After 40 years in the watchmaking business, Jean-Claude Racine felt ready to fulfil a lifelong ambition of creating his own watch brand.
As president of Swisswatch Trading Company, Racine had already been running his own private label watch manufacturing company for 15 years. But he had never created a brand that he could call his own.
At Baselworld this year, Racine put his dream into reality with the worldwide launch of Taller, his very own watch brand.
“I am an old salt in watchmaking,” Racine joked to WatchPro when we met this month at Baselworld. “My family has been in the business for generations in one form or another, so I fell into watchmaking when I was a baby,” he added.
Taller was initially created three years ago, and has already secured limited distribution in parts of the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe following appearances at watch fairs in Moscow and Hong Kong.
Baselworld was the big launch for Racine. “The idea of creating the perfect watch and establishing my own brand, Taller, arose a few years ago. I’ve passionately devoted myself to the brand’s development and put all my many years of experience, knowledge, and my desire to make the perfect Taller watches,” he explained.
The Taller portfolio is made up of several limited edition collections such as the “exclusive and functional” Unique range, the “bold and impressive” Famous range and the “stylish and attractive” Priority range.
Today’s watches all use quartz movements, but mechanical options are launching later this year, Racine revealed.
All watches are made in Switzerland by Swisswatch Trading Company using stainless steel cases, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Each piece comes with a 14ct gold logo and a two year warranty.
Prices range from CHF 300-800 for quartz models, with mechanical watches expected to sell for around CHF 1300.
“We are using our watchmaking experience and infrastructure to create watches that are uniquely good value,” claimed Racine. “You cannot get more bang for your buck.”
That value proposition is perfect for the UK market, Racine said, and he is actively looking for an agent. “The purpose of our appearance at Baselworld is to find local agents or distributors in every market, including the UK,” he concluded.