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So far Clément Gaud has had a flawless career in watchmaking with his Laventure brand. The “Marine II” model that it has just launched still tends to demonstrate this.

Since 2017, Clément Gaud has been building the universe of the Laventure brand, forging his product identity and growing his community of “timepieces for explorers”. Little by little, it finds its place in the world of collectors, or among those who dream of not having the same watch as their neighbor.

Early Birds at the rendezvous

To achieve this, Gaud avoided the pitfalls on which some people break their teeth before even having taken off. Its value remains reasonable and the ambitions it displays are not disproportionate – which avoids disappointment. In light of what new brands look to present, against the backdrop of household names, its contribution is original and coherent. The essential element of his success as a boutique watchmaker is that Clément Gaud does not only sell watches, but a complete universe attached to them, something very few have succeeded in their first steps.

He took the first steps on Kickstarter in 2017, with this first “Marine” model, offered to Early Birds – early backers of the fundraiser campaign – which helped build the momentum at 1,570 Swiss francs (USD 1,700). The objective reached more than three times the projected outlook with 120 contributors believing in this newcomer by investing some USD 200,000 to acquire the 150 units of the “Marine” model. The adventure was then launched, and three other models paved the way toward the nascent notoriety of the Clément Gaud brand.

The success of scarcity

As we all know now, scarcity is a powerful factor in desirability. Like Richard Mille, some in watchmaking have built an empire on this strategy – and many are trying. At its scale, Laventure has applied this principle with rigor producing an exclusively limited series.

After the first “Marine”, other models came to complete the Laventure world. “Sous-Marine”: 6 references for 300 copies in total; “Transatlantique GMT”: 2 references for 100 copies, and very recently “Marine II”, a single steel reference with gold dial available in only 99 copies.

The “Marine II” has a steel case, water-resistant to 200 meters, and a steel bracelet. It beats to the rhythm of a modified SW200-1 caliber without date. It is particularly distinguished by its “sandwich” dial in 18K gold certified RJC Chain-of-Custody (CoC), brushed finish, with 3 hallmarks. Also note the Superdome ice cream in PLEXIGLAS®, “resolutely vintage” according to Clément Gaud.

Known codes, own identity

Let’s be honest, the “Marine II” takes up a few codes from those sporting steel icons that are the Nautilus by Patek Philippe or the Royal Oak by Audemars, which have been the source of inspiration for so many models in steel in recent years. The niche is promising!

That said, in terms of product biology, while Laventure models borrow certain codes from leading watchmakers, they nevertheless present their own identity. The Laventure style is not only reflected in the watches, but also in all the graphic, visual and chromatic elements that make up the environment of the young brand. An environment thought out down to the smallest detail, neat, perfectly mastered.

Despite the current global crisis, Clément Gaud has held onto its early success. On June 25, 2021, Laventure sold 99 copies of his “Marine II” in 34 minutes. Priced at USD 4,200 each, proof that the piece was expected. To say that Clément Gaud had managed to raise attention around his future model, it was certainly not just down to chance.

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A specialist in watchmaking journalism, Michel is the founder of The Next Hour. Fascinated by the fundamental issues related to communication and social networks, convinced that watchmaking still has a very large audience to capture beyond the circle of connoisseurs, he launched The Next Hour to chart a course and make this medium a fun and informative meeting place of quality. Michel is also a member of the Cultural Council of the Fondation de la Haute horlogerie and a member of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Academy.