Olivier Meylan's First Anniversary.
It was time for a celebration when a new rugby-inspired Swiss heritage watch was unveiled in front of a VIP crowd.
Among the guests at the star-studded event were England players Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Henry Slade along with British drum and bass band Rudimental and top DJ Nathan Dawe.
The new Olivier Meylan watch celebrates the achievements of the players who have spent more than a decade in the top flight as well as the company’s first anniversary.
Jack, Henry and Luke have helped to design the new timepiece along with their Exeter Chiefs teammate Dave Ewers who has also notched up 10 years playing for his club.
Other guests at the Exeter Castle party were promising young Devon racing driver Jem Hepworth and DJ Ironik.
Despite boasting a heritage steeped in traditional Swiss watchmaking Olivier Meylan is strongly rooted in East Devon.
In 1995 the company’s founder David Meylan came to Exmouth with his parents and older brother having spent eight years living in Switzerland, where his grandfather, Alfred Meylan was born.
Alfred lived and studied the art of watchmaking in the Vallée de Joux, starting with an apprenticeship at Jaeger-LeCoultre and later being approached by Smiths in the UK.
David said: “As a child my father would take me to visit all of the leading manufacturers of luxury watches in the Vallée de Joux. This was the spark that ignited my life-long fascination and passion for watches.
“Watches have always been in my blood. The Meylans have married into the Audemars, LeCoultre and Piguet families, a family connection first established in 1620.”
That legacy has survived to this day and became even more poignant when David’s first son, Olivier, was born in 2016.
He said: “His arrival fuelled my desire to launch my own watch brand, named after him and celebrate the history we both share.”
However, despite his roots being 775 miles away, David is passionate to reflect the place he now calls home in his creations.
In 2020, he teamed up with Jack Nowell to design and manufacture a limited edition chronograph watch, which features his trademark shirt number 14. Each model is also signed and numbered.
Another collaboration resulted in a watch designed by multi-award winning artist Laura Wall who has an art gallery and studio in Teignmouth.
Jack, Henry, Luke and Dave were closely involved in the design of the watches and signed up to the Meylan team as brand ambassadors.
David said: “Working with the boys on the development of the new watch range was a fantastic experience. It’s an honour to be able to celebrate their achievements in this way.”