A deLaCour Bichrono offered to the Musée d’Horlogerie de Genève
The urban designer Pierre Koukjian sees everything in double. Since none of his clients want his Bichrono model, he presents it independently. The deLaCour brand is born, its icon enters the museum 10 years later.
A public museum is bound to have a foot in the present, a strong bond with the contemporary creators and the actors of the industrial fabric in the vicinity. Indeed, the latter contribute in giving relief to the treasures of the past and, under the supervision of a constantly evolving history, merit being an integral part of the heritage.
On the 24th of June 2013, during a party set up in the brand’s show room which opened in 2005, somewhere between the Beau-Rivage and Richemond Genevan hotels, Pierre Koukjian, co-founder of the deLaCour brand, and Esteban Salmon, his office manager, were welcoming Estelle Fallet, chief curator of horology collections, enamelling art, jewellery and miniatures and in charge of the Pôle Histoire.
On the menu of this friendly ceremony, the donation of a Bichrono model stemming from the very first series manufactured by deLaCour. Launched in 2003 at BaselWorld before being rewarded six months later by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, this wristwatch, the first to own a double movement automatic chronograph, has become the emblematic figure of the brand as well as its favourite conjugation field. It joins other current works revealed over twelve years, in particular by the Grand Prix, and deposited in the public heritage thanks to the generosity of the manufactures.
Despite the absence of the director of the art and history museum, Jean-Yves Marin, good humour, with a touch of polite gratitude, has been transformed into gravity: “This donation offers another occasion to remind the importance, among the various missions assigned to public museums, of the maintenance of close relations with the brands, heir to uninterrupted traditions”, specified Estelle Fallet via a communiqué.
Conscious of its memory duty, a museum such as the one in Geneva, deprived of its unique name of Musée d’Horlogerie et d’Emaillerie de Genève since the reverberating Route de Malagnou heist, witnesses of the industrial activity developed in the Jura Arc since the 16th Century. “It is not only a conservatory and a memory place, it is also the reflection of “living arts” and imposes itself like a privileged witness of contemporary creation and innovation”, highlights Estelle Fallet while announcing that her area of expertise, horology, will benefit from an ideal mezzanine situation in the heart of the secular part of the Grand Musée d’Art et d’Histoire’s new project, signed by Jean Nouvel. It will certainly be a de facto appeal strategy for this discipline, which should significantly increase the attendance of the place. Aren’t the visitors from all over the world wiling to quench their cultural thirst about the Swiss watches when they are staying in Geneva?
OPINION: How Geneva buried its horology museum
“The municipality has decided to abandon the reorganisation and extension of the Musée de l’horlogerie et de l’émaillerie, preferring the promotion of the collections’ value in the context of the renovation and extension of the Musée d’Art et d’Histoireat 2, rue Charles-Galland. The study of the reorganisation, securisation and extension of the museum is abandoned”. This is an extract from the minutes of the afternoon session of the 18th of January. Another official document echoing it is the page 23 of the Mémorial des Séances du Conseil Municipal de la Ville de Genève (168th year, 4501 – No 39). It condemns the only museum in the world having a interesting name, “Horlogerie et emaillerie de Genève”, preferred to the common name “Musée d’Art et d’Histoire”, which is found in thousands throughout the world. In other words, the sentence is without appeal. It ends a sinister episode of Genevan cultural life: CHF 423’032.07 have been spent to arrive at the conclusion that the securisation of the Villa Route de Malagnou, housing the Musée de l’Horlogerie et de l’emaillerie de Genève, was too expensive.