The Ouagadougou watchmaker: authentic time

Temps de lecture : 2 minutes

Travel diary. In the heart of the large market of Ouagadougou, I asked “I am looking for the watchmaker of Ouaga?” A man tells me, “ah yes, of course, I’ll lead you to Monsieur Benoît.”

By Laurent Sage /  JSH® Magazine’s Contributor
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Benoît Parkouda welcomed me in his store, “L’horlogerie Moderne“, a family institution that he has been running since… 1972. It is located in the heart of a vibrant city of more than 3 million inhabitants with an average age of… 17 years old.

The place is in its original state, completely authentic

Fournitures horlogères, les trésors de l'histoire et la magie des petits tiroirs

How energizing! Very quickly, a wave crossed us, an alignment, a connivance of enthusiasts: we both belong to the same world, the watchmaking universe. Mr. Parkouda, it is first of all a glance, a laugh, a concentration of goodness. I told him where I was from, from the Jura watchmaking region of Switzerland and France. He immediately related his travel experience from Burkina Faso to Switzerland, Besançon and Paris, by TGV.

With a bit of nostalgia and a lot of understanding, he explained to me that Lip, Yema, Tissot or Longines… are familiar to him, that he has sold so many of them… But why are these names now missing? Gone are the Swiss brands that are too expensive. As for the French brands: “do they still exist?” he asked me. Therefore, let’s give way to the Japanese brands, which never gave up, and to the Chinese watches. A certain sadness overwhelmed us. “What if our Swiss and French friends were still interested in us?

Mr. Parkouda pulled himself together and showed me the cabinet where the spare glasses are stored, an example of a unique repair and maintenance know-how around. Thank goodness all connections with our “Swiss and French friends” are not totally broken! Our meeting came to an end. “Thank you Mr. Watchmaker of Ouaga. May I call you Benoît?” – “Yes, Laurent”  he answered to me, beyond his surprise. Respect! We are from the same world..

Au coeur de Ouagadougou, la capitale et plus grande ville du Burkina Faso, Benoît Parkouda dirige depuis 1972 "L'Horlogerie Moderne"
Laurent Sage, de passage au Burkina Faso, rencontre l'horloger de Ouaga: Horlogerie Moderne

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