In this age of aggressively discounting internet dealers on one hand and large luxury boutiques on the other, it cannot be easy for a small
up-market watch and jewellery store to get by, let alone to thrive. Place that store in a town with a population of well under 100,000 people
and in-between two major centres of retail haute-horology: Geneva and Lausanne, and it looks like a perfect recipe for a business disaster.
The shop is called Piguet, the small city is Nyon and when André Polony and his wife Brigitte took it over a year ago, I admit to having doubts
as to whether it was a sensible business decision. Imagine my surprise recently to receive an invitation to the launch/celebration of Piguet
Jeweller being selected as Girard-Perregaux's latest official dealer. Girard-Perregaux have very exacting standards and expectations of those
who represent their public face; superficially, a smallish business like
Piguet would not appear to be an obvious choice. What won over the senior management of Girard-Perregaux were the same qualities that
have won over so many of Piguet's clients: efficient, professional, caring and informed attention.
Sharing the big night with Girard-Perregaux was luxury Italian jewellery brand Pomellato; they had also recently chosen the store
to be their representative in the region and were co-hosting this superb evening.
A good night out with great champange and fantastic watches;
what more could you ask for?
Well since you asked, I would have liked to go home with this under my arm - it was raffled at the end of the night.
These watches should need no introduction to fans of Girard-Perregaux.
The Sea Hawk Pro Tourbillon. The only tourbillon waterproof to 3000 meters.
Not surprisingly, Pomellato's stunning collection had many admirers.
These displays from Pomellato could have housed the crown jewels for all the attention they attracted.
Girard-Perregaux' s stunning and award winning Cat's Eye. The ladies lingered
around this display at least as much, if not more, as the jewellery.
My wife Brigitte admiring one of her favourite watches: the Cat's Eye.
Girard-Perregaux's marketing director of Switzerland,
Gianfranco Ritschel admiring the collection with her; I am sure I heard him mention how nicely the diamond set model
matched her eyes!
When Girard-Perregaux show a collection they do not believe in half-measures.
I was not expecting to see a magnificient three bridge tourbillon in Nyon!
André Polony with the most important person in his life, his wife Brigitte, and a new very important person in his life:
Philippe Maurette: managing director of the Girard-Perregaux group.
The big moment . . . the prize draw of the limited edition Tourbillon pen.
Here André Polony signals to me his prediction for my chances in the prize draw.
Thank you to André and Brigitte Polony, Piguet Jewellers, Girard-Perregaux, Pomellato, and Laurent-Perrier for putting on a fantastic show.
Ian Skellern - September 2005
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