Today, we have an exciting opportunity to present you an exclusive interview with a founder and CEO of Arlanch, a rather new and quite interesting watch brand from Sweden. You might remember us talking about Arlanch before, but without much ado, let’s give Mr. Gabriel Arlanch chance to do the talking himself.
Hi and let me first thank you for your time and an opportunity to reveal some of the elusive mysteries of a watchmaking to our readers. Your web site is pretty spartan as far as a source of information goes. One must really push the boundaries of “investigative journalism” to actually find something about your brand and what you offer For a start, can you tell us something about yourself and how you found yourself in this thrilling world of watchmaking?
Gabriel: Thank you for your kind interest in my work. I was impressed by your “investigative journalism” when you wrote about me a short time ago. The thing that really inspired and got me hooked was a mechanical skeleton watch with all the inner workings visible. I learned a lot just from looking at it. Besides reading about watchmaking I’m basically self-taught. I find this a great advantage since many watchmakers seems afraid to try anything different. Not making any comparison here but one of the greatest watchmakers of all times, John Harrison, was self-taught. His specialty being to try new inventions and materials.
Obviously, it looks like you had inspiration and other influences outside the watchmaking world?
What is the driving force behind your brand’s philosophy of sustainable luxury?
Gabriel: Besides my personal commitment I think any company today should work the environment into their business plan. Environmental issues isn’t a fading trend. It’s here to stay. The next step which I also work on together with the No Dirty Gold campaign is ethical issues. This is going to be the next big thing for all companies in the future. Consumers get more and more aware of the circumstances their products are being made under.
How do you translate your concern for environment to your production?
Gabriel: Besides the use of recycled gold I have always felt that the greatest environmental gaining would be to inspire other watchbrands to follow. If I can achieve this there would really be a great impact. I also joined the Buy Nothing day which makes people think about the consumption itself. In the future irresponsible shopping will not be signaling status.
How would you describe your journey as an independent watchmaker brand so far and just how difficult is to make a breakthrough in the industry?
Gabriel: I planned my brand for five years before starting it in 2007. Although very prepared, to be honest, I’m still waiting for a breakthrough. It’s a tough industry but then it should be.
You knew this question was coming: Favorite watch brand?
Gabriel: I don’t really have a favorite brand but when it comes to brand building no one equals Rolex.
Your view on the state of watchmaking industry today?
Gabriel: Most brands today only work with design and marketing and are doing a great job. I´ll think they’ll be happy continue doing this.
What are you working on right now? There are rumors floating around about your collaboration with famous Gerald Genta. Just how close is that cooperation coming to fruition?
Gabriel: Right now I’m working on a few press releases. At this specific time the watch designed by Gerald Genta is actually being prepared in a CAD-program. I’ll be happy to share an image with you as soon as it´s ready.
Plans for the future?
Gabriel: I’m constantly evaluating what I do and the response it gets. Therefore I myself don’t know what the future holds. It’s really quite exciting.
For the end, something entirely different Maybe you could satisfy my curiosity. I have always been a great fan of Scandinavian cinematography, especially of Swedish films and filmmakers, even before “The girl with a dragon tattoo” put Sweden in focus of a wider audience. That could also be said for a Swedish music, with loads of (comparatively) new bands and artists gaining international (or at worst, European) fame. And don’t let me even start on the design… How would you explain that phenomenon, a relatively small country like Sweden, with such a large artistic output? Is there something in that cold air?
Gabriel: We definitely have our own approach on things which makes us stand out. Having said that we are also very influenced by the popculture from USA. Sweden is also a country where we are used of making things on a small budget. Making it easier to get started in the first place.
For the end some exclusive info:
My ecological gold watch was supposed to also be available in a version with a conflict-free diamond on the buckle. A prototype was produced, however since it was made I have discovered that the Kimberley Process www.kimberleyprocess.com is not working properly. It is far too easy to get the certification. Global Witness and Amnesty has pointed this out. Also the Kimberley Process does not oversee other human rights abuses including child labor, state sanctioned violence, and worker exploitation and poverty
I think the best thing is to write about it so that the states and industry behind the Kimberley Process has to do something about it. The Kimberley Process today has far to many loopholes.
Also included is an image (the leading image of this article) of my new automatic watch. Stainless steel, sapphire glass, 100m water resistant, 38 mm in diameter. Also available with an oil-free escapement. This is made possible by having the escape wheel coated in ADLC. As far as I know only I and Cartier in its ID One concept watch uses ADLC in watch movements.
WatchAllure extends a special thanks to Mr. Arlanch for taking the time to share his thoughts and insights with our readers. We are very much looking forward to the future developments and will be reporting on them as they unfold.
For further reading on Arlanch watch brand please take a look at our previous articles: Gerald Genta For Arlanch and Arlanch Produces an Oil-Free Ceramic Ball Bearing Rotor as well as Arlanch website.