Seven years ago, Georges-Henri Meylan attended the SIHH for the last time as the CEO of Audemars Piguet at a time when the brand was renowned for its party, which was one of the most convivial of the entire SIHH week. This watch and car rally lover now receives his friends and customers at BaselWorld.

As a purely Swiss product of the mechanical success story of the 12th Art, Georges-Henri Meylan was not just born in the Vallée de Joux, he also earned his spurs there at Jaeger-LeCoultre. The degrees he obtained from the EPFL and IMD made him part of the Lake Geneva elite, who he accompanied to the other side of the world.

Under his leadership, Audemars Piguet teamed up with Ernesto Bertarelli, the young billionaire who was lord of the lake on his revolutionary catamaran, and sponsored Alinghi in New-Zealand at the turn of the millennium. The Swiss challenge for the America’s Cup beat all expectations, making Switzerland the first country to bring the oldest trophy in sport back to Europe. Georges-Henri Meylan supported the challenger on its incredible victory in Auckland with his family, enthusiastically ringing the cast-iron Swiss bells that echoed around the Hauraki Gulf.

 

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Georges-Henri Meylan.

(On the above picture,  Georges-Henri Meylan wears on his left wrist a H.Moser & Cie  Endeavour Perpetual Calendar watch, rose gold and black dial, and a Hautlence Avant Garde HLRS 03 watch on his right wrist)

Ten years later, he is still sailing for his family as the founder of MELB (which is made up of the M for Meylan followed by the initials of his three children). Saving H. Moser & Cie and Hautlence from sinking, this defender of Swiss values and brand identity asks his crew to keep a straight course in the current storm ravaging the watch industry. Other vessels in difficulty may wish to join this fleet of hope, but wisdom is at the helm and he is keeping watch. But this doesn’t stop the experienced racing driver from starting his 71st year at the wheel of his 1970 Renault Alpine 1600S on the Rallye Historique of Monte Carlo.

 

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Georges-Henri Meylan's Alpine Renault 1600S. © DR