An Interview With Eric Cantona, Hautlence’s Decorated Champion for the 5th Year
World of Watches was privileged to have a chat with Eric Cantona during their Hautlence event stop at Kuala Lumpur to find out more about his relationship with Hautlence and what inspired him to take on his career path today.
More than just business partnership, a brand partner should be someone who is a friend of the brand, as well as someone who embodies the spirit of the brand – which is exactly what Eric Cantona is to Hautlence. For the 5th year now, the former champion football player has not only been represented as Hautlence’s brand partner, but is closely involved in the creative process of many Hautlence watches.
Hautlence, its exclusive retailer Cortina Watch and World of Watches Malaysia hosted VIP guests at Beta, Kuala Lumpur for the launch of the HL Vagabonde Cortina Watch Edition. Cortina Watch and Hautlence celebrated this significance through its Reinventing Time tour from Jakarta and Singapore to Malaysia for its final stop. Eric Cantona was warmly welcomed by guests and attendees (mostly fans) as he took the stage. It was a night struck in awe for most as Cantona sign away on jerseys after jerseys.
An Interview With Hautlence Partner Eric Cantona
World of Watches was privileged to have a chat with Eric Cantona during their Hautlence x Cortina Watch event stop at Kuala Lumpur to find out more about his relationship with Hautlence and what inspired him to take on his career path today.
You have taken on various roles in your career path – from being a champion football player to an actor and filmmaker, what inspired you to take on these vastly different steps?
My parents. They are really ageing and yet they still appreciate a nice life. You know they still love to see nice buildings, nice house et al. Now you see young people who are fortunate enough; they seem to know everything in life. What I learnt from my parents and from life, is that we know that we don’t know – we have to learn. And the more we learn, the more we realize that we know nothing. And through observation of the world, we try to create our own reality. When I started to work with Hautlence I needed to observe and to learn what they want. Which is why when I meet people and through other processes, I know I can start to sync; to know what I can do. The design can then only focus on the colours and form. I try to find a way to design around the idea of time.
In terms of life philosophy or in spirit, what would you say is your closest connection with Hautlence?
My closest connection is that everything is possible. There are no limits; I think that is very important. I think we always try to push the limits as far as possible. And within the limits we have to find the freedom – which is a great feeling; to be free.
You have been part of the creative process for some of the Hautlence models. What is the most satisfying aspect of watchmaking for you?
In creating the watches, you can really feel that Hautlence is an independent watchmaker. And that is very important for me. Independent means that everything is possible. Independence also means that you have to challenge yourself. Because independence itself is a very strong word – it gives you a lot of pressure and excitement at the same time. To some people, being independent is nothing, but if you challenge the word, you can push your limits very far.
How has being a brand partner for Hautlence influenced your career as an actor or a filmmaker?
In any way that I can express myself has influenced me. We are all inspired by the things that we have done before. We take inspiration from here and there; and from the history of art and watches, I feed myself with the experience of creating something special. And when I apply that to my work, the things I create are unique.
Lastly, what is the best and worse thing about the partnership? (Question directed to both Bertrand Meylan and Eric Cantona)
Bertrand Meylan: The best thing, as you can imagine, is that it is amazing to have Eric part of our team and part of the creative process. He brings so much energy not just to myself but also to my brother and the full team. The worst part is to follow on his creativity! (He jokes) If you knew all the ideas he had, you would be amazed! It’s overwhelming. But again, it has really been 5 amazing years. I think we both enjoy the partnership very much.
Eric Cantona: The best thing is that everything is possible. Hautlence has been very open to my ideas. And the worst thing, at the end of the day – is because of my character – I always ask myself “What could I have done more?” Always feeling like we can improve on something – I think that is very important, and I like it very much.