Tribute to Gabriel Tortella : The epicurean passionately …

On that sunny afternoon of May 2011, Gabriel Tortella was once again surrounded by his family, a number of watchmaking movers and shakers (his second family), along with a number of individuals involved in the watch business, as well as his colleagues. An entrepreneur fired by an optimistic outlook and strong mutual affections, Gabriel Tortella has made a deep impact on Geneva, along the plains on either side of Lake Léman, and as far up as the Neuchâtel vineyards leading to the Jura plateau. Among the seeds he planted, those that have yielded most fruit are Antiquorum, the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix, the Tribune des Arts and Worldtempus. They have become significant landmarks on the watchmaking landscape, and he also had the wisdom to pass them on to people capable of ensuring the continuity of his work.

This past January he had summoned up the strength to invite an impressive array of CEOs to his birthday party, while awarding one of them the kind of prize for which he was famous and even managing to get all others present to applaud this honour. Although visibly tired at Baselworld, he still made an eloquent speech when handing over two distinctions on behalf of a throng of European journalists: the Prix de la Passion awarded to a major brand director, followed by the Watch of the Year Prize presented to another. The flame still burns, but who will pick up thetorch ?

applaudir par tous les autres. Toujours en verve à Baselword, même fatigué, il décernait au nom d’une cohorte de journalistes européens le prix de la passion à un grand patron de marque, et dans la foulée le prix de la montre de l’année à un autre. Aujourd’hui la flamme est toujours là, mais qui portera le flambeau ?

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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