Calim Bouhadra is COO at Lemo Group – multinational company active in advanced connector technology – and CEO at Rebellin Corporation governing body of brands: Rebellion Racing, Rebellion Timepieces and Rebellion Motors based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“High precision mechanics and the quest for performance.”
What is your typical day like?
(Calim Bouhadra) I go to my offices at Lemo Group, a Swiss multinational company active in advanced connector technology, where I have been working for 20 years and where I hold the position of Chief Operations Officer. My days are also well occupied by Rebellion Timepieces, Rebellion Racing and Rebellion Motors (sister companies of Lemo Group), where I serve role as a CEO. A lot of activities, but the same link, high precision mechanics and the quest for performance.
How did your passion for watchmaking begin and start Rebellion Timepieces brand?
(CB) Alexandre Pesci, (Chairman of Lemo Group and owner of Rebellion Corporation) and I have always been fascinated by watchmaking and exceptional timepieces, but we couldn’t find a brand that was truly off the beaten track. So Alexandre launched Rebellion Timepieces and I accompanied him to develop an innovative spirit, around motor racing, in order to propose an atypical watch brand that breaks a little the codes.
“All our watch designs are inspired by motorsport.”
What were the most challenging issues starting watch brand in Swiss where is the the centre of watchmaking and where only the best watches are there?
(CB) Lemo Group has been using innovative technologies and typically Swiss precision to manufacture its products for 75 years, so the parallel with watchmaking was a logical one for us. We have used these same skills for our watch brand, combined with our industrial rigor, uncommon in the world of watchmaking.
and what are the advantages?
(CB) In Switzerland there is a real culture of quality, precision and an extreme demand for a job well done. The schools and various training programs in the country educate us in the achievement of these objectives, with a strong emphasis on innovation. In addition, the Swiss is very fond of watches and have a great watchmaking culture.
Rebellion Timepieces show radical and mechanical design, what is the story behind design?
(CB) All our watch designs are inspired by motorsport. It’s a passion we share since 2007 in competition with our Rebellion Racing team which runs at Le Mans 24 Hours with the success we know.
People often draw a connection between automotive universe and watchmaking universe. Brand like Richard Mille often directly works with automotive brand like McLaren. What are the similarities?
(CB) There are many similarities between these two worlds as they intersect with common values such as performance, passion and the quest for perfection. In watchmaking as in motor sports, achieving objectives requires technological excellence, diabolical rigor and unfailing passion.
and how did you start your racing team Rebellion Racing? was it global plan to start timepieces and racing team brand together?
(CB) The passion for cars has always been an important driver for Alexandre Pesci, as has the passion for watchmaking. It was obvious for us to associate these two universes and therefore to create thefirst racing team with its own watch brand, unlike other watch brands that often just put a sticker on cars. Things happened naturally, one driving the other.