On October 19th, 2009 I wrote the article here on WatchFreaksBlog.com: “Legendary Watch Designers: Rodolphe” after he announced that he was leaving Franck Muller’s Watchland.
Last week I received a press release that Rodolphe Cattin started a new watch company: Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin together with Thomas Meyer and I could stop and wonder how many professional lives Rodolphe has…
I will spare you and not copy the complete press release in to here, you can download the PDF here.
WatchFreaksBlog.com contributor Motomax summurized Rodolphe’s professional life as followed:
“Rodolphe Cattin comes from Porrentruy and was schooled at the School of Applied Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He worked through stints with watch brands like Omega and Tissot before he started to work for Longines. A rebel at heart, he started first his own design company, Rodolphe & Co., which did design work for other parties. His second company, Rodolphe Montres & Bijoux, presented its first watches, bearing the name Rodolphe, in 1996. In the fifteen years of its existence Rodolphe grew: it was established in Le Bois and in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where a workforce of around twenty produced 1000-2000 watches a year.
In April 2005 the Franck Muller Watchland group (FM) took over both companies (Rodolphe Cattin stayed on, also as minority shareholder). At the time of the take-over the Swiss watch industry was in full bloom. Rodolphe was considered to be another extension of the fast-growing FM and Rodolphe Cattin had great hopes to expand further under the wings of the much larger group. Then the Credit Crisis struck, but even before the crisis FM was already in trouble because of a nasty conflict with the Swiss tax authorities. The crisis made a bad situation worse and FM’s board had other things on its mind then caring for Rodolphe.
In October 2009 Rodolphe Cattin left the watch industry after a series of disappointments, with feelings of sadness. However, someone like Rodolphe Cattin cannot sit still and this month he announced his return to the watch world with the launching of the Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin (MRC), co-founded with Thomas Meyer.”
MRC will attach more importance to its ladies’ than to its men’s collections (60/40). The first MRC watches will be presented in January in Geneva, but there will be a single pushpiece chronograph, dual time versions and various tourbillons in the men’s collection and spectacular diamond-studded ladies’ watches with mother-of-pearl dials.
All of us at WatchFreaks wish both Rodolphe Cattin and Thomas Meyer good luck with their new manufacture and can’t wait to see the watches in real life.