Do you remember your first watch, and how did your passion for watches start?
I remember very well my first watch but I didn’t actually got to own it…I grew up in Saudi Arabia and once my parents lost me at the age of 12 years old in a local market (souq). They got quite scared and when they finally found me, I was negotiating a Casio Calculator with a watch dealer. Not to say they were not really impressed by the whole situation and didn’t buy me the watch;)
The first watch that I bought as an adult was a Gerald Genta Biretro. Beautiful watch made by a legendary watchmaker.
How did you get into the watch business?
After my Master degree in Finance (from Inseec Paris and Bristol Uni) I joined PWC and worked as an auditor and consultant in Luxembourg and Switzerland. I was specialised in banking and Investment funds to be precise. I am not a big fan of the finance world and got lucky to get out of it at the age of 28 to become the CFO of TechnoMarine in Geneva. I learned a lot working directly with the sole owner of the company and was able to work in an industry that I was passionate about which was amazing. I learned a lot about the industry working later as the CFO of Universo – a company of the Swatch Group. I worked on both sides, in a brand and a large component manufacturer in La Chaux de Fonds. You gain a lot of experience working in the heart of Swiss watchmaking and hear a lot of stories:)
At Bausele you combine elements of Australia with Swiss watchmaking please tell us about the inspiration and concept of your watches.
Beginning of 2010, I left Universo and La Chaux de Fonds to move to Australia, the country of my wife whom I met in Geneva (at the time of TechnoMarine). When I arrived in Sydney, I couldn’t find a job and started to think about what I could do. I knew how to make watches, there was no watch brand in Australia doing Swiss Made watches. My concept was born, an Australian watch brand Swiss Made. I needed a bit more than that as a concept and incorporated Australian elements in the crown (red earth, sand, opal,…). It was the first time than a watch brand paid tribute and was link to a country the way Bausele did (nb. Bausele stands for Beyond AUStralian ELEments). Australia is such an amazing country that gets people dreaming all around the world but it is not enough to sell watches. Since, we have launched our own production unit in joint venture with Flinders University where we produce our own material, called Bauselite (proprietary:) and the aim is to produce more and more components in Australia and send them to La Chaud de Fonds to get assembled. On the new version of the Pilot automatic, we are using a kangaroo leather as strap and will introduce cane toad for one of our new model called the Vintage. Also, we are associating our brand image with great partners and ambassadors like Alan Jones, F1 world Champion in 1980 and we are the official time keeper of Kiteboarding Australia or the Festival of Sails which is the largest sailing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere based in Geelong, also we did a limited edition watch for the Australian Army Intelligence Corps (secret agents:) to name a few…
What movements are Bausele watches powered by and why?
I am using a few movement supplier. IsaSwiss from Les Brenets in Switzerland which is a good boutique Quartz manufacturer that will supply the movement in the ChronoS (Yacht racer and Chronograph) and the OceanMoon II (Tide and moon phase indicator). On the automatic side, I use the Soprod A10 for the Terra Australis and Sellita SW200 for the Pilot automatic. I also propose which I think is unique, the same pilot automatic which is a beautiful watch with ceramic case, sapphire front and back, 2 straps (every Bausele comes with 2 straps that the customer can easily change him/herself) and 5 year warranty with a Miyota movement 9015 to offer a lower price point.
I didn’t go for ETA movement even if I am an ex Swatch Group because I wanted to build a relationship with smaller manufacturers that would be able to follow me during my growth.
Where can we buy a Bausele watch and what is the price range?
The price range is EUR790 for the OceanMoon, EUR890 for the ChronoS, EUR990 for the Pilot Automatic and up to EUR3,750 for the Terra Australis which is a unique watch mainly made in Australia in our own production facility. You can find our watches online on Bausele.com. We recently launched at David Jones which is a famous high end department store in Australia and we are available at OChrono in Paris and through their European online store called Ocarat.com. We are opening distribution in Japan, the Philippines as well as the US and we should be able to find Bausele in retailers of those countries very soon.
A recap of Bausele’s main points:
- The First Australian, Swiss Made watch brand.
- The unique concept of capturing an element of Australia in the crown of each watch (sand, red earth, opal…).
- The launch of our own manufacturing facility in partnership with Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia.
- Creation of a unique lightweight ceramic composite – The Bauselite featuring in our new model the Terra Australis.
- Use of local kangaroo leather for our straps. Kangaroo leather is known for being a very resistant light weight leather.
- And of course our designs and prices are very attractive.
- Every watch come with a 5 year warranty.
- All watches are delivered with 2 easily interchangeable straps.