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Venus and Mercury
Point of View

Venus and Mercury

Friday, 03 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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A magnificent painting by Correggio, The School of Love, hangs on the first floor of London’s National Gallery. It portrays Cupid with the god Mercury and his mother Venus, depicted with angel’s wings. This painting could easily go unnoticed among the museum’s thousands of masterpieces. A regrettable oversight, as it perfectly symbolises the world of fine watchmaking.

Beauty: Venus is the epitome of charm, magnetism and the perfection that elevates the soul, hence Correggio’s portrayal of her as angelic rather than as a temptress. In our discipline, beauty means research, design, a creative mind and realistic experimentation. The crisis has sanctioned the excesses of recent years. So much the better.

Love: watchmaking’s passion for the measurement of time and the rhythm of life is expressed through timepieces which, not content with “giving” time, are far more the expression of an identity. Love and passion motivate craftsmen, master watchmakers, designers, collectors… in a word, a community of aficionados.

Sharing: Mercury’s presence is no less important as it symbolises communication. Love and beauty must be shared. Without communication, participation and externalisation, there is no love, only obsession, egoism and avidity.

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