Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, “My First Grail Watch.” In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we’re speaking with Eric Loth, the founder of Graham watches used Replica SA, about the grails that elude him to this day.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the watch industry?
Eric Loth (EL): I’m the founder of Graham SA. I grew up in le Locle and did my engineering studies in the region. La Chaux-de-Fonds, next to Le Locle, is now the home of Graham. The Watch valley is an area I know pretty well. And this is in this region that my passion for mechanics and precision also was born.
ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?
EL: I started my working life at Rado. At that time, the brand was widely recognized for its creativity and avant-garde. Advanced and different materials were used such as sapphire and cemented carbide. It made me curious and fuelled my passion and fascination for new technology and complex material combinations. This first impetus led me to continue in that direction.
ABTW: What was your first grail watch?
EL: Trilogy [of Time] Ulysse Nardin by Ludwig Oechslin for my friend Rolf Schnyder.
ABTW: What drew you to this particular collection?
Behind the scenes, this partnership was a project he’s personally held very close. From his research and efforts to ensure the details in the layout were accurate to the business and intelligently engineered, to his hand in negotiating the deal and building credibility within the intensely private organization, he informs me he was involved at each stage and even began R&D about the piece before the deal was inked to make sure there was enough time for it to be perfected. And success – that marks the first time the US Navy SEALS company has partnered with a luxury brand for a commercial item. It might seem that Eric Loth’s obvious respect and reverence for the organization made it an easy transition for them.
EL: This grail is for me the perfect representation of the connection between astronomy and watch making. This is the material match between space and watch making savoir-faire.
ABTW: Have you been able to locate and acquire the watches?
EL: Unfortunately, I have not found the 3 watches together in any market. I have also spent a lot of effort into Graham’s development, and consequently less time spent in my quest of the grail, but I know I will get them one day.
ABTW: Given those constraints, has anything else become your Grail?
EL: No. This is still my grail. I know I will have the opportunity to get them all – it is clear in my mind!