What can I say about Jean-Claude Biver? After all, people have already described him as the Swiss watch industry’s greatest living legend. A man who made his mark as a visionary, not just once, but across three different decades, and with three different brands.

To me he is Svengali, a prophet a rare individual who is able to feel the current of the zeitgeist before it is fully manifest and then become its greatest empowering force. He is a marketing genius, unlike any other.

Industry titan, Jean-Claude Biver awarded the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, a decoration presented by the French Ambassador to Switzerland Frédéric Journès during an official ceremony at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Industry titan, Jean-Claude Biver awarded the insignia of Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur, a decoration presented by the French Ambassador to Switzerland Frédéric Journès during an official ceremony at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13

I still remember when organizing a dinner for him in Singapore together with our great friend Michael Tay we said, “OK Mr Biver we will invite people that love Hublot.”

He pounded his fist into the table and said, “No! Only invite people who hate Hublot and who hate me. Because I want to convince them.”

Jean-Claude Biver with the French Ambassador to Switzerland Frédéric Journès at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Jean-Claude Biver with the French Ambassador to Switzerland Frédéric Journès at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Jean-Claude Biver with wife, Sandra at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Jean-Claude Biver with wife, Sandra at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Jean-Claude Biver with Frédéric and Jean Arnault at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Jean-Claude Biver with Frédéric and Jean Arnault at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Jean-Claude Biver with friends and family at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13
Jean-Claude Biver with friends and family at the French Embassy in Bern. Bern, Switzerland, January 15, 2020 © Fred Merz | Lundi13

And so we did and the amazing thing was that he absolutely convinced them. But I believe that Mr Biver’s greatest quality is not so much is unassailable status as a visionary and a legend but as a great human being. As such, I would like to join the thousands of his fans in congratulating him on receiving France’s highest civilian honour and being made “Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur.”

We love you Mr. Biver.

Watch all of our video interviews with Jean-Claude Biver