FHH - “HOMMAGE AU TALENT” & “HOMMAGE À LA PASSION” AWARDS 2018
Composed of around 50 independent professionals and serving under the aegis of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s Cultural Council, the Jury annually honors exceptional personalities, professionals who have made their mark on watchmaking through their creativity, their enterprising spirit and their mastery of this hugely diverse artistic and technical world.
At the award ceremony of this 6th edition, held during an evening event organized on April 18th in Geneva’s Cité du Temps, the “Hommage au Talent” prize singled out the Maison Greubel Forsey renowned for its virtuoso skills in the field of technical horology; while the “Hommage à la Passion” distinction was awarded to Franco Cologni, who decided to dedicate it posthumously to Nicolas G. Hayek.
For the “Hommage à la Passion” award, the FHH Cultural Council decided this year to honor its Chairman, Franco Cologni, a man of strong convictions whose name is inextricably bound up with the extraordinary destiny of Cartier over the past 30 years, as well as with the Richemont’s group deployment in the realm of Fine Watchmaking.
To avoiding potential conflict of interest, Franco Cologni chose to pass on his award to Nicolas G. Hayek, in a posthumous tribute to the Swatch Group founder. Back in the day, this natural-born entrepreneur was tasked by banks with finding a solution to the quartz crisis that had hit the Swiss watch industry very hard. The undertaking might well have seemed insurmountable at the time, yet Nicolas G. Hayek shouldered it as a personal challenge. In doing so, he succeeded in safeguarding a set of industrial facilities that has now firmly established Switzerland’s hegemony in the realm of high-quality watchmaking – as well as laying the foundations of what was to become one of the world’s largest corporations.
Franco Cologni said : “I wanted to pass on this distinction to Nicolas G. Hayek, who also displayed an ardent passion for watchmaking. This posthumously awarded prize should be regarded as a tribute to this great man without whom the Swiss watch industry would not be what it now is.”
This year, the “Hommage au Talent” prize rewards two exceptionally talented watchmakers, Robert Greubel et Stephen Forsey, who have made an indelible imprint on the industry since the turn of the 21st century by purely and simply redefining independent watchmaking.
All Greubel Forsey timepieces are developed, created and tested with a view to improving their chronometric (precision timekeeping) performances, while demonstrating exceptional mastery of superlative hand craftsmanship. With each new creation, the Maison has commanded respect through the technical nature of its timepieces, the resolutely contemporary architecture of its movements, as well as the almost obsessive care devoted to the finishing of each component. The result is an unmistakable Greubel Forsey style that has become an inescapable fixture in the contemporary watchmaking world.
Stephen Forsey and Robert Greubel commented : “This award highlights our entrepreneurial spirit that enables us to give concrete shape to our ideas with a sense of complete freedom – the fundamental prerequisite for creating authentic and uncompromising timepieces. We are delighted and thankful for this distinction bestowed on us by the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie, as we are proudly embedded in the Fine Watchmaking culture and do everything in our power to safeguard this heritage by focusing our energy on innovation and research.”