With an increasing reliance on smartphones from all generations as the principle method of time management, some have made predictions that the wrist watch may become obsolete in the future. When compared to other technological devices such as the camera or computer, the watch has been left behind. It is hard to deny that many modern watches do not look considerably different from their original models.
The process of how we have come to recognise and record time has rapidly evolved from the tradition, precision and modernity of skilled French craftsmanship. In fact, France has been hailed as the land of the clock and watch makers for over seven centuries.
Historically, revolutionary and exquisitely designed time pieces were developed for the Kings’ Court, which grew to France becoming the key birthplace of the European watch and clock industry. Interestingly, the word ‘clock’ originally comes from the French word “cloche” meaning bell.
As Michel Herbelin is proud to be founded upon this rich heritage, we look back at some of the greatest names in French timekeeping.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
When Jean-Claude Herbelin took over the reins of his father’s company in the early 1980s, one of his key objectives was to launch a new line which would embody the company’s core values and watchmaking heritage. The line was to become the company’s most enduring and identifiable collection.Drawing on his own love of sailing, Jean-Claude Herbelin created NEWPORT, a range of timepieces that took its inspiration from the America’s Cup and the race to Newport, Rhode Island. NEWPORT stood for a love of the outdoors, a spirit of adventure, freedom and ultimately the pursuit of happiness.