Mr. Lavalley and a passion for the 12th Art

In addition to being voted “Switzerland’s Leading Business Hotel” on September 4th 2015 at the World Travel Awards, the industry’s own Oscars, Kempinski also has the good taste to offer GMT to its high-end guests in its 412 rooms and suites. “I fell in love with watchmaking when I arrived in Switzerland in 1998”, says the boss of the Geneva luxury hotel that he has been managing since 2010. Since that time, the most hospitable man in Switzerland has succumbed to temptation twice a year, with a combination of delight and premeditation. “I love the watch media and the first stirrings of desire are born in its pages. Then I conduct further research on the internet while talking to connoisseurs around me, and then in the end visit a boutique that represents the brand in question in order to touch it and discuss it with the salespeople”.


In his position, he naturally frequents a large number of collectors who matter in the industry. Fascinated by a wide variety of high-end horological creations, Thierry Lavalley never tires of praising the prowess displayed by watchmakers. Large groups and niche brands both feature on his target list, including limited editions with lucky (8 out of 250) or emblematic (one out of 50) numbers. He is not yet attracted to auctions. Does he see a parallel between the luxury hotel industry and Fine Watchmaking ? An indispensable respect for tradition and the inevitable quest for innovation are the key parameters common to both sectors. GMT is proud of its contribution to inspiring this passion, and long may it endure.

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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