Sartory Billard

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Sartory Billard

Sartory Billard

~Armand Billard:
Armand Billard, of Sartory Billard, began his career as a freelance designer in 1999 and worked in that capacity until 2005. Then Armand took a two-year break to travel the world and write a book about the UNESCO sites he visited with his cousin. When Armand returned to France, he founded a product design agency in Paris. The design agency focused primarily on designing electronics, medical devices, and computer interfaces. In 2015, the agency was acquired by a consulting group, but Armand stayed on for a few years before dedicating himself fully to creating watches. In 2017, Armand  started Sartory-Billard, a brand of bespoke watches, which he has been running ever since.

The design agency Armand founded was primarily focused on designing electronics, medical devices, and computer interfaces. The agency did not work on designing watches. However, Armand’s passion for watches was growing during this time, and he began to gain knowledge and design watches as a hobby. It wasn’t until 2015, when he founded Sartory-Billard, that he was able to turn a passion for watchmaking into a full-time business.Armand Billard’s passion for watches began when he discovered the Santos 100 at a Cartier boutique on Les Champs Elysées. Armand immediately realized the potential of creating a world within just 16cm², and fell in love with watchmaking. From that moment on, he began learning more about the craft and designing of watches as a personal passion, until it eventually became a reality when he co-founded the Sartory-Billard brand with a friend in 2015. Since then, Armand has taken full ownership of the company, turning his passion into a successful business.

When Armand Billard created his first Sartory-Billard watch, the SB01, he mainly sold it to the French watch community. At the time, there were not many affordable independent watch brands available in France, so there was a demand for watches like the watches he was creating. This allowed Sartory Billard to establish itself within the community and gain a following for the brand. As Armand continued to create watches, he was able to expand his audience organically and reach customers from around the world.

For Armand Billard, the most satisfying part of being a watchmaker is getting to know the customers. Since he only creates bespoke watches, he has the opportunity to interact with around 200 different people every year. Each customer has their own unique story, and Armand loves hearing about their personal experiences with watches, as well as their wishes and desires for their own timepiece. Even though many of Sartory Billard’s customers come from similar parts of the world, such as the US, the Middle East, or Asia, Armand still feels like he’s traveling the world through these interactions. It’s a great way to learn about different cultures and connect with people from all walks of life. Armand says, “It is always gratifying to see the unique timepieces I have created for my clients showcased and appreciated around the world. It brings me a sense of pride and fulfillment knowing that my creations are cherished and valued by their owners. While some of my customers may prefer to keep their watches private, I still take pride in knowing that I have contributed to the world of horology and brought a unique and special piece to someone’s collection. It is truly an honor.”

As a watchmaker, Armand Billard appreciates the combination of modern technology and traditional craftsmanship in creating timepieces. Armand says modern technology offers new tools and techniques for watchmaking that can enhance the precision and accuracy of the Sartory Billard timepiece. For example, the use of lasers can improve the accuracy of engravings and reduce the time it takes to create intricate designs. Computer-aided design (CAD) software can also help watchmakers create more complex designs and test them virtually before beginning the physical manufacturing process. However, despite the benefits of modern technology, there is still a need for traditional handmade watchmaking techniques. The skill and artistry of traditional watchmaking, such as hand-filing, hand-engraving, and hand-polishing, cannot be replaced by machines or computers. The human touch and attention to detail are crucial for creating watches that are truly unique and of the highest quality. In short, while modern technology offers exciting new possibilities for watchmaking, it is important to strike a balance between innovation and tradition in order to create watches that are both technologically advanced and beautifully crafted.

You’ve come very far since your launch in 2015. What do you see for the future of watchmaking?
” As for the future of watchmaking, I believe it will continue to evolve and adapt to the changing tastes and needs of customers. With technology advancing at an unprecedented pace, watchmaking will undoubtedly incorporate more modern techniques and materials into traditional craftsmanship, leading to more innovative and creative designs. Additionally, I see a growing trend towards bespoke and personalized watches, as customers seek to express their individuality and values through their timepieces. This offers an exciting opportunity for independent watchmakers like myself to create truly unique pieces that reflect the personality and style of our clients. Overall, I believe that the future of watchmaking is bright and full of possibilities.”

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