a) I don't think Martin's been driven away. He may have left for Bastille Day weekend, like most Parisians.
b) I wouldn't consider Aubercy better than Lobb or Corthay. It's a very good shoe, though. The RTW are made to a good spec by an Italian factory. The bespoke are gorgeous and made in Paris by Didier Martinez. They have a very broad stock special offer as well made in the Italian factory with some finishing in France.