What is the first watch that comes that transports you to your early childhood days? A Flik Flak or a Casio were our go-to watches! As children, we have always been surrounded by watches, often given as gifts or even as rewards for good behavior by our parents. But, what we are about to tell you now may just blow your minds. Well, it left us awestruck too.
An 11-year-old schoolgirl from Geneva has created quite the buzz in the watchmaking world. Did you at that age even know the difference between a mechanical movement and a quartz movement? Were you intrigued by the world of horology? Well, Amandine, the next-gen watch enthusiast certainly is. A passion inherited from her parents, her enthusiasm for watches, and her open comments on social media about them have made her a notable figure in the industry. From being featured in NY Times, A Young Enthusiast Reviews Watches Auctioned by PHILLIPS video. As well as being recognized by Watch Femme, she’s setting new standards.
She reflects on her watchmaking experiences with a level of wisdom that is enlightening. It’s delicious, surprisingly touching for how innocent it is, and most disconcerting for how spot-on it is. She says what she likes and what she thinks.
In conversation with Amandine, we asked her why watches, to which she said, “I entered the world of horology when I was really young. I always knew what watches were, but being up close and personal with them was a different experience. And just like that, I fell in love with watches. The real exposure was when my father was invited to a Bulgari cocktail at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) now, called Watches and Wonders Geneva when I was just seven years old. I tried on every Bulgari watch in the store before settling on a diamond-encrusted Serpenti Tubogas from the 1940s; the watch has a coiled strap that wraps around my forearm. That’s when I enjoyed the touch and feel the experience of a watch!”
Did you know this young girl aspires to be a designer watchmaker at Bulgari? Talking about this dream she said, “I know I want to be in the world of watches as a designer because I love drawing. I want to be able to draw a watch for myself. Apart from the Serpenti, I really love the design of the Octo Finissimo, several Ulysse Nardin watches as well as Swatch.
At Geneva Watch Days I was lucky enough to meet Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani. I’m very fond of him and his designs for Bulgari. It was incredible to meet him and he knew me too.”
The Moonswatch created quite a stir in the industry and this young girl was able to bag not one but two of them. “I have two favorites – Venus and Uranus, the latter being liked a bit more since it has a story.”
Moving on, most of the timepieces we have always remind us of a special memory. For Amandine, this holds true, too. What about a watch appeals to her? She said, “It’s about the memory the watch reminds me of. The Opus One in purple reminds me of my mum since it’s her favorite color and another reminds me of my dog, Belle. It’s an emotional moment!”
Amandine has several watches in her collection at such a young age but the one that stands ahead of the pack is Bulgari and Ulysse Nardin followed by the Moonswatch. “When I see a watch, it’s about what I like and what I want. But, I also love the G-shock Vapor. I discovered the G-shock on the Colorado Watch Girls account and found it incredible. Little did I know, they would send it to me as a gift.”
There are several watchmakers making watches for the young generation. Giving her advice to them she said, “In today’s world where there are connected watches, I would like to see the same tech being used in a mechanical watch while retaining the technicality of a mechanical watch. When people look at the smartwatch I want them to be wowed knowing it’s a mechanical watch. You do not need to fear electronic watches but take advantage of the trend.”
Talking about the aesthetics of a watch, “The dial color appeals to me. You can also add color to the movement of the watch in a skeleton watch. That would be lovely!”
For someone who selects her watches based on the story it connects her with, she had a little piece of advice for the young ones like her entering the world of watches. “Don’t be shy or afraid to learn. In Geneva, there are several watch boutiques. So one should go to the boutique for the touch-and-feel experience, even if you don’t buy a watch. Speak to people who would have a piece of good advice for you and ask them for explanations.”
Amandine’s main interests outside of watches are schoolwork and reading. She also has a passion for music and is quite skilled at singing and playing the violin. A happy-go-lucky girl at heart, the next watch she eyes is the Philippe Dufour! It’s lovely to see such young energy in this industry, and in the future, we look forward to her designs! And for all the readers she has a sweet message – “Keep the interest in watches alive.”