Jean Claude-Biver is fascinated with tradition. Since being made CEO of TAG Heuer back in 2015, Biver has made heritage and history the two pillars that, he believes, will carry the watchmaker known for its avant garde designs into the future.
"No tradition – no future is what I use to say to my teams, and this is what inspires us everyday," explains Biver.
"This is what I've been implementing since a few years. TAG Heuer has a rich and solid history starting from 1860 and heritage is the soul of the brand. Therefore we now have a dedicated department whose goal it is to preserve, restore and value our past in due respect to our entire history."
It's this dedication to provenance that has inspired the brand's incredible Heuer Globetrotter exhibition.
Ten cities, 400 watches
Taking place across 10 different cities around the world, including Sydney's TAG Heuer boutique on Pitt Street, the Heuer Globetrotter exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for watch lovers to get a close look at some of the brand's most iconic, and rarest, timepieces stretching back across its 150 years.
The 400 watches selected for the global exhibition were taken from the company's archives and the private collections of Heuer-lovers around the world. According to Biver, the reaction from the various collectors was one of unanimous support, tinged with the opportunity to show off their slice of history.
"We wanted to set up an exhibition of our vintage watches, but not in a usual way," says Biver.
"So we decided not to go for a travelling one or for a statutory exhibition. The idea to handle this in our boutiques soon appeared to be the perfect place to gather the watch lovers and all the devotees of our Company -collectors, customers, fans. And to have more impact, we choose to push the concept at the same time in 10 boutiques, in 10 different countries."
Each city selected to house one of the exhibitions was given a specific theme of watches that would show – be it classic Heuers, sailing, or cars.
A sporting nation
Sydney, known for it's love of the outdoors, was chosen as the site for sports watches - an incredible collection of pieces that crossover many of the other exhibit's themes as well. And while every watch on display is worthy of more than a passing glance, there are some true gems in the crown you should keep an eye out for.
"The star piece in Sydney is the Ring Master launched in 1957," hints Biver.
"So clever and out of the box: one stopwatch, 7 different rings to time up 6 different disciplines. The 7th ring is blank, to let you scale your own hobby.
"You can also admire a very rare boxing wrist stopwatch. Made in 1985, full black coated with a green boxing scale. We do not know many pieces of this reference."
The Heuer Globetrotter exhibition is now showing at the TAG Heuer boutique, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney, until September 30.