February 8, 2013
by Ariel Adams
Jean-Claude Biver is a living legend in the watch industry. If you are someone in the industry you either admire him, are jealous of him, or perhaps dislike him. Nevertheless you know him and know he is important. One thing most people can say about Biver is that he speaks loudly, passionately, and often exaggerates a bit (though I don’t think he believes that). At least when he is talking about one of his brands – which has been Hublot for the last decade or so.
So here is a rare opportunity to hear Jean-Claude Biver speak with an uncommon personal tone and honesty. He talks about his youth, his hippie years (yes!), starting in the watch industry under some crazy people and doing things he didn’t want to do, and how he used his own passion and ideas to create a lot of new things. In a sense, the over-an-hour-long talk is a dissertation on his life in the watch industry, how he thinks, and what you can learn from him. It is easy to listen to and really interesting.
While the presentation is long, I recommend you listen to it in the background of whatever else you are doing. This is a gem for not only understanding Biver, but for understanding the mentality of the Swiss watch industry and why he is considered so important. It is also a good lesson for any business person. People in Europe study this guy by the way. Currently Jean-Claude Biver is the Chairman of Hublot, and while he has adopted a Swiss passport, he is originally from Luxembourg. I’ve had the great joy of spending a lot of time with him, and look forward to each time I see Jean-Claude.