Time Matters: Jean-Marie Schaller, senior entrepreneur

Temps de lecture : 4 minutes

Its “Space Revolution” was featured on the JSH Magazine front page with its grand complication and double-tourbillon caliber manufactured by Concepto. A galaxy of co-contractors in orbit is inside this chronometric masterpiece. In the background, the “Traité d’Horlogerie” written by Louis Moinet.

Interview by Joël A. Grandjean, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher JSH® Magazine & Swiss Watch Passport
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He will take over the SSC’s corporatist chair at the end of September 2022. This man is known to be a fan of special dress, and he has his own style. Unfortunately, his soulful generosity and his willingness in sharing, sometimes peppered with originality, sometimes make us forget that he remains one of the most impactful CEOs in the field of independent watchmaking excellence. And a love of history, since he manages to revisit it by demonstrating the anteriority of the invention of the chronograph by Louis Moinet, with his ‘tierce compteur’..

> Read also the bloghorloger article on the official announcement day, 21 March 2013

Jean-Marie Schaller has dedicated his professional life to reviving the name of Louis Moinet. Here with the famous "Compteur de Tierce", the very first chronograph timepiece (©Robin Nyfeler)

A model of entrepreneurial spirit

Jean-Marie Schaller embodies the way forward for historic brands. His approach combines a total respect for the fundamentals of the art of chronometry with a sharp competence in marketing, and he is full of respect for Louis Moinet, a great master of the past who has remained unjustly in the shadows. This born communicator knows how to add a touch of disruptiveness, as when he becomes a novelist (see the article on his book “The Mysteries of Apophis”).

More and more followers are discovering the history and the work of Louis Moinet, to which the man who started out penniless has dedicated his entrepreneurial career, while knowing how to combine his passions: handcrafted finishes down to the last detail, meteorites, contemporary symbols, and nods to eternity.

Louis Moinet (1768-1853), born in Bourges (France), was a great watchmaker and painter

Jean-Marie Schaller, when was your first time?
I was born into watchmaking in the Jura Mountains. Watches have always had an incredible power of seduction over me!

Are you always on time?
If I’m not, I tell the people I’m dealing with. Otherwise, I am sometimes early to field hockey matches!

What is the worst delay you can remember?
When I was 18, with my Swiss-German girlfriend. That’s when I understood the difference between “halb acht” and “halb neun“. If you arrive an hour late, there is no hand in hand dating…

Was there a delay or an advance that allowed you to escape the worst?
Maybe the one I just mentioned… I’m kidding, she was really cute! In fact, she was the one who escaped the worst!

Is there a delay or an advance that allowed you to experience the best?
I remember moments in a plane or in a train that was immobilized. You experience things differently, and it’s often an opportunity to discover the people around you in a “crisis” environment that encourages a real human relationship.

What was your longest day?
A journey to Japan, with a long delay at the departure of Narita and a missed connection in London.

Other than a watch or timepiece, what design do you consider to be the most timeless?
The furniture.

Tell us the longitude and latitude of your birthplace…
Delémont, longitude: 7.333. Latitude: 47.350.

Name the personal object you would like to remove from the grip of time!
An Egyptian Ankh cross.

Louis Moinet has a street named in his honour in the French town of Bourges, where he is a native. It was in Paris that he made his career, alongside Abraham-Louis Breguet
Louis Moinet liked to share his knowledge and to transmit it. He is the writer of a major book, the "Traité d'Horlogerie"

What type of “time wasters” do you fear, those who “eat up your time“?
Emails, because they require a lot of attention and are always flooding back, like boomerangs! I try to focus on the essential, but it’s difficult, the enemy is numerous.

If time were told to you. Book, proverb, quote…?

The essential point is not to deviate from the truth”,
Louis Moinet in 1848!

A southern proverb says “You have the time, we have the time!”
We have a way to check that allows us to better run after the lost time, they don’t need it, because they are taking the time… Very philosophical!

What is the book that took you the longest to read or that you never finished?
Books by author Emile Zola.

Votre premier souvenir se rapportant à une durée, positive ou négative?
In London, I was 19 years old and was wearing a digital watch. A little girl told me that I had lost the hands on my watch!

What are your moments that should never end?
Those where love and harmony are alive.

If you sometimes cry, what was the time you thought you would never stop?
Joker, it’s so sad.

What difference do you make between time and eternity?
Time is now. Eternity is the day after tomorrow!

Your first watch?
A Ramona watch, first communion gift.

If you own several watches, what role do they play in your life?
About fifteen, that I keep as witnesses of special moments of my life. They are all linked to a particular episode.

Which one would you like to have the most, besides the brand you work for?
A 19th century Breguet watch.

Which of the brands you are manage are you most proud of, and why?
Meteoris, because it is the union of time and cosmos, set up by the work of human beings, so small in this universe and yet so much there.

If, deprived of a time indicator, you had to plant a personal object in the ground to tell you the time like a sundial, what would it be?
A walking stick hand carved by a soldier during the war, that I brought back from the Jura Valley.

From Corban in the Jura, Jean-Marie Schaller received his first watch at his communion. It is a Ramona (here a model dating from the 1960s)
Four timepieces which depict the solar system and can only be purchased in one set for almost $5 million: the Meteoris collection from Louis Moinet

Recents posts

Book “Le Cadran”, by Dr. Helmut Crott

The work of a lifetime, the book "Le Cadran" by Dr. Helmut Crott (edited by Joël A. Grandjean), the history of the dial in the 20th century, the prestigious history of the Stern dials and of a family that took over the Patek Philippe brand



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