Lorige is a French independent watchmaking company creating timepieces from endurance racing cars. Founded in 2018 by friends and car enthusiasts Emeric Paraud and Clément Etienvre. © Lorige
“We wanted to create a trophy that you could wear everyday, this is how Lorige started.”
What is your background and how did you start Lorige Watch?
(Emeric Paraud, Clément Etienvre) We are passionate about motorsport and everything that is mechanical in general. By working closely on racing prototypes, we had the privilege of bringing some previously raced parts home as a souvenir of a specific race or championship title that we took part in. Following this philosophy, we wanted to create a sort of trophy that you could wear everyday, this is how Lorige started.
What is like starting a watchmaking brand from scratch?
(EP, CE) Creating a brand is great for expressing ourselves but it remains a big challenge nonetheless. It’s a long and hard journey that you have to do as a team but it’s also a good way to meet new people and to seize new opportunities. Starting from scratch means sharing the moments. We are proud of what we created.
“Both the watchmaking artisans and the racing teams seeking for performance leaves no space for compromise.”
What do you think is the correlation between watchmaking and automotive?
(EP, CE) The very first races started using horological equipment to measure time so there is a lot in common. Both the watchmaking artisans and the racing teams seeking for performance leaves no space for compromise, this is how we see the link between the two worlds.
“It also plays a big role in the performance of the car as the overtaking usually happens in the braking phase.”
How did you start making watches out of brake pads from endurance racing cars?
(EP, CE) We searched for the ideal element from the car to craft one of the major parts of the watch, which turns out to be the case. We chose the brake because not only is it a massive carbon piece but it also plays a big role in the performance of the car as the overtaking usually happens in the braking phase. After choosing the brakes, we had an 18 month period of R&D to find a repeatable process to retreat the carbon-carbon material. We patented the process 6 months later.
What is the most challenging part dealing with carbon-carbon in watchmaking? (EP, CE) Working with carbon-carbon is really not easy because of its original manufacturing. It’s a special type of carbon specially developed for heat resistance. The raw material also needs to be sourced from racing teams, then reworked to be able to machine it. It took us approximately 18 months to find a reliable process that we patented afterwards. Of course we faced other challenges such as the movement development but we work closely with watch engineers who are used to this kind of job.
“BL-Endurance “Bleu 24h” partly made with United Autosports’ 2020 24h of Le Mans LMP2 winning brakes.”
Are any Lorige watches ever made from a race winner car?
(EP, CE) We like this idea of trophies on the wrist and we made victorious series such as for the BL-Endurance “Bleu 24h” partly made with United Autosports’ 2020 24h of Le Mans LMP2 winning brakes and this is an accomplishment for us. We also make historical series focusing more on the overall life of the car more than a specific race like we did with the Aston Martin DBR9 GT1.
Racing driver Paul Di Resta is one of your ambassadors, how do you find a perfect ambassador like Di Resta who shares Lorige DNA?
(EP, CE) By evolving in the motorsport world and especially in the endurance series, we are in direct link with the drivers and it’s easy to introduce them to our watch concept, our vision and our projects. This also enables us to create privileged relationships with some of them as well as going forward together on common projects. When developing our special series with Peugeot Sport, the BL-Endurance “Hyperblack”, Paul Di Resta became the perfect choice for us by both his talent and his experience in Endurance racing.
How big or small is production currently? And How long do I need to get a piece?
(EP, CE) Since the launch of our first piece, the BL-Endurance “Gris Circuit” in early 2021, the production is slowly increasing. We did around 10 pieces the first year and now we produce around 20 pieces per year, this includes our catalog references and also custom series that we make in collaboration with our clients. The most important thing for us is that we don’t want to rush it, our delivery time has gone from 4 to 6 months and we keep receiving more and more orders so it’s a good sign for the future of Lorige.
“Timepieces are vehicles of emotions and stories.”