Prix Gaïa 1999 – Gabriel Feuvrier. Entrepreneurship category
He was acknowledged for the development he brought to the company that earned a reputation as one of the most remarkable of its kind thanks to the quality of his products, particularly his chronographs and chronometers.
- Development of Kelek SA under his management.
- Design of 37 complications inscribed with the DK (Dubois-Kelek) initials and their production year.
- Creation of a wristwatch with a great complications.
Gabriel Feuvrier was bitten by the watchmaking bug at an early age. He started his apprenticeship with his father, who was a master watchmaker, but later learned from two other master watchmakers, Henri Petitjean and Ferdinand Aeschlimann.
Born in Morteau, Feuvrier later went to study complications in Vallée de Joux.
His career really begun in 1956, when he was 22 years old, and started working at a leading watchmaking company where he occupied several positions before he was promoted to the head of manufacturing position in 1964.
Four years later, Jean-Raoul Gorgerat, owner of Kelek SA, called upon him to become the technical manager of his company. Feuvrier then channeled all his energy in changing production methods to bring them to ultra-modern levels to guarantee excellent quality. In 1970, following the resignation of Jean-Raoul Gorgerat, he became the CEO of Kelek SA. Though watchmaking was dominated by quartz watches at the time, Feuvrier decided to break the mold. To achieve this, he entrusted his orders to Gérald Dubois who was from Dubois-Dépraz, in Lieu, Vallée de Joux.
The laureates : Derek Pratt, Estelle Fallet and Gabriel Feuvrier
They worked in close collaboration to design and develop complicated mechanical calibers. Throughout the years, they came up with thirty-seven complications, most of which were inscribed with the initials DK (for Dubois-Kelek) and their production year. A few examples are a small 11 ½’ chronograph, which is to date one of the world's smallest and most reliable, calendars of all shapes and minute repeaters in various versions.
However, their most notable creation was the great complication wristwatch issued in 1989. What made it so special was that it featured the following plethora of complications - self-winding chronograph, 30-minute, 12-hour and small seconds counters, perpetual calendar (date, day, 52 weeks, month, year, season, 24 hours and moon phases. It was Kelek's pinnacle of technical prowess for a wristwatch.
In 1996, on the occasion of Kelek SA's centenary, Gabriel Feuvrier and Gérald Dubois made their last complication together. It was the Montre du Centenaire (centenary watch), which was a self-winding quarter and hour repeater and produced in a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces.
In 1997, Breitling took over Kelek SA.
Feuvrier retired in the mid-2000s and spent more time living his other passions outside watchmaking - music and hunting.