On a stroll through Berlin with Pierre Biver

By Montredo in Lifestyle
July 24, 2019
On a stroll through Berlin with Pierre Biver

A young watch enthusiast’s story

Some passions are known to remain in the family. In the Biver family, this passion – although obsession might be the better word – definitely goes by the name of “watches”. There’s probably no need to further elaborate on Jean-Claude Biver’s legacy, and if there is, make sure to check out our Baselworld interview.

Although the luminary stepped back from his duties at LVMH’s watch division in 2018, his family’s watch story is far from coming to an end. Someone is already impatiently waiting to leave his very own mark in the watch industry. 

Although recognizable at first glance, it’s not your everyday Daytona.

Pierre Biver has already caught the watch virus at the young age of 19. Nonetheless, he has an impressive watch knowledge, which he owes not least to his work at Phillips. It was none other than this traditional English auction house that, together with Aurel Bacs, auctioned Paul Newman’s Daytona for a whopping $17.8 million in October 2017.

We meet Pierre in Berlin for an interview, where he grants some personal insights into his life. With him: Three watches of exceptional personal value.

It’s the uber rare ref. 16520 with “225 bezel”, which was only in production for about 6 months.

Hi Pierre, cool you dropped by in Berlin. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, thank you for having me. Sure, I am 19 years old, born and raised in Switzerland, living in London where I currently work for Phillips’ watch department. I’ve been around watches all my life but I only recently discovered a passion for them, I like to believe genetics played a role in this! My father is very passionate about horology as well and he has worked in the industry for many years now. 

My interest in watches started in High School. Once finished, I decided to take a gap year and luckily, I managed to intern for the watch department at Phillips in London, which to this day has been the most interesting and eye-opening experience. I do have a preference for vintage timepieces but still find some modern watches fantastic. I think that’s about it? Oh, I also LOVE playing Backgammon. 

His next watch comes from the same brand, but has a totally different vibe to it.

Watches have probably always been an omni-present element in your life. Do you remember your first encounter with them?

They have indeed. I can’t tell you if it is the first encounter but the earliest I can recall must have been when I was 6 or 7 years old. Back then I had terrible sleep, I used to wake up very early, it was quite convenient during the week because I got to have more cartoon time before school but on weekends only my father was awake around 6am. 

I used to wait in his office for my mother to wake up whilst he was working. His office was always quiet messy and I would always play with his stuff, in particular with an old Blancpain Box in which he kept his Rolexes, mostly GMT’s and Submariner, and I couldn’t stop trying to figure out what these rotating bezels were for and why some were bi-colour and others were graduated. 

The Rolex Datejust 16234 with a diamond-studded Sodalite dial.

Are there any watch brands you appreciate in particular? If yes, why?

I am an unconditional Rolex lover, I am slowly but surely getting into Patek Philippe and the Royal Oak is probably one my all-time favourites. But that is not very different from most people. 

A brand that I am getting really excited about lately is F.P. Journe. I think François-Paul has created very innovative and unique aesthetics, as well as being one of the most important 21st century watchmaker. In addition to that he proposes an interesting catalogue, in terms of complications and style as well as in terms of prices. All in all, I really think F.P. Journe has something very unique to offer and once you buy in, it is hard to ever let go.

Good things come in threes: Zenith El Primero Chronomaster.

As a millennial yourself, what should watch brands do to reach out to younger generations more effectively?

I think brands could benefit from reaching out in a more educative way to millennials, nothing beats a quirky explanation on why a watch is and has become the watch it is. For me, understanding the product makes a real difference in the same way that not understanding it at all can be a selling point. In my opinion, which again is somewhat biased, I think brands should try to sell the quality products before using all means necessary to get clients to just buy in the brand. There should be no compromise on quality.

Your best friend is about to purchase a new watch. What’s your number one piece of advice you’d give him?

Quality. Buy the watch not the price and be sure to actually enjoy it.

The watch is a collaboration between Hiroshi Fujiwara and the Bamford Watch Department.

Thanks Pierre.

For even more watches, make sure to check out Pierre’s Instagram profile.

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