Jean-Claude Biver

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In January 2017, Jean-Claude Biver also became CEO of Zenith watches.

A comme Afrique. Impressions d’Afrique Avec un peu d’imagination, avec quelques accessoires aussi, avec une allée et des palmes, la Sicile, c’est aussi l’Afrique. Il ne s’agit pas d’arpenter la ville. Ailleurs est ce qui arrive.

A as in Africa: Impressions of Africa With a bit of imagination and a few accessories, such as a path and some palms, Sicily can also be Africa. You don’t have to amble all over the city. Afar is what appears.

Président of Watch Division in LVMH

Why did you choose watchmaking?

When I was young I was fascinated by steam locomotives, and the similarity between their mechanisms and those of watches was a revelation. But work is not my passion; watchmaking, yes. So I have the impression that I don’t work.

You have just taken charge at Zenith watches. What plans do you have?

Understanding what makes the house tick and leading it into the futurethe same challenge as for Hublot and TAG Heuer. To study, respect and soak up this company created in 1865 so that I can transform its heritage and help it flourish. My model is Karl Lagerfeld, who watches over the DNA of the different brands when he designs their collections.

What is time for you?

Time is eternity, which is god, which is love. So time is love, which shares successes and mistakes, respects adversaries, animals and nature, and forgives. It is a moral code and an ethical way of living, which I have retained from my hippie years.

This issue’s theme is about being iconoclastic, doing the unexpected. What does that mean for you?

It’s one of my existential rules. There’s a proverb: “Only dead fish swim with the current,” and I never wanted to be a dead fish. Being unique, being first is true happiness. Feeling free, existing, being oneself.

It is said that you make cheese in your mountain chalet. Is that true?

Yes! The art of watchmaking started in the farms of Swiss Jura in around 1560-70. In the winter, people did embroidery and made watch mechanisms. So this chalet reconnects me with the origins of my passion. The six tons of cheese I produce every year are for my customers and friends. Moreover, nature helps me to recharge my batteries and relax.

What destinations do you dream of?

I want to see the poles and the aurora borealis before I die, and cross the desert. Mythical places, nature in the raw.

  • 1949 Naissance au Luxembourg.
  • 1959 Sa famille s’installe en Suisse.
  • Années 1970 Diplômé d’HEC Lausanne.
  • 1975 Intègre Audemars Piguet.
  • 1980 Rejoint Omega.
  • 1982 Acquiert Blancpain avec Jacques Piguet.
  • 1992 Cède Blancpain et devient membre du comité de direction de Swatch Group.
  • 2003 Reprend Hublot Genève.
  • 2005 Lance le chronographe Big Bang.
  • 2008 Vend Hublot au groupe LVMH.
  • 2014 Nommé président de la division Montres de LVMH (Hublot, TAG Heuer, Zenith) et P-DG de TAG Heuer.
  • 2015 Montres connectées TAG Heuer.
  • 2017 Nommé P-DG de Zenith.

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