Timekeepers Club / May 15, 2023

Biver Prototype Sold for CHF 1 Million

Sold for CHF 1 Million Hammer Price! This is the record amount paid by a collector for the 00/00 prototype of the very first creation of the BIVER Watches brand, sold yesterday in Geneva by Phillips.

Givrins, Switzerland, Monday 15 May 2023 - Sold for CHF 1 million (Total paid by the buyer: CHF 1.27 million / Euro 1.3 million / USD 1.3 million). A record amount for the first watch of a new watch brand, which has not yet started production.

What a suspense! The atmosphere in the room was electric yesterday afternoon in Geneva for the sale of the first JC BIVER prototype! A Tourbillon Minute Repeater Carillon, in Titanium, a unique piece with a silvered obsidian stone dial, made for Jean-Claude Biver by his son and his team, and which marks the start of the production of their watches. 

The auction led by Aurel Bacs, under the Phillips tent set up on the lakeside at the Hotel La Réserve, was full of twists and turns. No less than 15 minutes were devoted to lot 128, with bids punctuated by several collectors from the three continents, both online, telephone and in-room bidders, vying for this first prototype which will remain forever in history the cornerstone of the BIVER brand.

It was an American collector who won the sale (he was online), and along with the watch he received a warm congratulatory gift from Jean-Claude Biver and his son Pierre Biver: a bottle of 1949 Château d'Yquem from JC Biver's private collection, the year of his birth, accompanied by two kilos of his mountain cheese.

It was an exceptional moment, full of emotion, which marked the sale of the first JC BIVER watch and in a way the birth of the brand. Production of their first three Tourbillon Minute Repeater Carillon models (in pink gold, titanium, and two-tone skeleton) has just begun, with the first deliveries scheduled for September 2023.

About JC BIVER Watches

Jean-Claude Biver, after 50 years in the watchmaking industry, and his son Pierre Biver, 23 years old, both passionate collectors, embarked two months ago - in March 2023 - on a magnificent adventure: the creation of a hyper-exclusive brand of great prestige. Free from all economic or industrial pressures and constraints, they called on the best specialists in each field to create exceptional pieces. "We decided to decorate all the components of the movement on all their faces," explain the Bivers. "To achieve this, we had to push our partners to find techniques to decorate certain parts of the pieces that, basically, are not made to be decorated. The underside of the bridges, for example, are hand-pearled, which is very rarely done."

You have to take the time to look at all the details that make the Biver minute repeater unique to understand the meticulousness of those who wanted it to be like this. The smallest elements, including those that cannot be seen, have been decorated by hand according to the rules of the art, they have been polished, satin-finished, pearled and flame-blued. It is in the finishing touches that one can recognise the Biver signature, in this quest for an invisible beauty.

The first model is a concentrate of watchmaking culture aimed at an enlightened collector, a watchmaking complication that is close to their hearts: a carillon minute repeater equipped with a tourbillon and a micro-rotor. Each element, from the dial to the hands, the movement and the bracelet, is handmade by the best artists and tells a part of the history of watchmaking, creating a bridge between the past, the present and the future.

"We give birth to the soul of the watch." The Biver minute repeater is both a collector's item and an object of curiosity, because beyond embodying the art of watchmaking, just like art, it carries a soul within it and this soul is transmitted to the object by the artists and craftsmen. It is important to understand that for the Bivers, technique is at the service of the founders' philosophy, and not the other way around. "We wanted the minute repeater to be the foundation stone of the brand," explains Pierre Biver. "But what had to come first was a design with which we could identify. To ensure that the movement serves the aesthetic codes that we had defined. A contemporary watch, in a neo-classical style, which is inspired by tradition but which represents both my father and me."


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