Jean-Claude Biver talks about outstanding premieres, the qualities of a watch, and the importance of Baselworld.
Baselworld: What was the most important premiere of your life?
Jean-Claude Biver: Without a doubt, the most important premiere of my life came in 1983 with Blancpain’s first watch with moon phase and complete calendar. The second important premiere was Hublot’s Big Bang. And fortunately, there was also a third: namely, Zenith’s Defy 21.
Baselworld: What important premieres will we experience at Baselworld 2018?
Jean-Claude Biver: Zenith’s Defy Inventor, Hublot’s Ferrari Techframe and TAG Heuer’s Grand Carrera 2018.
Baselworld: How do you recognise the quality of a watch?
Jean-Claude Biver: Design, material, craftsmanship and calibre each influence the quality of a watch. One cannot differentiate the various percentages which each aspect contributes to the overall quality because the product and its quality are the sum of their parts. It is clear that one or the other element plays a greater or smaller role in the various models offered by a particular brand. But ultimately, nearly all parts must be equally represented in a product.
Baselworld: Baselworld offers opportunities to meet people from around the world. Why is this especially important in today’s digital era?
Jean-Claude Biver: The more we network with one another digitally, the more important eye contact and personal contact become. That is what gives meaning and importance to events such as Baselworld.
“One does not really know a company until one has slept a night there.” Jean-Claude Biver has an unerring sense for the DNA of watch brands and he has a unique ability to make them blossom again. After reviving Blancpain and working for a time at Omega and Hublot, he became head of the watch division of the LVMH Luxury Group (TAG Heuer, Hublot und Zenith) in 2014.