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The Fine Watchmaking Manifesto
Point of View

The Fine Watchmaking Manifesto

Friday, 17 September 2010
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Franco Cologni
President of the FHH Cultural Council

“Talent demands effort, dedication and hours spent perfecting a gesture which, day by day, becomes a gift.”

An entrepreneur at heart, though a man of letters, Franco Cologni was quick to embark on a business career that would lead him to key roles within the Richemont Group.

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The Fine Watchmaking Manifesto is soon to be published, after lengthy research and animated discussions.
Mamma mia!
But before we go any further, let us answer one question: why does Fine Watchmaking need a manifesto?

Because we believe the time has come to lay down in black and white not just the Fine Watchmaking “doctrine” but an entire value system which can serve as a divide between that which belongs to Fine Watchmaking and that which is alien to it; between that which aspires to an exclusive world and that which is, by rights, part of it.

As with any new programme, we already know this manifesto will please some and annoy many others. Be that as it may, we hope it will serve to spark debate and comment, not to grind axes but to hone tools. HH Magazine could well be the most suitable platform to host this type of exchange.

The manifesto defines a perimeter.

Who will be inside, who will be outside?

Will it be open house or members only?

Neither, because the manifesto will be no more woolly than rhetorical. The plain truth is it that it won’t allow any kind of ambiguity or confusion. Nor will it close the gates of heaven behind the usual big names. On the contrary, it will lay down rules and a perimeter. It will concentrate on the product and define its values.

Beyond the differences that everyone seeks to emphasise, and rightly so, we are concerned with finding a common denominator, thanks to which we know what we’re talking about. This common denominator has to be structured around the product.

This product shows itself to be legitimate, original and authentic because it is excellent, creative and innovative. This product benefits from a responsible creator, an enlightened customer and, between the two, perfectly rational and functional distribution and sales networks. This product knows how to inspire emotion, satisfy reason and make the heart pound.

Ergo, a manifesto, a product, a creator. So that we know where we are, not in a free for all but in a constellation that finds its balance between centrifugal and centripetal forces. That knows how to reign over the tides by drawing the deserving upwards and indicating where those that don’t belong in this constellation are.

Nebulous? We hope not.

And anyway, clouds give the rain that waters the fields and brings the luxuriant green grass of our beautiful Swiss meadows where wonderful flowers grow. Some are quite common, others much rarer.

While function is the same, creation is something else.

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