Gourmet Time Wear

Moments in Time: Spiritual Time

Jean-Claude (right) and Pierre Biver wearing their Carillon Tourbillon Biver watches. Photo ©G.Maillot. Courtesy Biver. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

It emerged from an 18th century farmhouse in the wilds of Switzerland not too far from Geneva, farmhouses, the historical places where watches were made in the dark winter months. And the Bivers are back. Jean-Claude Biver, after 50 years in the watchmaking industry and his son Pierre have embarked upon a new adventure, the creation of a highly exclusive and prestigious watch brand. It is dedicated to a watchmaking complication that father and son hold close to their hearts, a minute repeater. But it doesn’t stop there for the minute repeater is accompanied by a tourbillon and a micro rotor. The house of Biver called upon the finest specialists in their respective fields to create the house’s first time piece, the Carillon Tourbillon Biver, presented in the spring of 2023 and coinciding with the Watches and Wonders watch fair in Geneva. 

Left the Carillon Tourbillon Biver timepiece in sodalite with a titanium bracelet. Right: The Carillon Tourbillon Biver timepiece in silver obsidian with a rose gold bracelet. Photo courtesy Biver. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The minute repeaters are not only a rare collector’s item and an object of curiosity but it carries messages that can reach the spiritual. “We want the minute repeater to be the cornerstone of the brand,” explains Pierre Biver, “made to a design we both could identify with, and with a movement that serves the aesthetic we defined. A contemporary watch, inspired by tradition and representative of both my father and me.” 

The making of the sodalite dial of the Carillon Tourbillon Biver. Photo courtesy Biver. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The minute repeater mechanism was invented in the 18th century. To give it a contemporary twist they added a third hammer. And so the minute repeater evolved into a carillon. “We also opted for a tourbillon with a titanium cage, which makes it lighter but also more challenging to decorate, as well as modern bridges; and to power the watch we have a micro-rotor,” added Pierre Biver. 

The beautiful and spiritual sodalite from which the watch’s dial is fashioned. Photo Sébastien Agnetti for JC Biver. Courtesy Biver. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

It is an eye-catching, heavily decorated watch with an intriguing domed dial.  Features of the watch are extremely rare. A case in point being the stone dial in sodalite, an extremely difficult material to work with for a watch dial, and which beautifully resembles lapis lazuli. « The difficulty resides in obtaining this domed appearance without breakage during the polishing phase,”  explained Pierre Biver.  The dials are made up of hard stone from the good earth, silver obsidian and sodalite. “We chose these stones for their spiritual attributes, for the energy they radiate. Sodalite is soothing and has a protective quality. Silver obsidian is about rebirth,” explains Pierre Biver. “It’s also a way to reconnect with the energy of the Earth.” 

The skeleton version of the Carillon Tourbillon Biver in titanium and pink gold. Photo courtesy Biver. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

When asked what he wanted to bring to watchmaking by creating a new brand, Jean-Claude Biver replied, « What I would like to bring to the world of watchmaking is soul. I want our brand to deal not only with watchmaking technology, but also with the art of watchmaking. The art of watchmaking, like any art, has a soul within it and this soul was transmitted to the object by the artist. »

The 18th century farmhouse near Geneva where the timepiece was presented. Photo Sébastien Agnetti for JC Biver. Courtesy Biver. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

It is a precious watch with its domed sodalite or silver obsidian dial, titanium or rose gold case or a combination of the two, applied gold markers in white or rose gold and white gold bridges. ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

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