Montre modele A Prima. Le Meur

Interview with Jean-Dominique Le Meur, first corsican watchmaker.

Following one’s passion sometimes implies leaving one’s native land. This is the choice Jean-Dominique Le Meur made when he went to study in the cradle of Swiss watchmaking.
10 years later, it is a new ambition that drives the young man from Solenzara, to live his passion for watchmaking here with his family and to develop this sector of activity, which is new to Corsica.

Tell us about yourself, your background and where did you get your passion for watchmaking?
I come from one of the oldest families in Solenzara. I have always been a curious and meticulous person. More than 15 years ago, I discovered that a watch could work without a battery, I saw a watch mechanism and I fell in love with it. I graduated from the Haute-Ecole ARC in Neuchâtel where I followed several courses, because if the design was something I was passionate about, the practical part was just as important and I didn’t want to end up behind a computer without ever being able to put my hands in it. These courses taught me to treat these objects like museum pieces while respecting their material and immaterial values.

You were thinking of going back to work in Switzerland, but in the end you started your activity as a watchmaker in Corsica, what happened?
Well, at the beginning of 2020 I created a first collection of watches, just to keep myself busy during the confinement and to make a difference with the HR departments when I returned to Switzerland. But the crisis lasted, and despite the context I made and sold 80 watches. I then realised that I could perhaps live my passion here at home. So I launched my own brand, Les Montres Le Meur.
In 2021 “A Prima” was born, the first “Fattu In Corsica” watch, entirely designed, conceived, assembled, adjusted and tested in my workshop in Solenzara, in the family home. I spent months designing it, looking for industrialists to make the parts, following the production, carrying out the conformity and quality control, to finally receive all the parts and give birth to the first Corsican luxury watch, powered by a Swiss automatic movement. Hence our motto: “Swiss movement, Corsican soul.”

2022 is therefore a pivotal year for you? I understand that there are many things in preparation…
Yes, this year is decisive, because I have invested a lot to develop myself. This summer I’m opening my shop in Solenzara, which will have a showroom and above all a workshop to give my creations more visibility and showcase my work. There are also beautiful collaborations with Corsican creators and craftsmen. But of course the event of the year is the launch of a new model!

Can you tell us more about this new model?
Yes, it’s a diving watch, impossible to ignore this type of watch. Watchmaking and diving is a love story that has lasted for decades. In this new model named “Lucerna”, a breed of grouper living on our coasts, we find my reinterpretation of these mythical watches from the 1950s to the end of the 1960s. Of course, the watch is made with modern and noble materials such as the bezel and the sapphire crystal, a 316L stainless steel case — standard in luxury watchmaking — and is water-resistant to 300 meters. All of this again powered by a Swiss automatic movement renowned for its reliability and robustness, with the added advantage of being certain that spare parts will be available even decades from now.

What is the philosophy behind Le Meur watches? What drives you?
Quite simply to do things here and to always want to do better, to show that Corsica and France in general are lands of excellence that are full of talented enthusiasts. I really want to be involved in preserving and promoting our culture, our heritage and our nature, and I have also thought about collaborating with an association linked to the sea for the diving watch launched this year.

And finally, what are the future plans for Montres le Meur?
Beyond being able to start living from my passion, the objectives are to continue to develop, to create jobs and training in this sector, which is new to Corsica. I want watchmaking enthusiasts to have the opportunity to develop in this field without being forced to leave. With the opening of my shop in Solenzara, I would also like to set up discovery afternoons to plunge into the heart of my profession and have passionate or curious people sit at my workbench. Passing on my passion, exchanging with others is something that motivates me.

Les Montres Le Meur

Atelier & Show-Room
Piazza di a Vechja Scola
20145 Solenzara

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