Florian Serex is the CEO of Arnold & Son and Angelus. He has been active in the horological industry for over 30 years
1. Describe briefly your childhood.
I was born in the vineyards of Geneva, not far from CERN. My parents had no connection with the watchmaking industry. However, I discovered that my great-uncle was director financial backdrop of Favre-Leuba until the 1970s and my uncle had been a Watchmaker. Being more gifted for mathematics than for languages, I followed a technical track which led me to the Geneva School of Watchmaking. I then continued my studies at the School of Engineers crowned with an Engineering diploma in microtechnique with distinction and price of the Wilsdorf Foundation. A beautiful memory.
2. As a child did you have any driving ambition?
First of all, have fun in everything. Then discover the world around me and understand how it all works. I quickly learnt to appreciate music. First in a brass band and then I studied at the Geneva Conservatory of where I continued to learn the trumpet. I played Jazz to have fun with the instrument. I hesitated between my career engineer and my musical aspirations...
3. What is your first significant memory as a child?
The first landing on the moon, but I think more by the social aspect of the event. We had all been woken up in the middle of the night to see this on the only TV in the area.
4. Have you ever had another profession?
I have always worked in watchmaking but I have had the chance to change profession in this field. To make a watch it is necessary to combine a lot of know-how, some luck and a lot of passion.
5. What made you decide to go in the direction you are currently in?
I have never made a career plan, my motto is: as long as you have fun, continue to do what you do. My training colleagues are all graduates in construction watchmaker but I chose electronics because I felt I had more to learn in this field. At the time of looking for my first job, it was necessary to compose with my wife also an engineer and it is at ETA in Grenchen that we found the best opportunity for both of us. My wife as a watch movement designer (constructrice ) and I, at watchmaking laboratory to develop the means of control in the field, then in strong development, quartz watches.
6. What’s the worst job you’ve had to do?
-Having to dismiss people.
7. What’s been the hardest moment in your life so far, and how did you overcome it?
The announcement of a collective dismissal following the reorganization of activities during the 2009 crisis.
8. Who has had the strongest influence on you?
I have a fairly independent character and I am used to forming my own opinions through the search for information, dialogue and reflection. It is therefore difficult for me to answer this question. Let's say that the personalities that marked my thoughts are great scientists like Marie Curie, fictional characters like Cirano de Bergerac or great musicians like Maurice André.
9. What are you most proud of?
Of my children. And on a professional level, to be able to quickly understand and synthesize complex areas that are unknown to me which allowed me to bring together on the same project specialists in different fields and thus achieve unsuspected results. It is also a powerful continuing education.
10. What advice would you give to a 20 something someone thinking of taking a similar path as you?
As long as you love what you do, continue and if not, do your best to change the situation. Also take the time to choose your first job because it is the one that will give color to your entire professional life.
11. Name three things on your bucket list.
To follow studies in astrophysicist and to be able to work within the domain.
Do research in mechanical watchmaking without financial constraints.
Set up an organization and processes that allow watch customization at a unit price that is the equivalent of a large series.
12. Where do you think the industry is going to be in 10 years time.
I think there will be the analogue-digital connected watch and the watch is energetically autonomous. If it is quartz it will be equipped with a solar cell or micro-generator type electric production system, or it will be mechanical.
As for luxury watchmaking it will continue its journey as a beautiful object, artistic creation, historical heritage and perpetuation of crafts.
To learn more about Florian Serex