In 2001, at the age of 38 you sold your pharmaceutical business with the intention of retiring – only to take on Bovet instead. At the time you vowed it should never produce more than 4,000 timepieces a year. Is that still the case?
Yes, our facilities can now easily, without affecting quality, handcraft 5,000 to 6,000 timepieces a year. But the most important thing in life is not to shine the brightest, it is to last the longest. True luxury is related to a clear identity, and for us that is small quantities and handcraftsmanship. When you’re lucky enough to see your engineers, your watchmakers, your enamelers and engravers all together in the same family, it humanises the business. You exchange, you fine-tune, you object – you arrive to a compromise that’s acceptable to everyone. If you buy your components through a channel of twenty suppliers, you dilute the essence of the house, the ability to fine-tune, the ability to develop.