Piaget Joël Dicker breaks the rules
A friendly chat with the literary phenomenon of French-speaking Switzerland and one of Piaget’s “game changers”.
A few days ago, Piaget hosted an informal gathering where the Geneva watch press had the opportunity to meet Swiss writer Joël Dicker. The event was part of the launch of the new steel Polo S collection, which comes equipped with a specially developed manufacture movement. In order to promote the collection and highlight its young and unconventional spirit, Piaget has chosen nine male celebrities from all over the world whom it considers to be “game changers”.
Joël Dicker is the Swiss game changer in the team. He makes for a bold and original choice, given that not many watchmakers choose writers as their brand ambassadors, a sector largely dominated by athletes, actors and... that’s about it. But it’s a wise choice in terms of highlighting the youthful vibe Piaget is hoping to harness with its newest watch collection. Thirty-one-year-old Joël Dicker is the darling of French highschoolers, who awarded La Vérité sur l’Affaire Harry Quebert ( The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair in the English translation) the Prix Goncourt in 2012. In the same year, he also won over the éminences grises of the French Academy, who bestowed upon him its most prestigious fiction prize, the Grand Prix du Roman. Not only has his second novel met with widespread critical acclaim, it has also garnered a strong following in the more than 60 countries in which it has been published.
Clearly, this tall and amiable young man has made quite a name for himself. Nevertheless, the idea of making him a brand ambassador might not have come entirely out of the blue. “Four years ago I was hesitating about publishing The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair,” Joël Dicker explains. “A mutual friend advised me to go and talk to Philippe Léopold-Metzger, Piaget’s CEO. He immediately said: ‘Just do it.’ Philippe Léopold-Metzger was one of the people who pushed me and encouraged me to have my manuscript published. Then, last November, Piaget contacted me again with a proposal to become one of their ‘game changers’ for the new Polo S collection.”
Dressed casually in jeans and a sweatshirt, Joël Dicker submits good-naturedly to the ordeal of book-signing, chatting with the invited journalists and joking about Ryan Reynolds, one of his fellow game changers, who is particularly popular with the ladies. “He’s not actually that good-looking,” he teases. Joël Dicker wears a Piaget Polo S chronograph with blue dial and steel bracelet, fitted with the automatic calibre 1160P. “I agreed to Piaget’s proposal for two reasons,” he says. “First, because I like the Polo S. It’s an aesthetic object that you can wear anywhere, for any occasion. And second, because the project appealed to me. Being part of a new initiative with a group of other people makes a change from the solitary life of a writer; it offers a wealth of opportunities for meeting new people.”
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