It's been a little over a year since the first design for the Oberlin Watch Company came out. None of that would have happened without the help of a good friend, Armand Billard.
I met Armand at BaselWorld in 2018, at the time he was co-owner of Sartory- Billard. In 2019 they were one of the key brands participating in The HYPE at what has turned out to be the final gasp of BaselWorld.
Since then, Sartory Billard has grown into one of the hottest micro-brands in the watch world, with Armand being invited to far flung destinations from Switzerland to the UAE. Needless to say, he travels in loftier circles than the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel in Basel, but lucky for me he still has time for his friends when they have a big favor to ask.
Rather than spin another watch brand creation myth, I thought I'd do something unheard of and simply share the truth. I called Armand and told him I wanted to do an affordable watch (less than $100), that the dial would be white, the markers alternating red and blue (as would be the hands). Oh, and I needed a logo, and that the case back would simply have Oberlin Watch Company and the Longitude and Latitude of the center of town inscribed.
About 45 minutes later, the dial arrived via email. He got it in one. The casebook took a little longer, as he decided that my watch should look a little more "put together" than such a basic inscription -
So in the course of one morning, he created the design pretty much from start to finish. The OBIE 2 and 3 were just as fast, and great -
Now needless to say, I could never have done any of this without Armand Billard, so a big and sincere Merci to one of France's greatest Watch Designing/Making talents.