Anthony Simao is both a watchmaker and an entrepreneur. Born in Besançon in 1991, he became involved in the world of watchmaking from a very early ages. These very quickly became a passion for him. He trained on the job, and being exceptionally intelligent for his age, he was able to learn about every single stage involved in creating a watch.
He studied in Morteau at the renowned Edgar Faure school, followed by a 2-year apprenticeship in After Sales at Breitling, in Besançon. He then continued his training at the Renaud & Papi manufacture (Audemars Piguet) in Le Locle.
All of this experience gave him the necessary skills in everything from complications to after sales. He was awarded one of the best grades ever at the Brevet des Métiers d’Art watchmaking exam. After his studies, Anthony was hired by Chronode in Le Locle, where he contributed to the first HYT (the H1), as well as to the development of several tourbillons for the biggest names in watchmaking.
In 2013, he set up his first company, ARTIME SA, subcontracting for leading watchmaking brands such as Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, and HYT, to name but a few. The firm carries out production, assembly, after sales, and prototyping for all types of movements, as well as the decoration of parts of all kinds.
For the past two years, he has been working on creating his own brand with its own in-house movement, opening up a new chapter in watch-making in France and in his home city of Besançon, the French watchmaking capital, with LORNET.
Benoit Monnet was born in Dijon, and completed the first part of his studies in his home city. He studied Mechanical Engineering and Production Automation, later followed by Business Studies. In 2014, he decided to do a vocational bachelor’s degree. He did his work experience as a technical salesman with an aerospace subcontractor in Tours. Benoît finished his studies with brilliant results, thereby qualifying in both technical and sales specialisations. It was during this period that he discovered a passion for mechanics, taking an interest in microtechnology and watchmaking. Benoît first joined a company working in industrial fluids. Fascinated by technology, he put his skills and advice to good use serving industrial customers in Franche-Comté, whilst also working on his own time to help set up LORNET.
In September 2016, when his skills became vital for the project to move forward, he decided to leave his day job and devote himself fully to LORNET.
As the only member of the team without a back-ground in watchmaking, he brings complementary technical and commercial skills to the business.
Mikael Bourgeois was born in Besançon in 1977. He attended the Edgar Faure School in Morteau, where most Besançon-based watchmakers are trained, graduating with a BTS vocational qualification in microtechnology. In 1999, at the age of 22, he co-founded and co-managed the NovoDess consultancy, becoming managing director in 2005.
For nearly 20 years, Mikael Bourgeois has been a leading figure in watchmaking design, sought out by some of the biggest names on the international watchmaking scene: Zenith, Parmigiani Fleurier, Bell & Ross, Girard Perregaux, Renaud Papi, Chanel – Les Maitres du Temps, Pequignet, Romain Jérome, La montre Hermès, and many more undisclosed names. In total, Mikael Bourgeois has contrib-uted to the creation of over 450 models. Today, NovoDess’ skills focus on three areas of expertise:
2009 saw the creation of the eponymous Mikael Bourgeois brand, also known as MB Watches, dedicated to the creation of bespoke timepieces, producing just two or three each year. MB Watches also produced eight Limited-Edition “Thunderbird” watches in 2011; these were so successful that a second edition comprising 50 more pieces was announced in 2016.