Up and at it early on our 3rd day in Geneva, as we had a packed agenda. First, we would meet with Ateliers-deMonaco, followed by De Bethune, then the holy grail of watches, Greubel Forsey.
Among several industry giants, we found the manufacture and office of up-and-coming Ateliers-deMonaco to meet with Co-founder, Pim Koeslag. Soft-spoken, but very engaging, Pim walked us through his meteoric rise to Master Watchmaker, while unveiling his amazing collection. It was easy to fall in love with the stunning Grand Tourbillion with its unique sapphire bridge. And the PDG Collection was awarded the prestigious Poinçon de Genève, which is the most demanding signature for quality in fine watchmaking, and only a handful of watches carry it in Haute Horolgerie.
Then it was on to perhaps my favorite brand, De Bethune, to meet with CEO Pierre Jacques. A true gentleman and super-cool guy (he rode his motorbike to our meeting), Pierre was very receptive to the DILUSSO concept and readily asked how we could work together. Then, our reward was a "wrists-on" review of their collection. Wow!! As you'll see, we didn't want to take them off! ;-)
On the road again...our next stop was the illustrious brand, Greubel Forsey. When we arrived at the 17th century farmhouse in La Chaux-de-Fonds that houses their offices, we didn't know what to expect. We had been told that, if at all possible, we should "save" this tour to the latter part of our week--to not overshadow any of the others. A perfect example of their duality: commitment both to their heritage and to ground-breaking innovation, they have retained the spirit and history of this watchmaking region with the warm atmosphere of their farmhouse HQ--then directly linked, is their state-of-the-art Atelier, where they produce these masterpieces. Steven Forsey graciously and eloquently walked us through their collection (one by one), which has an entry point at around $300k USD by the way. These truly are grail timepieces which live up to their Art of Invention motto.