Jean-Claude Biver and Giulio Papi awarded inaugural prizes by Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie

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November 2012

Hommage à la Passion and Hommage au Talent are the two awards which the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) is inaugurating, in partnership with Bank Julius Baer. These distinctions are in recognition of the achievements of two outstanding individuals, Jean-Claude Biver and Giulio Papi, who have brought endless passion and expertise to the world of fine watchmaking, a world which the FHH supports and promotes.

This commitment is fully shared by Bank Julius Baer. Olivier Baudry, Member of the Swiss Executive Committee explains: “We share important values with watchmaking. In wealth management as in horology, lasting success can only be achieved through our clients’ satisfaction. All our efforts are directed towards excellence, a motivation we share with watchmakers. Our paths were destined to meet.”

The winner of the first Hommage à la Passion award, Jean-Claude Biver has left his stamp on watchmaking with his marketing genius and infectious enthusiasm. The man who masterminded Blancpain’s revival also led Omega’s development, following which he turned his attention to Hublot and positioned the brand at the centre of the horological stage.

Giulio Papi, winner of the Hommage au Talent award, has distinguished himself as a watchmaker who regularly reaches for the stars. Co-founder of Renaud & Papi - so that he might give himself freely to his passion for horological complications - he has since been asked to design and make exceptional watches for such names as Richard Mille, A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, Franck Muller and Audemars Piguet, whose ranks he has joined. Creating watches is second nature to Giulio Papi, who has given this art its own, inimitable means of expression.

These two distinctions, which succeed those founded by the journalist Eugenio Zigliotto, were presented at the 4th Forum de la Haute Horlogerie, which took place on November 14th in Lausanne. A summit for high-level debate and reflection, organised by the FHH, the Forum was the opportunity to celebrate these professionals whose passion and talent keep the dream alive.