October 22, 2017
by Ariel Adams
Editor’s Note: After aBlogtoWatch conducted this exclusive interview with Mr. Jean-Claude Biver, it was brought to our attention that some sensitive information had inadvertently been shared concerning recently announced industry partnerships. As a result, we chose to respectfully pull the interview temporarily. Now that the time is right and embargoes have been lifted, it’s our pleasure to share this truly immersive, entertaining, and educational interview with an industry icon, Mr. Jean-Claude Biver.
Mr. Jean-Claude Biver recently invited aBlogtoWatch into his home for a candid interview about where the high-end Swiss watch industry is going, and where it has come from. Brimming with stories and explanations about the companies and people who make some of the world’s most iconic or interesting watches and leader of the LVMH Watch Division that puts TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Zenith under his supervision, Jean-Claude Biver delights us with his personality, humor, wit, and rich collection of stories that make being a watch enthusiast all the more tangible for us.
Jean-Claude’s opinions and insight are important because he is considered today’s most effective and talented watch brand manager when it comes to innovative marketing practices, synergistic “bridge-building” relationships, and helping to bring interesting products to market. A life-long veteran of the Swiss watch industry, Jean-Claude Biver is also a seasoned watch collector himself. Being personally interested in timepieces has arguably allowed this “product-focused” luxury watch brand executive to bring the most compelling products to market, while also satisfying his own expectations for product quality and design.
Jean-Claude Biver currently directly manages or oversees TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Zenith, which are LVMH portfolio brands. He has a broad level of oversight and power to set actions in motion. Jean-Claude has earned a unique status in the watch industry because he is known for having an accelerated ability to “get stuff done,” which is usually a serious challenge as watchmakers are typically known for their conservative stance toward taking new actions and making “risky” decisions. One can easily attribute a lot of Jean-Claude Biver’s success to simply being able to get more things done than many of his colleagues.
At this point in his career, Jean-Claude Biver works out of choice much more so than out of necessity. To him, the ability to bring fun watches into existence seems to make it all worth it. Once keenly interested in all areas of the industry, more recently Jean-Claude Biver has had the fortune which allows him to narrow his focus on his brands and colleagues. With that said, we always relish in hearing stories about the people and occurrences that helped make the watch industry – both the beautiful and fractured parts – what it is today.