Watches: Les Ambassadeurs Genève 50th Anniversary

By Thierry Ané on January 8, 2014

It was in 1964 that the first “Les Ambassadeurs” multi-brand boutique opened its doors on the prestigious “Rue du Rhône” in Geneva. Since then, new branches have brought the best of the Swiss watchmaking creations to Zurich, St. Moritz and Lugano. Over the years, “Les Ambassadeurs” has become more than a well-stocked watch retailer: it has become an institution, a necessary stop for any watch aficionado stopping in Geneva.

As the true ambassadors of the watch industry they have become, they even developed an “Espace Connaisseur”, an intimate space with luxurious décor that provides a haven for watch lovers to get together and share their passion, while being introduced to a fantastic collection of rare items from the most prestigious Fine Watchmaking workshops.

This year, “Les Ambassadeurs” will celebrate 50 years of dedication to Haute Horology and they have decided to mark this important milestone in the best possible way: by offering a series of limited edition timepieces of some of the most representative brands of their extensive portfolio.

Let us have a look at the six models created in honour of one of the leading multi-brand retailers in the world.

In 2013, Greubel Forsey introduced two new versions of the Tourbillon 24 Secondes ContemporainWatches: Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain Titanium with a titanium movement. For “Les Ambassadeurs”, the brand created a beautiful unique piece in white gold with the upper part of the dial engraved with a tapisserie of a pictogram representing the building in which “Les Ambassadeurs” are located in Geneva. The transparent case back is also engraved with the dates “1964 – 2014”.

Girard-Perregaux also participated in this celebration with the very first limited edition of the amazing Constant Escapement timepiece. Presented last year at Baselworld, this watch utilizes a fourteen micron silicon buckled blade that serves the purpose of an energy storage micro unit compensating for variable energy ensuring the oscillator receives constant impulses. For this limited edition the circle around the hours and minutes sub-dial is blue instead of black and the back of the watch features a “1964 – 2014” engraving together with a little “Les Ambassadeurs” pictogram. It is also a unique piece.

Bovet selected the Amadeo Fleurier 43 mm to celebrate the anniversary of this important retailer. Thanks to its special case this multipurpose timepiece can be converted to a table clock, a pocket watch or a wristwatch. Five pieces will be produced, all in red gold, with “1964 – 2014” engraving on the back. The rotor of the watch features a tapisserie of the “Les Ambassadeurs” pictogram.

Ulysse Nardin’s Sonata Streamline is a favourite of mine. From the two original versions, I prefer the model with the black ceramic bezel relative to the one in rose gold. That’s exactly the version the brand selected for the “Les Ambassadeurs” limited edition. On the dial side, the piece is now entirely black with rose gold accents as the two sub-dials between 9 and 3 o’clock are no longer white. Two little “Les Ambassadeurs” pictograms can be found on the case back of the 8 pieces that will be produced.

Part of the celebration, Breitling will introduce 15 pieces of the Navitimer 01 Les Ambassadeurs model. Crafted in steel with a red gold bezel, the watch is secured by a brown alligator strap. Its black dial is surrounded by a white flange. The solid steel case back is adorned with an engraving of “Les Ambassadors” building and the “1964 – 2014” dates.

Lastly, Panerai will create 50 pieces of the Luminor Marina Automatic Les Ambassadeurs. This 44 mm steel watch comes with a natural brown leather strap and features the iconic black sandwich dial. On this model, the brand opted for beige SuperLuminova. The sapphire exhibition case back allows the owner to admire the calibre and presents an engraving of “Les Ambassadeurs” building as well as the “1964 – 2014” dates.

This is definitely a great way to celebrate this 50th anniversary. I strongly encourage you to click on the watch files below in order to learn more about each timepiece and also in order to see some pictures of their case backs.

And, of course, if you stop in Geneva, Zurich, St. Moritz or Lugano, make sure to visit “Les Ambassadeurs”. Whether it is for one of these limited editions of any other model from the 25 brands they represent, you are sure to find the finest watch selection and the best well-considered advice.