July 21, 2024

My First Grail Watch: Christian Bedat Of Bedat & Co. And RED8 My First Grail Watch

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 Christian Bedat, founder of RED8, who quite literally grew up in the industry, and wraps things up with a great bit of life advice.

aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the watch industry?

Christian Bedat: I was born in the industry – I’m the son of the late Simone Bedat, who founded Raymond Weil and then helped me manage Bedat & Co. I grew up in the industry and spent my youth in factories and the worldwide market. The passion grew slowly to become part of my personality. I can now say that, at the age of 50, I have over 40 years of experience.

ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?

Christian Bedat: Again, at young ages, spending time around watch people from all fields. I attended my first Basel fair as a child at the age of 7, and have never missed a fair since then. I was wondering through the corridor of the fair (which was much different than it is today), looking at windows of brands and dreaming to be able to buy a timepieces from these famous brands.

ABTW: What was your first grail watch?

Christian Bedat: The first watch I ever wore was a Camy (where my mother worked before creating Raymond Weil), and later, of course, I wore the Raymond Weil that I created . However, the first timepieces I bought myself was a Rolex Sea Dweller in 1991. Since then, I collect such timepieces.

ABTW: What drew you to this particular watch?

Christian Bedat: I always wanted a Rolex, as I thought they were the best, in all aspects, in the world. I still believe that. I love the timeless value of the design and the quality. I loved the idea that Rolex understood how to build a real institution before anyone else.

ABTW: Have you moved on to any other grail pieces?

Christian Bedat: In 1994, I had recently purchased a contemporary Rolex Daytona. While at a resort in Fiji, I noticed the manager wearing a Paul Newman, and I congratulated him on his collectors item. Well, the manager had his eye on a new model, and insisted that we trade. I made it clear that I was coming out ahead, but did end up accepting.

ABTW: Quite an excellent trade! Have you had more grails, or has the Rolex collection grown?

CB: While there are many watches that I admire, I tend not to wear other brands – so why buy them? Today, I only wear my RED8 product, and now my RED8USA. I love the idea that one can be so cool, “in,” and not wear a fortune on your wrist.

It is all about how you wear it and your way of life.

ABTW: It sounds as if you have been fortunate to either create or acquire most of what you have wanted. Was there ever a time where a watch was “the one that got away”?

Christian Bedat: The answer is no, as I got what I wanted. Anyway, one must put in perspective the value of objects, as in fact, they are there to give you pleasure regardless of the object and the price. No one needs anything that we call luxury. So it is more about enjoyment and life pleasure. If you miss an object, who cares. But do not miss your life!