"apologizing" (in the classic greek sense) for positions which may or may not coincide with how I personally feel...
Hi, Geo, Art,
Geo, interestingly, you mention Vianney Halter. I wonder in what aspect you include Vianney here? (I love Vianney's work, and I have a deep affection for the man, eccentricities and all) Not to be coy, but I am a bit confused given that most of his "designs" were essentially "commissions" to "fill" Jeff Barnes designs, if I understand the history correctly?
Art, "RM created perhaps the only truly original marque in recent memory" is also an interesting remark. RM certainly has achieved an importance and respect as a marque far outsized from it's commercial import, from a number of pieces and overall quantitative output standpoint, but I would hardly use the terms "only truly original marque in recent memory."
Urwerk comes to mind; Greubel-Forsey as well.
I'd be very interested to read the parameters around which you base this comment (not disagreeing with it, just curious to understand more.)
I see Cvstos as being derivative of RM designs as Hublot is of the AP Offshore - either you see it, or you don't.
I don't pretend to know the "real" inspiration behind both, my feelings (such as they are) are based strictly on "observation" and feeling, which seems is about the standard that is being applied in most discussions of this sort.