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Muddy meets David Meylan

A-listers, Exeter rugby chiefs, Made in Chelsea stars and famous rappers wear his limited edition watches…high time to nab the founder of Exeter watchmaker Olivier Meylan for a natter.

Muddy loves a Devon entrepreneur, especially one brave enough to set up a brilliant local business during Covid. David Meylan has watchmaking in his blood, thanks to his Swiss grandfather, Alfed Meylan, who trained with the best – in the home of Swiss timepieces, Vallée de Joux.

The catalyst for David to continue where his Grandad left off by launching Olivier Meylan was the birth of his son Olivier in 2016. He recently designed The Players Edition with Exeter Chiefs and England rugby players Jack Nowell (above), Luke Cowan-Dickie, Henry Slade and David Ewers, Swiss supermodels wear his Bijoux Collection. And rapper Snoop Dog has a G0811 in his no-doubt prestigious collection.

Time to find out where David likes to hang out in our ‘hood…

Hello David! I guess you never get caught out when the clocks go forward? 

Haha – actually you would be surprised, it’s harder to keep on top of changing the time on my own watches as I put all the attention to detail on our customers watches. I’m yet to design a watch that does it automatically!

Which of your watches does Snoop Dogg wear?

Snoop has the G0811, we felt the “G” and the blue design was the perfect suit. Quick Fact, the G0811 is actually G for George (my youngest son) and his date of birth.

I’ve worked with Snoop several times in the past and was involved in a UK tour with him and kept a good relationship with him and his team for which I’m supper grateful. He’s a legend.

What’s it like working with the Exeter Chiefs? 

David (centre) hoping he’s not about to get into a scrum with the Exeter Chiefs

Love working with the lads, they have done a lot for me and the brand. They are true stars, humble and great at what they do, on and off the field. I can see a big future with them and have developed a good friendship too.

Your HQ is in Exeter. Any hotspots we should get on our radar? 

Of course. If you haven’t had a night out at Timepiece yet then you’re missing out. Food-wise my new favourite is Pink Moon Cafe (above), they do the best chicken wings. Finally, the new Castle Street (formerly The Hole in the Wall) is the perfect place to watch the rugby.

You’ve got two young sons – where are your favourite child-friendly go-to’s? 

Yes, they love the indoor role play at Bear Town just outside Cullompton. My eldest recently had his birthday there and was very well looked after. They also love a simple trip to Greendale Farm Shop

Any local hidden gems we should know about?

Lockdown gave us the perfect excuse to explore our local area a bit more. Teignmouth (one of Muddy’s Best Places to Live 2022, above) soon became a favourite, from the two lovely beaches, to the little ferry ride over to Shaldon. It’s such an adventure for the kids to explore the Smuggler’s Tunnel and you can get a great coffee and a bacon bap from LJ’s Beach Shack on the back beach to take with you on the crossing.

lympstone manor restaurant interior
Credit: Lympstone Manor/Mark Ashbee Photography

Hotel wise,  we are lucky enough to have Lympstone Manor on our door step, so if you’re celebrating something or want to treat yourself, this is the place.

Can your son tell the time yet? Any tips?

Haha nearly! He’s only 6 and still doesn’t really understand the concept of time (which we find out every day when trying to get him ready for school) but he loves the watches and shows a real interest in them which makes me proud. Sometimes he gives us his ideas on the next design so look out for a bright blue one with super heros on the dial…

You grew up in Switzerland (Do you have a cuckoo clock to prove it?) Where do you stay when you go there? 

David with his family in front of Gstaad Palace in Switzerland

Yes, we do have one in the family, but it’s up in my mum and Dads house. I have two favourite places in Switzerland (also two of my fave places in the world): one is Montreux by the lake, it’s stunning and such a high-end place to visit with one of the best Christmas markets, also the former home of Freddie Mercury. Secondly Gstaad, which is the area I grew up, a very exclusive part of the world. It almost feels surreal when you visit, the amount of A-listers in a small mountain village is unreal. It was a dream of mine to get back there one day and launch my brand there and we are now proudly working with Gstaad Palace, where our watches are on display and sale alongside some of the biggest brands in the world.

We heard a rumour your watches have been spotted on Made in Chelsea… Dish the goss?

Yes, they’ve been spotted a few times, three of the current cast own an OM so I’m always keeping an eye on the show. It’s the proudest achievement for me to see others wearing them, especially on TV.  Alex Mytton is also a friend of mine and helped introduce the brand to some of the cast members. We also have them on sale in London at McCann Bespoke and often have reality stars pop in so the name is certainly getting out.

Any exciting celebrity endorsements in the pipeline for 2022? 

We have had a huge amount of support from people and have recently had the likes of Huw Edwards (BBC News at 10) and Marcus Smith (England Rugby) join the owners club but yes we are always working hard on the next big thing, so watch this space…

Olivier Meylan, Olivier Meylan LTD HQ, 6 Northernhay Pl, Exeter EX4 3QJ – online and in store by appointment.

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