Manufactory BRM (Bernard Richards Manufacture) is named after its founder - Bernard Richard, a man passionate about racing sports. His sports watch is inextricably linked with cars and motor rallies and enjoy incredible success among racers and people who love cool cars, speed and the spirit of competition. Skills inherited in the family, and a passion for mechanics pushed Bernard to create his first watch. Today the BRM brand celebrates its 25th anniversary, and on the eve of this important event, we met with Bernard in Dubai and asked to answer a few questions.
Bernard, what does watch business mean to you?
First of all, if this is a business for the rest, then for me - no. For me, the process of making watches is not a business. I started studying at the French School of High Watchmaking in Paris 33 years ago. After studying, I worked with my parents, who created watches for the largest and most famous brands in the world. After that, I decided to try my hand, and began, let it not seem strange to you, from a large tower clock. It was a huge watch with a dial, the size of which exceeded one meter and was laid out with natural mother of pearl. About five or six years I was engaged in such watches for about one year, and after that I worked for more than 20 years at the most famous watch manufactories in Switzerland and other large world companies engaged in the production of luxury goods - pens, lighters, watches. And 25 years ago, all this bored me.
And what did you do?
I realized that I wanted to create something special and, obeying my own instinct and passion for complex mechanisms, motorcycles and racing cars, I developed my first GP-44 watch, as they say, “for myself”. I was just tired of working for others, and realized that if I want to tell the world about myself and my creations, I must create my own brand. Thus was born the brand BRM.
What formed the basis of your first sports watch?
My main idea in creating watches was not only the dissimilarity to other brands on the market, but also the creation of a modular design, in which, if desired, you can replace anything, just like in a motorcycle or car. I think that it will be good to combine aluminum and steel with each other, rough processing of metal surfaces with their perfect polishing, paint some elements in a black and white cell, like a flag that gives a start and marks the finish of a car race. It was important for me to move away from the stereotypes that flooded the watch industry.
Your watch and in appearance are more like a motor for a motorcycle than a tool that determines the time. Yes, and the basic designations of watches from the usual for us marks 3, 6, 9 and 12 moved to 4, 8 and 12. What is the reason?
There is nothing accidental in my watch, every detail has its own meaning. For example, the numbers 4, 8 and 12 are the number of rides during a car race. In addition, in the design of the bezel of the watch, and in the crown, and in multi-colored seams on the straps, elements are recognized that are recognized by every rider in the world. The mechanism of the watch is really similar to the engine of a racing car or motorcycle, the hands resemble wheel spokes, and so on. When I started developing my own watches, I did not think about their mass production. Until now, BRM manufactures only about 2,000 hours a year (for all model lines), and I know for sure that my watches fall into the hands of those people who, like me, are also “sick” with car races. Many of them are even ready to stand on the "waiting list" to get what they want.
But what about marketing? Profit in the end?
Money is not my philosophy. I don’t want to just sell my watches, which today are represented in more than 150 points of sale in 20 countries of the world. It is important for me that my clients are my like-minded people.
Are you a racer
It was once, and after the accident and almost a year of restoration I decided to engage in more peaceful activities.
Who are your customers? Racers?
Yes, there are many riders among my clients. My clients are people who do not seek to show others their level of well-being by putting an expensive watch on their wrist. BRM sports watches are produced in limited editions. This watch will never become a consumer product. That is why their owner will always feel chosen - part of an exclusive club, a member of an elite society. My customers need a special watch.
Moreover, about a year ago, we proposed a new idea called Configurator. We help customers design their own watches from interchangeable parts that are available. This is how to assemble puzzles. Very interesting. We calculate the price, which is not so high (about 4 5 thousand euros), given that this is an "author" model. At the output, each such owner of a BRM watch receives a unique model with its own color of the dial, hands, strap and so on, which no one will definitely have.
What is luxury in your understanding?
Luxury is definitely not possessing something that most already have. Luxury implies exclusivity and originality. This is my philosophy.
Approaching the 25-year milestone, what are you particularly proud of today?
The fact that my company is a unique French watchmaking, completely different from other watch brands. My watch is a tribute to the skill of French watchmakers, who in a sense are not only not inferior, but sometimes even superior to Swiss. This is my love for technical excellence and great respect for modern design and the world of luxury that my watch has fallen into. Just as unique racing cars are created only by the greatest professionals, the best watchmakers work on creating the best sports watches at the BRM factory. In this narrow circle with special rules, no one talks about a mass product or increased productivity. The key word here is perfection.
What's new for the 25th anniversary of the brand?
Of the new models, we created sports automatic chronographs ST-48, W-50, GT-45T. They are interesting both in appearance and in their mechanisms. The diameters of the cases vary from 44 to 50 mm. All models use combinations of steel and titanium. The water resistance of these chronographs is up to 100 meters.
What can you wish for those people who are not familiar with BRM watches yet?
Firstly, be sure to visit the Azal stores in the UAE or Bahrain, where our latest collections are presented. And secondly, if a person really wants to become one of our clients and friends, then, traveling around France, let him take the time and visit our factory to see everything with his own eyes. Information on where to find us is on the official website. Well, and, thirdly, health and good luck to everyone.
Thanks for the conversation, Bernard. We look forward to the appearance of your new collections.