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January 17, 2024

JC Biver Partners with Bucherer on One-of-a-kind Tourbillon Watch

A pursuit of 'invisible beauty', the sapphire-embellished timepiece shines both inside and out.

By Ellys Woodhouse

Legacy watch-maker Jean-Claude Biver is adding another chapter in his long history in the industry, as his eponymous brand has announced a new collaboration with watch retailer Bucherer.

The JC Biver x Bucherer Carillon Tourbillon, a one-off minute repeater that has been set with blue sapphires, hopes to follow the success of the brand’s first timepiece, which broke auction records when it was sold for $1.1m at auction, the highest for a debut watch.

The name ‘Biver’ has rung throughout the industry long before the brand was born. Jean-Claude Biver previously served as CEO of Tag Heuer, before moving to LVMH to act as president of its watchmaking division for four years. When he announced his retirement in 2018, he closed out with over 43 years in the industry.

[See also: Louis Vuitton Reveals Shortlist for Inaugural Watch Prize]

Bearing its ‘soul’, the exposed back reveals the platinum micro-rotor and its rose gold decorative plate / ©Biver

Clearly not one to sit back and enjoy the usual retirement activities – well, except for his hobby of making exclusive cheese from his home in the Swiss Alps – Biver returned to the industry in 2023, joining forces with his son Pierre to launch their namesake business. 

Hoping to follow the record-breaking success of the brand’s debut, Pierre explained that the minute repeater was always intended as the cornerstone of the brand. “Our aim was for the movement to complement and enhance the aesthetic principles we had envisioned,” he said.

“We sought to create a contemporary timepiece, one that draws inspiration from tradition yet simultaneously embodies both my father’s and my own perspectives.”

The watch is a testament to the artisans who helped in its creation / ©Biver

Claiming to be free from commercial pressures and economic constraints, Biver has focused on the pursuit of what it describes as ‘invisible beauty’; crafting a timepiece that is as perfect on the inside as it is on the outside.

And while the outside certainly shines – it’s hard not to with its 294 meticulously set gradient blue sapphires (totaling 26.27 carats) that have been encased in white gold – like a true gemstone, it is the inside that truly radiates.

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The watch is said to be a testament to the artisans who poured their expertise into its creation, their way of “giving birth to the soul of the watch”, as poetically put by Jean-Claude. That soul, comprised of three gongs and hammers, lies bear and exposed, revealing the platinum micro-rotor and decorative plate that has been crafted in rose gold.

The automatic movement is meticulously circular-grained on both sides and the bridges, visible at the back, are made of white gold with a grained finish. The front and back are each encapsulated by sapphire crystal, ensuring both durability and clarity. 

Building on half a century of Jean-Claude’s watch-making legacy, it seems this is only the start of the Biver brand.

[See also: Elite Traveler’s Top Watches]

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