[INTERVIEW] Jean-Claude Biver : “I offer my customers a piece of eternity”

Former head of LVMH’s watchmaking division, considered by his peers (with good reason) to be a “marketing whiz”, and a leading figure in the Swiss watchmaking industry, Jean-Claude Biver has notably participated in the turnaround of major Houses such as Tag Heuer, Omega and Hublot. In 2019, at just 70 years of age, he is retiring, but not for long. At the Watches and Wonders trade show last March, he announced to the coveted watchmaking world the launch of his own brand, simply named Biver. He spoke to Luxus + about this new family project, to which he has added his 24-year-old son Pierre.


Luxus plus: When did you feel the time had come to launch your own watchmaking company?


Jean-Claude Biver : The desire came to me in an almost visceral way. When I retired, I was young, 70 years old. I realized that my profession, my passion, could not be retired. For me, watchmaking was never just a job. Sometimes, I could work 80 hours a week. It’s like a child playing who doesn’t see time passing. After I retired, I realized that what kept me going, what gave me emotions, had disappeared. For me, work is the exercise of my passion, so I had the idea of launching my own brand. I set off in a new direction, which was twofold: to exercise my passion without limits and, at the same time, pass it on to my son. I had to overcome my doubts to take the plunge, and finally make the announcement official on the radio. The birth, for the first time in history, of the Biver brand. Today, we’re seeing the realization of what we set out to do. To my great delight, Biver is already a success, and the reviews are excellent. I’d even say we’re off to a good start. We have a production run of 15 watches for this year, and 23 have already been sold.


LP : Was it difficult to convince your son to follow you on this adventure?


J-C Biver : It was especially difficult to convince my wife to let him go. She wanted him to finish his studies. I didn’t think it was necessary, because he’d learn more with me than if he finished his studies. And as he was already passionate about watchmaking, it wasn’t very difficult to convince him.


© Sébastien Agnetti


LP : As an enthusiast, are you demanding?

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Featured photo : © Biver

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The editorial team
Thanks to its extensive knowledge of these sectors, the Luxus + editorial team deciphers for its readers the main economic and technological stakes in fashion, watchmaking, jewelry, gastronomy, perfumes and cosmetics, hotels, and prestigious real estate.

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