My First Grail Watch: Jean-Claude Biver

My First Grail Watch: Jean-Claude Biver

My First Grail Watch: Jean Claude Biver   my first grail watch

Welcome to “My First Grail Watch,” a new interview series on aBlogtoWatch that explores the first major timepiece lusted after by important people in the watch industry.

aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you and what is your relationship to the watch industry?

Jean-Claude Biver (JCB): My passion is watches. And I am the lucky man who can work every day in his passion. Which means I don’t want to disconnect and don’t need weekends and holidays. I believe that working everyday in one’s passion is one of the greatest luxuries in life (the two others are health and love).

ABTW: What was your first grail watch?

JCB: The Omega Constellation which my grandfather offered me when I was eight years old. Later it was the Omega Speedmaster.

ABTW: Was there ever a time in your life when you could afford it?

JCB: I bought my first watch myself (Omega Speedmaster) in 1966. A watch that connected me to space.

ABTW: What did you like so much about the watch?

JCB: The fact that when I was looking at it, I did not see time, but I saw the Space Adventure and the Astronauts.

ABTW: Did you ever get it?

JCB: Yes, but each time I could afford it, I had another grail watch which then I could not afford. So somehow I have constantly a dream of the next watch which for the moment, I cannot afford.

19 comments
aleximd2000
aleximd2000

Interesting how you make some little stings on JCB. But compare what he says in any interview with other CEO from Patek for example and see the difference. JCB from my point of view is much closer to us , the people than the others. That is an another thing that i did not agree with him on his politics in watch prices. They rise and rise the bar until it will be untouchable for the 95 percent. but if one of us does what he did inventing or drawing an unmistakebly(sorry grammar) design I think he will be entitled to make what he wants on that niche. Just think this : there are several designs that are recognizable from distance- rolex , breitling , jlc, cartier, swatch and hublot just to name the most relevant ones . Once you did this you are immortal . you are a brand at least in matter of image. That is what Jean Claude did and remember that he revived Blancpain too. So it is not just a matter of luck.He is a capacity and treat him so.

And as the end of my long bla bla i do own a Hublot , and despite the fact that it is a pretty expensive watch I love it but somehow it is not my favourite watch. I even tried to sell it but after my son manaced me with hanging,  i give it up.  My conclusion about Hublot is that many people want it as a money meter but somehow for o conoisseur it is not a grail watch.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I don't understand - if he mentions buying the watch for himself in 1966, why would you ask him 3 seconds later if he ever got it? That looks pretty ignorant, especially considering this is more of a conversation vignette than an actual interview.

CG
CG

This is a nice idea, the "Grail" watch. With all the crazy fandom world out there you should try for celebs too. I remember 30 plus years ago I think Esquire ran a series on photographs of bedside/nightstand drawers of the famous. Most interesting to see who kept what in that drawer!

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Wow, that was short.  He's a controversial figure but I have to give him credit for trying new things unlike a lot of big names in the industry.  A lot of what Hublot produce look like robot turds but every now and then you find a diamond in the rough.

JonnyD
JonnyD

JCB is well known to ablogtowatch readers. He is highly amusing and has some very interesting thoughts about the watch industry, like at Basel World 2013, where all ateliers should have paid Swatch $5 because of the sistem51, which he feels will kick start a mechanical passion amongst today's youth. He even has his own cheese. The "what" in question is a grail watch. Once you get it, there is always another that you have to start saving for. I also like the fact that Hublot advertise on the "extra time board" in soccer. That was an ingenious marketing move. He also at one time offered employees money if they publicly owned up to mistakes they had made in the industry.

Hacker4748
Hacker4748

I am sorry, but who is he? Also, did he ever get what? This article does not make sense.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Kris C Probably a set of submitted questions and not an interactive interview at all. Just my guess based on the answers and flow.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Ulysses31 Ever read International Watch magazine? The back  page each month is an interview with a watch executive and they have the same set of questions each month. Perhaps this is a try at a similar Q/A format.

And gotta agree on most Hublot watches.

Hacker4748
Hacker4748

@JonnyD Thank you very much. As someone who started reading ABlogToWatch a year ago I have not known about any of these facts, let alone who JCB is.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Hacker4748 Biver is  the Chairman of  Hublot and formerly ran Omega and Blancpain. 

The questions were no doubt sent to him as opposed  to an interactive interview. So after an answer, the following question may seem a bit disjointed. Just my guess on that...

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@MarkCarson @Ulysses31 Used to, but they don't have a great circulation around my parts.  As with most things in England, it seems the international community only recognises London as a trendy enough place with sufficiently wealthy people to bother marketing up-scale magazines to.  Hublot has come up with some decent designs lately that have more of an awareness of, dare I say, the value of restraint and subtlety in design.  Hopefully the days of a Hublot dial looking like a scrapyard magnet with everything clinging to it are gone.

SN0WKRASH
SN0WKRASH moderator

@Hacker4748 @JonnyD For future reference, you can always click on the tags at the end of an article to see more about that topic.  We tag all articles with people's names, the watch brands, and various other topics.  Tags are like an index you would look something up in at the end of a book to see what pages it appears on in the book so you can discover more.  JCB is tagged here and you just have to click to discover who he is by what we've written about him.  Hope that helps you in the future.

Hacker4748
Hacker4748

@MarkCarson Thank you. I think it would not have hurt to include such basic info in the article.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@Ulysses31 Yep, some of their 'skeleton' watches looks like a bag of parts fell on the floor and were swept into a watch case and sealed up. Not to pick on Hublot exclusively, other brand have done that too. Cheers.

Hacker4748
Hacker4748

@SN0WKRASH Hello Kristin :-) Thank you for the refresher on tags but writing an interview without introducing the person being interviewed and instead referring to other articles is just bad form. I understand that more views = more ad revenue but you have to admit that one or two sentences at the beginning of the article saying, "Jean-Claude Biver is the CEO of so and so and is famous for inventing the inverse recombobulator" would have been appropriate. :-)

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@JonnyD Yes I did catch that video. Jean Claude is an interesting guy. I don't know that I always agree with him on all points, but he certainly is entertaining and often inspiring. No the stereotypical reserved Swiss watch executive (thank goodness). 

I think authors of posts here have to walk a fine line sometimes. On one hand they should include back story on who they are talking to or about. But for frequent readers, they don't want to bore them with redundant things they already know. Hey, that's the beauty of having the comment system and an active and engaged set of readers. We can add details if needed to help each other out. Cheers.

JonnyD
JonnyD

Hi again Mark, I hope I didn't come across as pedantic, I meant to reply rather than post initially, oops. Did you ever look at the hour long talk JCB gave to students, that was posted a while back? It really was like a philosophy of life talk rather than one soley on watches.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@JonnyD Yeah, I know. Just amplifying a bit and my guess at the Q/A format. Cheers.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Welcome to “My First Grail Watch,” a new interview series on aBlogtoWatch that explores the first major timepiece lusted after by important people in the watch industry. aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you and what is your relationship to the watch industry? Jean-Claude Biver (JCB): My passion is watches. And I am the lucky man who [...]… read more » [...]