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Lionel Meylan - Yannick and Julien Meylan: Two brothers with watchmaking in their blood

Lionel Meylan Yannick and Julien Meylan: Two brothers with watchmaking in their blood

Let’s start with the father of the Meylan family: Lionel. A professional watchmaker, a recognised restorer of ancient clocks and a decorated aeroplane pilot, he opened his first shop in Vevey on 1 August 1990. Like father, like sons: Yannick and Julien are both obsessed with watchmaking and aviation. They were brought up with a soundtrack of ticking watches and chiming clocks, in their father’s watch and jewellery shop, and on the tarmac of the local aerodromes where they spent hours in his company. Their background and upbringing ensure they were uniquely to take over the reins of the family business they now run, with their inherited love of fine watchmaking and creative jewellery.

Yannick and Julien Meylan: two brothers with watchmaking in their blood

Lionel Meylan, Founder © Lionel Meylan

Passion and heritage

Yannick and Julien officially joined their father’s company in 2004. It was a logical step for the two brothers who, while they were at school, spent countless hours of their free time discovering the inner workings of the watchmaking business by working in the family firm.

Yannick, born in 1979, trained at the Ecole des Métiers in Lausanne from 1994 to 1998 before spending a year in London to perfect his English. After graduating from Ecole Lémania in 2002 with a diploma in business management, he spent the next year working towards a hotel and restaurant management qualification with Gastro Vaud. “Throughout those years, I spent my holidays and days off restoring old clock movements and working for the family business,” he recalls. What could be more natural, then, than placing his passion for watchmaking at the service of Lionel Meylan SA. He joined the firm in 2004, wearing many hats: sales, accounting, after-sales service, customer service. A qualified helicopter pilot and hands-on father of two sons aged 16 and 13, he is also very attached to the idea of passing things down through the family. It’s possible that his two sons will join the business one day, as he did, after completing his studies. “They love the field we’re in,” he confirms. “But they’ll start off by getting their bearings, exploring other horizons, before perhaps returning home with the benefit of many human and professional experiences.”

Yannick and Julien Meylan: two brothers with watchmaking in their blood

Yannick Meylan © Lionel Meylan

Watchmaking in the blood

Julien, born in 1983, also joined the family business in 2004, with some solid training behind him. At the age of just 12, Lionel initiated him into the secrets of clockmaking, and he spent his Saturdays and school holidays servicing old clocks under the benevolent eye of his father. With his watchmaking diploma in hand – earned in 2003 in the land of his ancestors, the Joux Valley watchmaking school – Julien followed up with a diploma in business management at Ecole Lémania in Lausanne, before joining the family firm full-time, alongside his father and older brother. This father of two young girls (born in 2014 and 2018) splits his time between the four stores in Lausanne and Vevey, his family and his love for aviation. Like Lionel and Yannick, Julien is an experienced pilot and an excellent parachutist.

A few years ago, Yannick and Julien Meylan took over the reins of the family business as co-CEOs. Following in their father’s footsteps, they have pooled their strengths and abilities to expand the company’s horizons. Under their impetus, Lionel Meylan SA, which already had two stores in Vevey, took over Breitling’s Lausanne premises and, in 2021, Lausanne’s oldest watch and jewellery store, renamed Guillard by Meylan, which will undergo a full refurbishment in the coming months.

Yannick and Julien Meylan: two brothers with watchmaking in their blood

Julien Meylan © Lionel Meylan