Haute horology and motorsport have long been a match made in heaven. Collaborations between racing and the watch industry are everywhere. Some watches have even been in the car with the drivers during a race. Can you get any closer to the sport? How about a watch that’s built out of a recycled part of an LMP2 car? That’s exactly what motorsport racers Emeric Paraud, Clement Etienvre and Philippe Dumas had in mind when they founded the watch brand Lorige. Their first timepiece? A watch with a case built out of a used carbon brake pad.
Clement, how did you come up with the idea behind Lorige?
When Philippe, Clement and I started out we all had backgrounds in motorsport. I was a technician with Oak Racing working with LMP2 cars on a daily basis. When we started out, we weren’t really watch enthusiasts, but we were very passionate about our profession and about motorsport. The problem with motorsport is that it’s not easy to take it with you everywhere or every day. You can’t wear a racing overall into a meeting. But you can wear a watch. Many watches have been inspired by motorsport, but we wanted to take it a step further.
This watch’s case is drilled out of a brake pad. How does that work?
Well, it’s definitely not an easy process. When we came up with the idea, we faced a huge challenge, and to be honest the idea was a bit crazy. The fact is that a carbon brake pad is built to slow down a race car at very high speeds, so it’s very heat resistant but it also needs to wear down which means it isn’t the strongest material. In its original form, it’s definitely not meant to be used by the watch industry. Once the case for the watch is drilled out of the pad, which happens in multiple drilling sessions, the case is then treated by a series of chemical and mechanical processes, which we have patented.
How long does it take to create the watch?
Every case we make takes about a week to be created from the raw material, the brake pad, to the finished product. However, that is just the case. For the actual watch and movements, we rely on Swiss manufacturers to assemble and produce the watch. It’s also worth mentioning that on the top of the case we’ve also developed our bespoke watch movement.
Does the customer know from what team or car his watch originated?
Yes, that’s the idea. Every customer gets a special certificate. At the moment we’re working with various teams from which we retrieve our materials. At this point, we’re only working with LMP2 teams but in the near future, we’re also looking to expand to hypercars as it will become the new top-tier category. Although Motul doesn’t have a direct connection to watches, the brand is actually closely related to the Lorige watch as our RBF700 fluid would’ve been most likely responsible for pushing the brake pad into the disc.
What does a brand like Motul mean to you?
I’ve been using Motul for a very long time. I built a drift car in the past and used all Motul products with it. Also working with an LMP2 team means that I’m no stranger to 300V, so the brand has been a part of my life on a daily basis. On top of that, It’s a staple in the industry altogether.