiesced to the inevitable, being headhunted by Audemars Piguet to work as their CFO. Pierre has maintained that he still wasn’t really interested in watches but a mere glance at the Pierre DeRoche watches he has since masterminded alongside wife Carole says – no, bellows – otherwise in no uncertain terms. The dedication required to realise a brand of this quality on such a small scale is quite simply phenomenal – even when you do happen to be a scion of the Dubois clan. Indeed, the watches’ boldly contemporary twist on the classic wristwatch form pays appropriate tribute to the four generations of inherited passion.

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Being a Dubois has paid off on certain terms, of course – after all, the Swiss watchmaking industry is built on a horizontal supply chain, so there was never any doubt that Pierre would pay his brothers a visit. Given what they do, you would expect there to be some horological pyrotechnics going on in the watches and they don’t disappoint on that front.

While every Pierre DeRoche collection shows a desire to experiment with traditional forms, it is in the TNT line that you get a sense of Pierre thinking, “well, if we’re going into watchmaking then we’re jumping in with both feet.” TNT sees Carole and Pierre going complication crazy, taking full advantage of Dubois-Depraz’s prowess in the chronograph department (see the Penta models), not to mention power reserves, retrograde seconds hands, even a “friendly reminder” alarm function in the Rendezvous model.

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Many of the pieces are limited edition. And with good reason considering the amount of work that goes into each timepiece. After all, if you’re going to finally join the family business then you really have to go big or go home. When you own a Pierre DeRoche, you are really owning a piece of true Swiss-watch legacy.

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