These two passionately dedicated individuals immediately sensed they were kindred spirits driven by exactly the same feelings.
Each of them senses the same elation when conceiving new ideas: Mr. Genta with his legendary aesthetic flair; and Matthias Buttet with his boundless imagination dedicated to researching cutting-edge high-tech watch mechanisms.
In their own words:
“In addition to his exceptional talent, I have discovered Mathias to be extraordinarily generous. I was dazzled by the concept of the Confrérie Horlogère (literally “the watchmaking brotherhood”), which consists in providing young people (both watchmakers and artisans) with the means – via the logistic backing of BNB Concept SA – to create watches according to their personal ideas and under their name; and if they are successful, to create their eponymous brand.
Associating with the Confrérie Horlogère is a real delight, as well as a new challenge. My desire is to support this young company and to build – in the company of people representing a variety of generations, backgrounds and ideas – a new breed of watchmaking imbued with a blend of classicism and innovation.
Although my long career in watchmaking has given me a good deal of satisfaction, this is the first time I am launching into an adventure that is completely new, and it’s very exciting! Mathias Buttet reminds me of Gérald Genta at the same age, endowed with the same boldness, the same wish to shake up conventions, to move resolutely forward while respecting the existing watchmaking heritage, and above all to maintain a continuous flow of creativity.
“Even in my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined that the ultimate Designer, the “Maestro” as he is respectfully known, would pay me the honour of taking on the role of Advisor to the Confrérie Horlogère. I am extremely proud and grateful.
For me, Mr. Genta is the man who brought complicated watchmaking back into the spotlight by adapting it to modern tastes. Since the crisis that shook the industry in the 1970s, everyone was predicting the death of Swiss watchmaking; the supremacy of Japanese electronics appeared destined to last forever and traditional crafts had been all but abandoned.
In the 1980s, when I began my career in the watch business as an engineer, Mr. Genta was rowing firmly against the tide by restoring the pedigree of fine watchmaking enriched with horological complications. One might well compare his trailblazing role to the blades of a snow plough carving out a new path for others to follow. It is thanks to him that I decided to enter this field and I am extremely indebted to him.
I currently have more time to devote to creating original mechanisms, especially since Pierre Favre, who had been in charge of complications at Patek Philippe for 25 years, took over as CEO of BNB Concept SA two years ago. The alliance between the über design of a living legend and the technological excellence of BNB will undoubtedly give rise to some truly “explosive” products.