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Watches

What makes Ulysse Nardin’s CEO tick?

Debonair gets to know UN boss Patrick Pruniaux

I don’t believe that watch lovers are only watch lovers. Like all of us, they live different lives.

I became interested in the watch industry because…

A watch is one of very few objects in the world that encapsulates so much technology and emotion in only few millimetres.

As CEO, my most unbelievable find has been…

The level of passion and expertise within the Ulysse Nardin family.

The collection I currently feel most connected to is…

The Freak. It’s pure Ulysse Nardin DNA — innovative and daring. Plus, like us as humans, it is in constant evolution.

The first watch I ever received was…

A Mickey Mouse watch — and I’m very proud of it!

I don’t believe that watch lovers are only watch lovers. Like all of us, they live different lives.

I think the watch industry and high-end luxury is…

An amazing industry to work in. It has tremendous growth potential while currently at a new crossroad in its long history due to the ever-popular introduction of digitalisation.

The greatest development I’ve seen from my brand is…

The use of silicium. That revolution started 18 years ago and now continues with new movements mixing the benefits of components with amazing innovation. At Ulysse Nardin, since the use of Marine Chronometer, we have always believed that innovations should have a purpose. For instance, the recently launched Freak Next features a revolutionary flying oscillator, whose three-dimensional architecture is based on flexible silicon blades.

An object from outside the industry that has an important effect on my work is…

There are plenty. I don’t believe that watch lovers are only watch lovers. Like all of us, they live different lives. They have varied interested and are passionate about countries, people and experiences. So, we have to be inspired by all those different worlds of sport, art, culture and much more.


On my desk you’ll always find…

A secret object that you could describe as a kind of talisman. Although I love a clean empty desk and I’m keen on digitalising almost everything, I display this object proudly; it was a gift that I’ve kept because I’m convinced it has special powers.

My favourite aspect of my role is…

Dealing with challenges and issues that are unexpected, and for which there are no recipes or easy solutions. Additionally, I love the excitement of trying to understand new trends and ever-evolving consumer behaviour.

The last gift I received from someone in the industry was…

An umbrella. A very good one, actually — it looks like a sabre.

I think the Middle East market is…

First in so many ways when it comes to the industry. It is fascinating from a cultural point of view and we are very fortunate to work with great partners there. I see huge potential in the future.

Watch journalism is important because…

It is a great medium between the watch lovers of the world and brands.

If you had a time machine, is there a period of watchmaking you would change, and how?

No time machine needed — we’re living through an exciting period of watchmaking and we all have a front-row seat.

How do you unwind outside of work?

Skiing, kite surfing, reading and spending time with my loved ones.

The advent of digitisation in the industry…

Is not even a question any longer.

If I didn’t work in the watch industry I would…

Be a mountain guide or simply travel the world with a backpack...

ulysse-nardin.com

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Start up: Time online

Debonair talks to Khaled Elsayed, Khalil Al-Kaddo and Adil Iskander, the team behind Timepiece 360, the region’s first dedicated online marketplace for pre-owned luxury watches