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20th Anniversary
Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie - Fabienne Lupo

Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Fabienne Lupo

Former President & CEO**

Historically, neither watchmaking in general nor fine watchmaking in particular have had their own ‘Ministry’. It’s been quite a journey, but this can no longer be said to be the case. It’s all down to Fabienne Lupo and ‘her’ Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), which has established itself over the years as an essential institution within the profession: the only such body to defend and promote the values and knowhow of fine watchmaking irrespective of the firm, group, or origin concerned. After graduating from university, Lupo started out as market research manager for Secodip before becoming Commissioner of the Marseille International Fair – and then settling in the Geneva region in 1999. There, she joined the Comité International de la Haute Horlogerie as Secretary-General, in charge of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Within less than a decade, this was already turning into a major event.

Fabienne Lupo

Fabienne Lupo © FHH

Over the course of the next 20 years, the SIHH was to gain further recognition, standing out as a key trendsetting event and a highlight of the watchmaking calendar. At its helm, Lupo, the woman behind this growing influence, has constantly striven to open up the event to more brands and a wider audience. With the establishment of the FHH as the organising entity for the SIHH in 2005, Lupo also gained a further source of leverage for other projects – many devised by Franco Cologni, a key figure in the Richemont group and her friend and mentor. Cologni appointed her as Managing Director of the Foundation, and then Chair, entrusting her with the mission of flying the flag of fine watchmaking. Thereafter, the FHH has slowly but surely expanded in its three priority areas: training, information and event organisation, gradually drawing together some 50 brands for its projects as it works for the common good. And it was all under the leadership of fine watchmaking’s unofficial ‘Minister’, Fabienne Lupo, who after 15 years at the FHH, announced in 2020 she would step down from her role to work on new projects.

*Written by Christophe Roulet

*On the occasion of GMT Magazine and WorldTempus' 20th anniversary, we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book is available on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with a 10% discount if you use the following code: WT2021.

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