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Jean-Claude Biver Articles
Starting on Time: The Early Years of Luxury Watchmaker Jean-Claude Biver
Credited as having single-handedly saved the Swiss watch industry from the quartz movement, Jean-Claude Biver is a man whose name has become synonymous with quality instruments for telling the time. He brought the Blancpain and Omega brands back to life, and, since 2004, has been heading up Hublot, one of the world’s most renowned watch companies. When he is not busy doing that, he also produces his own line of exclusive cheese.
Turning Back Time: Biver’s Watches Make a Comeback
“We bought Blancpain at the end of 1981,” recalls Biver, “and started to develop the brand from zero in 1982 with the concept that we would never make a quartz watch, because we would stick to and develop only and exclusively the traditional watch-making art.”
Lesson #1: “What differentiates us is that we are not repeating tradition”
“In 1980, the whole Swiss watch industry was oriented to develop and present its collection of Quartz watches,” says Biver. “Even prestige brands like PP, AP, VC had in those days a proportion of 70% more or less quartz movements in their collection. The Swiss watch industry had its biggest crisis and many watchmakers couldn’t find a decent job and as a consequence left the industry.”
Lesson #2: “You must always keep the customer hungry and frustrated”
Hublot is all about creating luxury and, according to Biver that comes down to exclusivity. After all, if everyone could always get their hands on a Hublot watch, how was it luxurious?
Lesson #3: “Wherever our customer goes, he must meet Hublot”
“We never enter any sport or event because of personal connections or preferences,” says Biver. “Our decisions are motivated through our customers. Wherever our customer goes, he must meet Hublot. It is our goal to make the customer feel that we belong to his world, to his lifestyle, to his emotions, and to his dreams.”
Lesson #4: “When you are weak, you must act as if you are very strong”
Biver has built a reputation for himself by bringing companies back from the brink. Blancpain, Omega, Hublot – all three had fallen into relative obscurity before Biver stepped into the picture. After a short time there, each had risen to the top of the industry. Thus, when the recession hit in the late-2000s, Biver was qualified more than most in knowing how to get through it.
Lesson #5: “The world is not static and a brand has to constantly adapt its concepts, products and DNA to the changes”
Before Omega entered the Chinese market under Biver’s leadership, it was largely overlooked by the rest of the world.
The Timing of Success: How Biver Gave New Life to Luxury Watches
“The watch does not represent the indication of time anymore,” Biver once said.
Jean-Claude Biver Quotes
Jean-Claude Biver Quotes
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