As I noted in a recent article about Itay Noy, one of my favorite things about Baselworld is getting a chance to spend time with smaller brands outside the main halls. These are usually independents–sometimes they’re even one-person operations—doing interesting things off the beaten path. Itay Noy is one such brand. Another is Olivier Jonquet. On the final day of our trip, we met Mr. Jonquet in the lobby of the Ramada Hotel near the main buildings at Baselworld, and we used the opportunity to talk to the designer/maker about his latest batch of watches.
I’d wager that few of you have ever heard of Mr. Jonquet and his eponymous brand. As far as press goes, Olivier Jonquet got a bit of coverage a few years back with the release of the Elie, a simple, vintage-inspired timekeeper manufactured entirely in France. To achieve that label, Mr. Jonquet sourced a batch of vintage French calibers, France Ébauches 233/69, which he disassembled, cleaned, and regulated. The resulting cushion-cased timepiece featured a white enamel dial with applied Breguet numerals and hands, and it was limited to just 50 units. It’s a complicated watch despite its immediate appearance suggesting otherwise, and one where the devil’s in the details. These have long since sold out.