WORLDTEMPUS - 5 December 2012
Marie de Pimodan-Bugnon
Enough of classicism: make way for unbridled creativity! In a surprising fourth edition, the GTE will be kicking off the 2013 season of new releases with the very first participation of HAUTLENCE and Celsius X VI II. “We had not yet taken part in the GTE for reasons relating to the timing and the location”, explains Guillaume Tetu, CEO and co-founder of the brand with a name that is an anagram of the canton of NEUCHATEL, Switzerland. “This year, with the event taking place in the Bâtiment des Forces Motrices and featuring a homogeneous aisle dedicated to creative high-end brands, we have decided we wanted to be there.”
The central location of the venue, along with the concentration of Fine Watchmaking brands with similar worlds and parallel values, are the kind of arguments that also convinced Edouard Meylan to present his company's latest models in the field of mechanical cellphones. “This year, there are less brands, but finer ones”, says the CEO of Celsius X VI II. “We have decided to join forces in creating a niche Haute Horlogerie section within the GTE and thereby attract a maximum of clients, distributors and media to an appealing setting.” A special themed evening, organised in partnership with several other niche Haute Horlogerie brands, notably including Laurent-Ferrier, Speake-Marin and Badollet, will be held on Tuesday January 22nd. As Edouard Meylan points out: “As a group of several like-minded firms, we are stronger and better able to generate traffic and visibility.”
For these two particular companies, joining forces goes well beyond taking part in the Geneva trade fair for independent brands. For the past few months, they have also been united in sharing a particular shareholder, the MELB group – a family holding company headed by Georges-Henri Meylan, one of the most respected stakeholders in the watch industry. “MELB Holding is determined to help several independent brands and to structure them upstream through creating synergies in terms of development and industrialisation, as well as downstream in the field of distribution”, explains Guillaume Tetu. This recent fraternity is an effective source of emulation for these brands facing identical constraints and challenges.
Design and innovation are also set to be on show at this fourth edition of the GTE. For HAUTLENCE, which is continuing to reposition certain lines in a process that began in 2012 with the presentation of the HLRS, 2013 will see “the launch of several products that will enable enthusiasts to join the private club of HAUTLENCE owners at a reasonable budget.” Meanwhile, Celsius will be offering a concept that is more accessible, yet as original and innovative as ever. The new OptiC collection and its first model, the OptiC GMT Furtif, features a mysterious fibre optic double display and the brand's famous “Remontage Papillon” serving to recover and store energy with each opening of the phone. In short, a wealth of ingenious and imaginative Fine Watchmaking to be explored and appreciated in the aisles of the GTE.