Jean-Claude Biver (Speaker)
CEO, Hublot SA
Jean-Claude Biver is one of those rare men who have genuinely left their mark on Swiss watchmaking. He started his career at Audemars Piguet, where he acquired a deep knowledge of the watchmaking art and developed his passion for watches.
In 1980 he left Audemars Piguet and joined Omega, where he learnt the rules and constraints of working for a big multinational brand. However, becoming more and more nostalgic for the watchmaking culture of the Joux Valley, in 1982 he bought – together with his friend Jacques Piguet – the Blancpain brand, which had been dormant since 1956. Within a few years, the brand was competing with the leading names in watchmaking. In 1992, he sold Blancpain to the SSIH group (later to become the Swatch group) and joined Nicolas G. Hayek’s management team.
At the Swatch Group, he was given the mission to develop the marketing of the Omega brand, returning to the company after a gap of ten years. The revival of Omega was stunning, partly also due to the development of new products and the introduction of personalities such as Cindy Crawford, Michael Schumacher and Pierce Brosnan.
After a sabbatical year off in 2003, Jean-Claude Biver had the opportunity to get involved with a small but specialized company – Hublot, becoming its CEO in 2004. He re-launched the Hublot brand’s core: The Art of Fusion, the marriage of unconventional materials like rubber and gold. Within a year Hublot introduced a revolutionary watch – the Big Bang, which fuelled Hublot’s spectacular rise in turnover.