Roland Baptiste, the Belgium based engraver who is specialised in the hand engraving of knives and fire arms, also owns a fine watch brand named RBaptiste Watch. The exclusive timepieces from this brand feature the successful alliance between traditional gun manufacturing/engraving skills and fine mechanical watch making.
Roland Baptiste has been an engraver for more than twenty years. Since his entry into the engraver’s profession, he has consistently striven to perfect his craft to the highest degree possible. Since he is from Liege, it was, but natural that his craft would focus upon embellishing the fine arms that are turned out in that city. Liege is one of the oldest traditional guns making centres of the world and considered as the gun making capital of Belgium. Gradually, his growing reputation as a master craftsman took him to the entire fine gun making houses in Belgium, and then to the historically prestigious gun makers of Britain and other parts of the world. The hand engraved weapons by Roland Baptiste are exclusively made and his customers include world famous gun manufactures.
Roland has had yet another passion – fine mechanical watches – and this kept him looking at the horologer’s craft from the time he was a boy. There is a parallel in the horologer’s perfection of minute parts put together with precision and an engraver’s zeal to bring out the best through fine work. Gradually he coined a plan to bring together these two crafts and create an amalgam of perfection combining engraving and mechanical watch making.This passion paved the way in the creation of RBaptiste Watches.
For many years, increasing mechanization of embellishment work has left even some connoisseurs unable to distinguish between computer generated and hand crafted engraving. It must be admitted that computerized embellishment is technically perfect. However, it lacks a soul that one gets from the efforts and the warmth of engraving done by hand. It took many meetings and discussions for R. Baptiste to find horologers who shared his visions for combining skills to create fine, hand engraved watches.
Conscious that he is not a watchmaker, R Baptiste does present himself as one. That would not be in keeping with the philosophy that guides his craft. He is the designer, engraver and guiding force behind this project, but the effort and master ship is not his alone. He has joined forces with a small manufacturer of fine watch cases from Latvia and a maker of watch movements from Switzerland to achieve his desire of offering hand engraved watches.
The watches offered through this partnership boasts a sense of the atelier where they were crafted. Each watch would have a dedicated space that would make for an engraver’s canvas.
In a parallel with fine, custom made guns, each watch from R Baptiste Timepieces collection would be personalized with engravings entirely as desired by the client commissioning it. A client commissioning such a watch would receive the combined efforts of craftsmen dedicated to offering their best efforts to create an object of beauty.
It is important that something that is novel, is not excessively so. R Baptiste did not want to fall into the easy trap of engraving a dial and offering a watch with conventional hands. The design had to offer more than a mere fancy dial would. The design would not be compartmentalized into a “sport” or “dress” watch, but would be ideal for use wherever its owner chose to take it: golfing, hunting, riding, to work, or to dinner, it would be an elegant accessory for any occasion that the owner desired to wear it to.
Like any fine watches in the world, the case of an RBaptiste watch will be made in an alloy that does not oxidize, and it is 42 mm in diameter. A Swiss ETA 2824 movement was chosen and specially modified for this design. A two level display shows the hours and minutes. When offered as a bracelet, the diameter would be 22 mm and the material that it is made from, would be specified by the client.
19, rue Beaulieu 4577 Modave
Website – http://rbaptiste.com