Interview with Nik from Carte Blanche Watches
Please tell me a little about yourselves. Where do you come from, where do you live, what are you doing a single day, your hobbies?
I am Nik, the founder of Carte Blanche. I grew up in Zurich, Switzerland, where I now live and study. I’m currently studying architecture. In my free time I’m very involved in design and various creative projects. Since my childhood I am trying to express myself creatively as often as possible. Screwing around with all kinds of things and creating something of my own are part of my nature.
When did the idea for your own watch brand come up? What was the trigger?!
I have been involved in the watch business for more than eight years now and have always dreamed of designing a watch myself. I finally took this step during the early covid-19 pandemic. At this time I have not yet thought about an own watch brand. I have only made watches for my family and relatives.
However, it quickly became clear that I would like to design a watch that covers everything I miss on the watches in the watch market. Aim of designing a watch that inspires a sense of adventure in people and encourages them to go their own way was always a key element through out the process.
I am always on the lookout for design inspiration, and always excited to release something new. Over the last year, I began to build a dial design with a more vintage, minimalist approach with easy-to-read large indices. That’s what I’ve missed with all the other watches on the market.
Tell me some specifications about the watch!
The Ocean Diver’s timeless design is inspired by vintage watches. The 13mm thick case is made of stainless steel and translates the shapes of vintage watches into a contemporary design language. Equipped with a double domed Sapphire crystal, a screw-down stainless steel case back and a screw-in crown, the Ocean Diver has a water resistance of 200m.
The unidirectional 120-click ceramic bezel features an elapsed time system and is equipped with Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9. Inside the watch case, a Swiss-made movement beats at 28,800 beats per hour.
Its 41mm case is the perfect size on most wrists. Available in two different color combinations, you’re sure to find the perfect outfit to match the watch in your wardrobe, making the Ocean Diver your faithful companion.
How was the name and the logo created and what exactly does it mean?
Carte Blanche is a French expression that translates to a white card. Symbolically, however, Carte Blanche is the power of attorney that is not subject to any restrictions – it is the possibility and power of unrestricted freedom of action. The watch brand Carte Blanche embodies exactly that. It encourages you to pursue and realize your own goals and dreams and to move out of your comfort zone into the next adventure.
The logo is composed of stag antlers and the inscription Carte Blanche. The antlers come from my family crest. My family has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams with determination, so it fits perfectly with spirit of Carte Blanche.
How did you come up with this design?
The inspiration for the color choice clearly comes from the oceans. The different colors that an ocean can reflect have always fascinated me and were therefore integrated into the design.
Derived from numerous vintage diving watches and well-known watches as well as watches from the micro-brand scene, the Ocean Divers have a dial design with a more vintage, minimalistic approach and easy-to-read indices. The indicators are, as with all vintage diver watches, printed on the dial. In combination with the case and the colors of the bezel, the whole watch is translated into a contemporary design language and combines vintage with modernity.
Inspired by the past, designed for your next adventure.
Are you making the watches or you hired a professional watchmaker?
Finding a beautiful, timeless watch made with Swiss precision within a reasonable price range is a difficult task. My goal is to offer my customers a high-quality watch at a fair price and thus close the gap between the fast-fashion watches at knockdown prices and the high-end Swiss watches.
As a Swiss, the quality of a watch is the first priority. That’s why I chose a reliable Swiss movement, which is 100% made in Switzerland. The assembly of the individual parts I will take into my own hands with a small team. So the watch is handmade in Switzerland and can follow the highest standards of the Swiss watch industry.
Are you planning to make other types of watches as well or only dive watches?
I am currently working out a skeleton watch. However, the design is not yet ready to be published. But on the Instagram page @carteblanche.watches you will always be kept up to date about all the current and future models.
What do I or my readers have to do to get a watch from you as soon as possible?
To be among the first to hold a Carte Blanche Ocean Diver in their hands, it is recommended to follow the Carte Blanche campaign on Kickstarter in advance. From the 28th of November the campaign is online and offers attractive Super Early Bird promotions. Since the promotions are limited in quantity, I also recommend creating a Kickstarter account in advance to make the whole process go faster when the campaign starts.
You can find the campaign under the following link:
And what do you want for the future?
I hope that I can continue to pursue my passion of watches and designing in the future and that my watches bring a lot of joy to their wearers. I also hope that as many people as possible will be infected by the spirit of Carte Blanche and dare to pursue their dreams and goals.
Every person is the architect of his or her own happiness.
The future is an adventure to be discovered. I wish everyone much joy and adventure on their way to their future.
Thank you for your interview!