Introducing Renaud Tixier Watches – A New Independent Swiss Watchmaker 

Renaud Tixier is taking a philosophical approach to the basic principles of mechanical horology with dramatic results.


At the moment, it seems like every other day when a new watchmaking brand appears on the horizon, but as we approach Watches & Wonders and the press’ interest is coming up to its highest it makes sense that now is a good time to announce a new arrival. With that, we’re today looking at Renaud Tixier watches, the culmination of the minds of Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier. If those names seem familiar to you, it’s probably because of the watch they collaborated on for Furlan Marri’s entry into last year’s cancelled Only Watch auction. 

This time, they’re going it alone. Though, for these two, that seems like a stepping stone rather than a challenge. Dominique Renaud is one half of Renaud & Papi (now known as Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi), and they’ve built some of the most cutting-edge movements for the likes of Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Richard Mille to name a few. Julien Tixier is seen as a rising star in the watch world, having perfected his craft at Laurent Ferrier as well as previously collaborating with Renaud.

Renaud Tixier was founded in Nyon, Switzerland, with the intent to revisit the fundamentals of mechanical watchmaking using new design and manufacturing techniques to revise the basic elements of a mechanical watch. This philosophical approach to watchmaking is well-suited to a small independent brand and is something that very few of the larger brands seem to be able to pull off convincingly.

The first watch is called ‘Monday’ which to me indicates that they perhaps haven’t seen or heard of Garfield. Anyway, the first piece focuses on energy generation within mechanical watches, specifically, the micro-rotor. It sits at the 3 o’clock position on the back of the watch and is quite different from the usual micro rotor setup, which Renaud Tixier deemed inefficient for watches. At the centre of the micro-rotor is a device which uses a clever set of springs to supposedly enhance the efficiency of the micro rotor and provide some extra shock protection to the delicate winding system. If that’s a little hard to get your head around, don’t worry. It’s difficult for me to follow in the press briefing, and Renaud Tixier also state that they don’t know precisely how much more efficient this new winding system is as there’s nothing that can measure it right now. However, Dominique Renaud’s development strategy includes making large-scale models of watch movements to test his theories, so presumably, there was some improvement in the large model for him to spend time developing it further on the tiny watch movement.

Speaking of the movement, the calibre RTV12023 has a 60+ hour power reserve and is made of 315 individual components with 30 jewels, the beat rate of the balance wheel is 2.5Hz. As is expected of a modern watch from an independent brand, the caseback is like a little city thanks to the dramatic levels of depth found there.

Around the front, a part of the movement is on display but the majority of the dial is closed off. It’s a grey dial with little fuss, but it has plenty of details still, such as the applied ‘RT’ logo at 12 O’clock and the off-centered sub-seconds dial. It’s all wrapped in a 40.8mm x 11mm case made of either rose gold or white gold, I particularly like the detailing on the caseband, most watch manufacturers don’t really do anything with that part. The case’s water resistance is 100m.

Presented on either a calfskin or alligator strap, depending on your preference, with a matching buckle, one of these watches will set you back CHF79,000, which we expect to be around $90,000 however this is a rough translation and may not include local taxes. It’s always interesting to see a new brand emerge on the scene, and Renaud Tixier says this new watch is the first of seven concepts they want to challenge, hopefully, they’ll compound these innovations into their next watches, but only time will tell.