A few days ago I had the enormous privilege to meet Dr Brandon Gien who’s one of Australia’s leading lights in the industrial design world. In fact, to many people involved in this field, Brandon Gien has almost rock star status. However, despite having a high profile status I found him to be a really warm and approachable guy. His speech at the ‘Good Design Forum South Australia’ was exceptionally well received. He focused on the importance of good design and its impact on society. How creativity and innovation can pay dividends. Certainly, as an artist/designer his message resonated with me because I always strive to produce something unique. These rules also apply to the ateliers I feature on Total Design including the talents of Romain Gauthier.

Many people probably assume that Romain Gauthier handcrafts all his watches personally. The true fact is he has an experienced team of craftsman who has their own individual skill set. The end result justifies the means because each component is meticulously handcrafted in house. However, Romain is the driving force behind the brand and instrumental in the design concept process. His latest offering is called the Prestige HMS and certainly doesn’t disappoint the eye.

Even though I don’t focus primarily on watches anymore my passion for horology hasn’t dissipated in any way. As well as being an aesthetically beautiful piece also has an interesting local connection. The dial of the Prestige HMS is crafted from octahedrite (Iron Meteorite) discovered in 1931 at the Henbury crater field in the Northern Territory of Australia. With the exception of these (10 limited edition) watches the only example can be found in the South Australian Museum, in my home city of Adelaide. Other cool features include two overlapping counters displaying hours, minutes, seconds and an ergonomic crown located on the case back.

Encapsulated in the 43mm stainless case is refined in house manufacture movement. The 22-jewel Calibre 2206 HMS comprises 128 components and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This exquisite mechanism defines quality and decorated/finished to the highest possible standards. Functionally the Prestige HMS features, hours, minutes and seconds. The watch also has a power reserve of 60-hours and is water resistant to a depth of 10 metres. As a finishing touch, the timepiece has a black alligator leather with satin-finished stainless steel pin buckle.

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