Jean Rousseau X Havid Nagan: A paradoxical newcomer

Havid Nagan: “A vision of the past, for the future” Aren Bazerkanian

“Paradoxical Timepieces”: Havid Nagan’s tagline reflects its creator’s keenness on combining classical watchmaking and innovative design, an approach that Jean Rousseau itself thrives for. So when Aren Bazerkanian contacted us with ideas for his first line of watches, Jean Rousseau’s team not only helped him refine his design and bring together the best craftsmen around the world, but we are now delighted to introduce him to our audience of collectors.

The name of Havid Nagan is derived from the Armenian word for “eternity”, havidenagan. But the creator of the brand, Aren Bazerkanian, is just past 30 years old. Aside from his first jobs in real estate and then with watchmaker F.P.Journe, M. Bazerkanian never stopped dabbling in watch design, and looking around for the brand that would reflect the style he loved. “Nothing I wanted existed, or it was in a very high price range. So I kept looking, and drawing architectural shapes. Most cases were so boring: I wanted something different, something interesting.”

Starting small, aiming high

Aren Bazerkanian loves the idea of a paradox, that would “merge the traditional watchmaking designs and practices of the 18th & 19th century with the technological advances in modern horology.” When the design for his first line, HN00, was achieved, Aren Bazerkanian started talking to manufacturers and suppliers. HN00’s movement was made by Schwarz-Etienne and the dial by Cadranor, both in Switzerland. What about the strap? “I discovered Jean Rousseau while working for F.P.Journe. Our clients could ask for anything: blue alligator with hand-stitched platinum? No problem. So I didn’t even consider going anywhere else than Jean Rousseau for my own straps.”

He received a warm welcome. “Every major watchmaker started small, remembers Pierre-Louis Follet, Jean Rousseau’s USA Manager. Here at Jean Rousseau, we know all the good craftsmen on the high-end market, and we are delighted to introduce newcomers to the ecosystem, as long as they share our philosophy: tradition with a touch of innovation. Our collector clients love to discover new brands. We love the search for perfection, we love creating pleasing new designs. We were bound to work well together.”

The genius behind the bespoke strap

“When I designed the case of the HN00, I wanted everything to be flush, no protrusion.” Aren Bazerkanian opted for Alcantara®, a high-quality microfiber textile with a silky touch and a high resistance to light and heat. “It’s something you don’t really see. My titanium case would be really cool with an Alcantara strap. But the challenge was to fit such a specific circle-in-a-square shape to the strap: that’s when I met the genius behind the molding.”

Nathaniel Rather, Jean Rousseau’s New York-based technical director, smiles at the compliment. “After a few discussions with Aren on what he exactly wished for, I created 3D designs of the strap on the case to find the right shape for the insert”, he explains simply. The first prototypes were sent back and forth, until reaching a perfectly snug fit. The original design deserved its very own bespoke solution.

Havid Nagan’s first series, HN00 was sold out on a subscription basis by February 2023, for a first delivery from April 2023. Aren Bazerkanian is already finalizing the second series, HN01 Lucine, “lighter, thinner, complicated, further nuanced”. For this more sophisticated model, he opted for different straps : “Alligator is going to be the dressier option, goat will be semi-formal/casual, and canvas for the sporty side. Collectors will enjoy changing straps according to the occasion.” To be discovered in the summer of 2023.

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