Style Diary

Jean-Claude Biver, The Swiss Watches ”Magician”

Surprisingly as it may sound, everything happening before a watch is made and after it leaves the factory to meet its client should do with a romantic story. People responsible with these stories have sometimes no connection what so ever with the exact sciences, even if it is hard to believe. On the other hand, they are visionary people who know better how to build emotions.

Jean-Claude Biver is a name every passionate should discover if this didn’t happen before. He is one of the story tellers that brought back the glory to the Swiss watches industry back in 1990. He built technical wonders and contradicted economic principles. Jean-Claude Biver is an important page for the modern history of watches and he did it without being a watchmaker. He just simply looked into the future. He treasured the romantic side of human behavior and offered the world new reasons to dream about. The recipe, which he still enjoys doing, has succeeded for too many times to be contested by anyone. On the contrary, his original way of turning stories into legends became a guarantee of value, sometimes a guarantee more powerful than chronometry or quality standards.

The arguments in Jean-Claude Biver’s portfolio are the success stories of Blancpain, a brand who he revived and later sold to swatch Group, and Hublot, the symbol of modern luxury watches relaunched in 2004. Hublot was initially founded in 1980 but with no connection to its present status as one of the most important brands in the haute horlogerie class. The modern episode, written by the genius with a noisy laugh, can’t be explained from a mathematical or a technical perspective. It simply didn’t follow any marketing strategy you learn in school. How would anyone think you can build a modern success story around one single model, even if this model looks as fabulous as the Big Bang?


This is where a romantic story makes the difference. Jean-Claude Biver took care to focus on the Art of Fusion philosophy as to bound pink gold to ceramics and rubber. He taught the watch passionate to treasure the originality and pushed the Hublot brand in partnerships with all the personalities from our times you can name out of every field, mainly sports. What it looks, theoretically, like a chaotic strategy, proves to be a stroke of a genius and I don’t think there is still a single person to consider Hublot a bold experiment. In 2008, the brand has been acquired by LVMH and today is a watch you can’t ignore. Let’s call it Swiss Made Magic!