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A preview of “Watches and Talents” in Geneva

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May 2024


A preview of “Watches and Talents” in Geneva

From June to September 2024, make your way to the Pont de la Machine in Geneva to discover “Watches and Talents,” a multimedia exhibition that unveils watchmaking through the prism of artisanal and industrial know-how, narrated by those who perpetuate them.

T

he Fondation Haute Horlogerie (FHH) is preparing to host its next cultural event with the exhibition “Watches and Talents.” Designed by Watches and Culture by FHH, this exhibition will highlight the work of eight talented professionals working behind the watchmaking scenes, through video portraits filmed by director Thibault Vallotton, presented alongside everyday objects of their quotidian, each telling their unique story.

This project’s genesis dates to 2020, when the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship organized an exhibition in collaboration with the FHH, titled “Singular Talents”, inspired by the first edition of its event, Homo Faber. This series of 3-to-4-minute short films highlighted the work of fifteen artisans, including four from the watchmaking industry: marquetry artisan Bastien Chevalier, master watchmaker Philippe Dufour, enameller Anita Porchet, and miniature painter Isabelle Villa.

The “Watches and Talents” exhibition will be held from June 6, 2024, to September 2, 2024, in the the Fondation Haute Horlogerie's Arcade, located on Pont de la Machine, in Geneva.
The “Watches and Talents” exhibition will be held from June 6, 2024, to September 2, 2024, in the the Fondation Haute Horlogerie’s Arcade, located on Pont de la Machine, in Geneva.

While it had existed at the intersection of both these foundations’ missions, this exhibition has now found its second act in a project exclusively focused on watchmaking professions. With “Watches and Talents,” the FHH has taken these four portraits of watchmaking artisans and added four new profiles from diverse professions — still under the lens of director Thibault Vallotton. This time, they come from the industrial sector and showcase lesser known but equally essential skills. The Geneva public will thus discover for the first time: Andreas Albert, a watchmaker specializing in balance springs, Thierry Faivre, a stamp maker, Ismaël Jäggi, a press adjuster, and Justine Jouanneau, a case finisher.

A preview of “Watches and Talents” in Geneva

In these eight videos, accompanied by their corresponding directional sound shower, each artisan reveals their craft and tells us their story. Watches and Culture by FHH has chosen to physically anchor these films with panels displaying their tools and everyday professional and personal objects. In the center of the room, a table will allow visitors to pinpoint the artisans’ origins and highlight one of their creations.

Aurélie Streit, Vice-President of the Fondation Haute Horlogerie
Aurélie Streit, Vice-President of the Fondation Haute Horlogerie

Aurélie Streit, Vice-President of the Fondation Haute Horlogerie, declared: “At the FHH, we continually offer new exhibitions and cultural activities designed to appeal to everyone, highlighting the watch as an object of art and culture. But with the ’Watches and Talents’ exhibition, we reveal the lives behind the scenes, reminding us that the beating heart of watchmaking remains human. Through this work, we hope to present watchmaking and its professions from a different perspective and inspire new vocations.”

Delphine Bachmann, State Councillor in charge of the economy and employment, adds: “This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to discover the richness and diversity of watchmaking professions. By highlighting these unique skills, we inspire young generations to consider careers that combine creativity and technology, while strengthening the link between local talents and the workforce needs of our industry.”

The “Watches and Talents” exhibition will be held from June 6, 2024, to September 2, 2024, in the the Fondation Haute Horlogerie’s Arcade, located on Pont de la Machine, in Geneva.

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