Luxembourg-born Jean-Claude Biver, chairman of luxury watchmaker Hublot, has been with the company since 2004, overseeing a remarkable rise in the brand’s visibility and sales. Before joining Hublot, Biver worked at such marquee watchmakers as Blancpain, Audemars Piguet and Omega. These are his thoughts on how to collect fine timepieces.

“The first watch I collected was an Omega Speedmaster, just after the Americans Armstrong and Aldrin had landed on the moon. Every time I had the watch on my wrist, I could not see the time, I could see only the moon and this incredible landing. So my first watch was bought to connect with an emotion. Now I say to people, try to get more than just a product. Try to connect with an emotion.”


“People should collect with their eyes and with their heart. The eyes and the heart are never wrong. So if you like the steel watch, buy the steel watch—don’t care about the gold or the platinum. What is important is the emotion, the design and the quality. That’s it.”

“The biggest satisfaction is to buy a watch you don’t need. Because time is given to you everywhere—in your car, on your phone. Anybody who buys a watch to know what time it is probably lives in the 18th century.”

“Most of the instruments sold today have no soul because they are made by mass production. Only the hands of men and women can put soul into a machine. That is why I love watches.”

“The first reason to buy a watch is irrationality. Irrationality—that’s probably the most beautiful thing we can have in life. Because life is driven by technocracy and rationality. When we escape from rationality—that’s when we start to enjoy life.”

“If you are collecting,you must make mistakes. Mistakes are just a consequence of somebody being active. The problem is if you keep making the same mistake. A normal person does not make the same mistake twice.”