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Watch Butler at Your Service

Jill Newman

With the heart of Swiss watchmaking firmly rooted in Geneva, the city’s Le Richemond Hotel is taking advantage of its proximity to some of the world’s greatest watch brands through its new Watch Butler service. The complimentary service for hotel guests gives them an opportunity to learn about a specific brand or peruse many high-end watch options. The Butler can also arrange private visits to the manufacturing workshops of venerable brands such as Vacheron Constantin and Roger Dubuis. The resident Watch Butler is Pierre Jacques, who runs Les Ambassadeurs, a luxury watch boutique on Geneva’s rue du Rhône, and was previously owner and editor of the industry publication Gmt magazine. Jacques will offer private consultations at the hotel or he will bring guests to visit his nearby store for an intimate viewing, and he can also request some rare, complicated pieces not always on display if given advance notice.

Geneva has a rich history in watchmaking that dates back to the 16th century, when Calvinist reforms banned the wearing jewels forcing goldsmiths to develop a new craft. By the end of the 16th century, a new group of self-taught watch- and clock makers were making innovations in Geneva, and in 1601 they established the Watchmakers’ Guild of Geneva.

Whether the hotel guest is a watch enthusiast or a novice seeking to learn about luxury watchmaking, the Watch Butler will cater to his or her specific needs. For an additional fee, the Rocco Forte Collection’s Le Richemond Hotel offers the Art of Watchmaking Package, including a welcome glass of champagne, breakfast, the Watch Butler service, visits to a manufacturing plant and the Patek Philippe Museum, and dinner at Le Jardin for around $670. (888.667.9477, www.roccofortecollection.com)

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