How I spend it: Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of Hublot

Jean-Claude Biver

What was your first job? How much did you earn?
I worked on a farm when I was 13 years old and earned in those days $5 per hour. Later I worked in the Post Office and earned $20 per hour. Finally, my first job in the watch business was in 1975 where I earned $60,000 per year.

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If you were not in racing, what job do you think you would be doing?
I would be a farmer and sell my cheese and milk. They would be the best in the world.

Do you have any credit cards?
Yes, I always have my 4 credit cards with me.

Do you think of yourself as a saver or a spender?
Sometimes I am a real saver, but on other occasions, I am an irrational spender.

What is the best deal you have ever been signed for?
The best might have been the purchase of the name and brand Blancpain for $25,000 in 1982.

Do you invest in shares?
Yes, in companies in which I believe in such as Nestlé or Apple.

Do you believe pensions are a good thing?
Yes, but more importantly one should never stop working. Work keeps you connected and keeps you young.

What has been the most extravagant item you have ever bought?
One of the best enamel pockets watches from Patek which I was ready to pay $1,000,000 in a Christie’s auction. The evaluation was $75,000 to $120,000. I got the watch for 1 million and don’t regret it.

Do you have any weaknesses when it comes to spending your money?
No, my weakness comes from my emotions and dreams – both are capable of making me spend too much money.

What have been your best and worst investments?
Worst has been the internet bubble and best has been both Blancpain in 1982 and later Hublot in 2004.

Do you manage your own financial affairs?
Yes, although I have some advice and help from time to time.

What is your top financial priority?
Innovation, creativity and long term investment.

How many holidays did you have last year?
More than enough as one hour per day on my farm is like one full day holiday.

Do you play the lottery and, if so, what would you spend the jackpot on if you won?
I never gamble and have never played any lottery.

What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever been given?
Only dead fish swim with the stream.

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