The Special Prize of the Jury for the Genève Watches Grand Prix

lifestyle & tra…luxury

13 November 2018

The Special Jury Prize of the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG) has been awarded to Jean-Claude Biver, in tribute to his 45-year career

Geneva - Friday, November 9th. The winners of the 18th Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG) were unveiled this Friday, November 9th, during the award ceremony at the Geneva Theater of Geneva.

To close this ceremony, the jury composed of international personalities from the world of watchmaking (collectors, watchmakers, journalists ...) announced the presentation of the special Jury Prize to Mr. Jean-Claude BIVER, for his 45-year career and his outstanding contribution to the Swiss watch industry.

"44 years, and probably the biggest emotion tonight," said Mr. Biver, deeply moved after being applauded by the audience. Jean-Claude Biver declared that he was only the custodian of this prize and that this tribute belonged to his "guard close", people with whom he worked during his career and which allowed him to "climb the peaks of the mountain ".

Born in Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Biver moved to Switzerland with his family at the age of 10. After his studies in Lausanne, he moved to the Vallée de Joux, and began his career in the sector he will never leave: the Swiss watch industry. After many marketing, commercial and product development experiences, which allowed him to acquire a real watchmaking know-how, he developed his passion for watchmaking and watchmaking. With his friend Jacques Piguet, he acquired the Blancpain brand in 1982, which he relaunched and developed in a few years, before transferring it to the SMH group (now known as Swatch Group) in 1992. As a member of the Swatch Management Board Group, he then takes the Marketing and Product Management of OMEGA, again infusing an exceptional dynamic. At the end of 2003, he decided to take a sabbatical year before quickly changing his mind like the man of action he always was, and to take back the reins of a small company founded in 1980: Hublot Geneva. In 2004, as Director, he decided to focus on the brand's original product and developed a new concept: "The Art of Fusion". In 1980, Hublot was indeed the first watchmaker to create a watch that fused different materials, combining gold and rubber. Putting all his know-how and his marketing talent at the service of the brand, in a single year, he launched a revolutionary chronograph: the Big Bang. Hublot derives extraordinary dynamism and exceptional growth, and joined in 2008 the LVMH group. It then applies to implement its strategy "Go where the potential customer is", becoming the first to introduce a luxury brand in the world of football, creating a television channel - Hublot TV - and evolving always at the forefront of new technological advances and basic research on new materials.



Jean-Claude Biver was appointed President of the Watches Division of the LVMH Group in January 2014. He supervises the activities of the three main watch brands of the Group: Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith. In order to strengthen the synergies between the different brands, and true to his vision that in order to make decisions we must understand and invest, he takes the temporary direction of TAG Heuer in 2014.



Under the leadership of Jean-Claude Biver, the TAG Heuer brand will see the birth of new models, refocusing on "accessible luxury", without ever compromising on the mastery of watchmaking expertise: the chronographs Manufacture Carrera Heuer-01 and the COSC-certified Heuer 02-Tourbillon Chronometer, all creations made possible by the orchestration of the work of the Manufacture and the various production sites in Switzerland, including movements, cases and dials. Jean-Claude Biver also makes TAG Heuer the first Swiss watch brand to enter the connected watch market in 2015.

Through his commitment and his vision, Jean-Claude Biver has embodied better than anyone the slogan #dontcrackunderpressure, turning it into a real state of mind.

Jean-Claude Biver has also made a significant contribution to the renaissance of Zenith, by taking part in its transition from being a respected movement manufacturer to a leading brand, akin to a start-up that "writes the future of watchmaking. Swiss ". During Baselworld 2017, he oversees the introduction of Defy El Primero 21, the revolutionary watch that announces the 100th Precision era with a 10 times higher oscillation frequency than high frequency chronographs. In September of the same year, after having confidently left the keys of Zenith in the hands of Julien Tornare, Biver joins the new director to present the most accurate mechanical watch