Celia Newhouse had the opportunity to interview François Quentin at Dassault Systèmes European Customer Forum which took place on November 22-23 in Disneyland.
Celia Newhouse: What’s in for you with FashionLab?
François Quentin: First I want to say that I am very happy to be a partner of FashionLab. The fact that the whole team dedicates so much time in me and my company proves that Dassault Systèmes is very attentive to their customers.
I am fascinated by this energy, this passion and also by the products. Developing tomorrow’s technology with FashionLab is an incredible opportunity and is the road to success. I really feel like I am at the heart of watch making.
But to answer your question using facts. We can try things on every aspect of the product lifecycle: the design but also the customer experience. When I was first using DS solutions I knew what I was doing and where I wanted to go. Now with the FashionLab – I still know where I want to go – but I’m opening new doors – like doing shopping experience – this is opening new opportunities and taking my company to a new direction/dimension.
CN: What does innovation means in the watch industry?
FQ: First you have to know that innovation plays a very big role in my industry. Everybody wants to offer something new and something innovative. That is: new and useful.
For example: this is a complication called “minute repetition.” It was created to tell the time in the dark (or rather hear the time in the dark).
So my idea started also with creating something unique: I was looking more at something on the face of the watch. I started looking at an old complication called jumping minutes and hours.
It shows the time in digital form – numbers instead of hands. The problem with this complication is the very small display of the numbers. Traditionally, in this complication, we have three disks, one for minutes, one for tens of minutes, one for an hour. The numbers are written on the edge of the disks the position of these discs in a watch implies small disks and therefore very small numbers.
I created the first 4-digit numerical display with large numbers. The challenge was improved legibility, and efficiency of reading, respecting the natural order of the numbers, from left to right in the center of the display. For this, I used sets of disks (like carousels).
CN: How 3D helps you making the 4N?
FQ: The 4N is an expensive watch; I can’t afford to produce several prototypes and to do live tests. Watch making uses simple mechanism. It is the high number of these mechanisms put together in a very limited space, and they all have fit in. And that generates the complexity.
But 3D and virtual software give me 2 things: the virtual simulation and the possibility to manage changes quickly.
One other important point in my job, in my work I’m always looking at new materials and new movements and new complications, so 3D is key to test all these.
So I had my model in 3D and I used it as a collaborative tool and presented it to Renaud et Papi in Le Locle in Switzerland with my 3D model. It actually added credibility to my model. It has all the right level of details to communicate with the manufacturing team. Without CATIA, I wouldn’t have this partnership with Renaud and Papi.
The high quality rendering of each component helps confirm the feasibility of the design with manufacturers.
So I would say that it helps me shape what I may or may not do in the future!
This post is also available in: French