You are based in England, yet you run the watch operations for Fabergé?
AP: I am at least one week a month in Geneva. Pallinghurst and Gemfields, the mother companies, are based in London. Pallinghurst is a venture capital company that bought into Fabergé in 2007, and they have decided to relaunch the brand and clear all the licenses. One of the last licenses was for watches, with Victor Meyer. Now, we do everything, all the development, all ourselves.
You both tell the same story about finally meeting. You weren’t so interested in the beginning, right?
JMW: I have seen so many people coming and having big ideas and famous names to restart that I have become a bit jaded. Aurelie wanted me to come to the Beau Rivage Hotel in Geneva to see a documentary, and since I didn’t know her, I said no. She insisted and finally Nadia, my assistant, set an appointment. In two hours, she turned me around. She told me her background, working with Omega and Audemars Piguet, and it was clear that she knew what she wanted to do, and it was very consistent and well planned out. Gemfields is behind her, so many things are lined up, so I decided to work with her.
Why were you so determined to work with Jean-Marc?
AP: I had never met Jean-Marc before, but I had heard of him. When we thought about Fabergé watches and complications for women, it was natural that we had to ask Jean-Marc. It was hard to get the meeting with him. He didn’t want to work with us. At our first meeting, it was like a job interview. He asked us what we were doing and we explained that we wanted to have the rebirth of Fabergé through watches. After we talked for quite a while, we saw the light in his eyes.
We talked about our ideas of the Peacock watch, and he thought a project he was working on could fit. We came together with the idea of the Peacock. Since that day, it has been magical in developments, and oh, the fun that we have had. Having Jean-Marc working with us is also a big sign of legitimacy.