The Latin expression “in memoriam” is regularly utilized in place of “in memory of.” And to my brain, individuals likewise use it to connote departed who might be gone however shouldn’t be forgotten.
Every year individuals working in the watch business die, and brands come and go.
This year I’d prefer to feature a special not many of those we lost in 2020.
RIP: Kiu Tai Yu, AHCI watchmaker
In February of 2020, the AHCI educated us that Kiu Tai Yu had tragically died at the period of 74.
Born in 1946 in Suzhou, Kiu made his first mechanical watch in 1970.
After having moved to Hong Kong in 1980, where he opened a shop for antique watches called Kew & Cie. furthermore, fixed watches, he went to his first Basel Fair in 1990. It was there that he saw a tourbillon wristwatch.
Returning home, he became the primary watchmaker in China to make a wristwatch with tourbillon (1991). “The first tourbillon wristwatch I made was successful, yet there were a few imperfections. In any case, the mobilus balance and the tourbillon, which spin on various tomahawks, need 50 seconds to complete the cycle. This implies the watch can’t have a second hand. In my next tourbillon wristwatch, the mobilus balance and the tourbillon spun on a similar hub, completing a cycle in 60 seconds. This is extraordinary! Why? Because it implies that I can have a second hand on the watch,” he told writer Carol Wan in 1992 for a story imprinted in Hong Kong’s Watch Review.
By January 1992, the autodidact had become the principal Asian individual from the AHCI, and in 1993 he created the free-coasting Mystery Tourbillon, which appeared to have neither a cage nor a scaffold balancing out it (a sapphire crystal connect was the answer).
Kiu just produced limited quantities of timepieces; outside of the couple of times I had the delight of meeting him at the Basel Fair I have never seen any of his watches. His tourbillon models were by and large remarkable pieces.
Kiu endured a stroke in 2007 and was not heard from in the west again after that. His 1992 independently published book Time in Pocket, which catalogs 96 of the uncommon Chinese-market watches in his own collection in addition to five tourbillons he made, stays an original substantial thing of his existence – certainly gone yet not forgotten!
“At the age of twelve, I came across six broken watches in a cabinet at home,” Kiu wrote in the preface of his book.
“I removed one of the watches from the cabinet to play with. Seeing that it wasn’t working, I pried the back cover dismissed from everything related this issue, expecting to have the option to make the watch tick once more. I figured out how to dismantle the watch and afterward reassemble [sic] it, yet as I had no clue about why it didn’t work, still less how to fix it, the watch gave no indication of being fixed. In any case, I didn’t surrender. I cleaned away the earth and grime with lamp oil, taken the rust off the corroded parts with fine sandpaper, and with the assistance of a couple of tweezers and a sledge, I smoothed the twisted pieces and fixed the bowed ones . . . it took me almost one entire month until, at some point, the watch started to tick once more. That gave me blended sensations of wonder and satisfaction: I was flabbergasted because the dormant object was alive and ticking and cheerful because I had succeeded in fixing the watch. From that point onward, I fixed the other five watches in the cabinet. What’s more, since at that point, watches and clocks have been my passion.”
Upon learning of his death, AHCI co-founder Vincent Calabrese composed on the gathering’s Facebook page, “I have recently taken in the tragic information on the death of our colleague Kiu Tai Yu. He was an excellent watchmaker, incredible collector, and a sincere and liberal companion who made a tremendous contribution to the standing of AHCI in Asia and around the world.”
RIP: Jean-Claude Gueit
Jean-Claude Gueit, brought into the world in 1937, died on May 22, 2020 at 83 years old. In spite of the fact that less notable than his contemporary Gérald Genta, Gueit – whose child Emmanuel has emulated his example to become notable as an independent watch designer, in particular through his work on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore – filled in as a watch designer (or beautician as he jumped at the chance to say) for an assortment of companies. One of his most renowned creations includes the Piaget Polo, which bodes well because he was the brand’s principle designer from the 1970s until his retirement in 2013.
Gueit documented 16 licenses in the names of Baume & Mercier and Piaget, one of which was the pivoting ring arrangement of the Possession.
He additionally crafted works for Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Concord, Corum, Vacheron Constantin, Omega, Harry Winston, and likely numerous more.
Luckily for us, The Watches TV introduced a short report on him five years prior, else he may have been completely failed to remember by the advanced watch world after his retirement.
“My father, along with Gérald Genta and Gilbert Albert, were the dads of the watch design industry,” Emmanuel Gueit appropriately revealed to The Naked Watchmaker .
RIP: Emmanuel Vuille
Emmanuel Vuille, past CEO of Greubel Forsey, died in May 2020 at 61 years old. He had additionally recently driven Parmigiani Fleurier. From 2017 he maintained an independent consulting and methodology company.
“Emmanuel had been working in the watch business for something like 30 years,” said Stephen Forsey during an individual conversation back in the late spring of 2020. Forsey had known him for more than 20 years.
“We collaborated together for many years and even recently we had been doing a couple of little projects together. He was extremely straight down the line, legit, and clear. Also, he carried a ton to a many individuals. He was actually an enthusiastic fellow and appreciated independence definitely. He spent a ton of years with the Parmigiani manufacture, truly helping the Sandoz Foundation unite a fantastic bowl of competence of various abilities. This was an extraordinary misfortune, and we’ll miss him a lot.”
“Emmanuel was one of the first to take a risk on me when I initially moved to Switzerland by recruiting me as a promoting and communications coordinator at Greubel Forsey despite the fact that I had little experience in the watch business and talked minimal French at that point,” says Boon Soon Chong, presently worldwide deals and showcasing director for Corum.
“He consistently drove me to go further and take on more than what I suspected was conceivable. In any event, when I left the company, he set aside the effort to keep in touch with me an individual letter and called on me following a couple of months to check whether I was doing affirm, which truly showed the human side of him. Since he has left us, I feel misery that I was always unable to compensate him for all that he instructed me. It is actually a misfortune that he left us really soon . . .”
RIP: Erwin Sattler
Erwin Sattler set up his clock manufactory in Munich, Germany in 1958 and the family-claimed and – run business took off from that point, presently making what are definitely the world’s best clocks. The founder died on July 29, 2020 at the time of 90.
RIP: De Grisogono
In January and February of 2020, BBC and others announced that adornments and watchmaker De Grisogono had declared financial insolvency in the midst of an extreme Angolan scandal.
Founded in 1993 by Fawaz Gruosi, who later wedded and divorced from Caroline Scheufele, co-president of Chopard, Gruosi was popular for honorary pathway appearances of his gems and himself.
RIP: RJ Romain Jérôme
RJ Romain Jérôme declared bankruptcy on February 27, 2020 with quick effect.
Romain Jérôme was founded in 2004 utilizing the main names of founder Alain Bajulaz’s two children. The brand underwent two proprietorship changes and had three further CEOs over the span of its 16-year life.
See a short history of RJ Romain Jérôme in RIP RJ Romain Jérôme: First Horological Casualty Of The Coronavirus Fallout?
RIP: Dominique Renaud’s own brand
Dominique Renaud is considered one of the grandmasters of modern watchmaking. Following 15 years from the universe of watches, Renaud came back in 2013 and, along with previous Solar Impulse project director Luiggino Torrigiani, founded Dominique Renaud SA. Their idea was to create a Swiss watch advancement lab to develop unique and profoundly complex movements.
Renaud and Torrigiani devised a restricted release watch called the DR01 Twelve First , which contained a huge load of Renaud’s mechanical resourcefulness. Shockingly, be that as it may, Dominique Renaud SA enlisted for bankruptcy in March 2020 .
I trust this setback doesn’t prevent the innovative watchmaker from participating in further projects.
You may likewise enjoy:
In Memoriam: Brands And People Who Left Us In 2017, Including Roger Dubuis, MCT, DeLaneau And Walter Lange
In Memoriam: People And Brands Who Left Us In 2018
Would You Buy A Watch From A Defunct Brand If The Price Was Right? This is what You Should Consider
RIP RJ Romain Jérôme: First Horological Casualty Of The Coronavirus Fallout?
Dominique Renaud: A Horological Grand Master Then And Now
Dominique Renaud’s DR01 ‘Twelve First’ With Blade Resonator, Experimental Rotary Escapement, And Panoramic 360° Views
Dominique Renaud DR01 Twelve First: A Pioneer’s Return With The First Tangible Piece