Swiss precision set off to perfection, Giordanetti style
In the film adaptation of The Third Man, conman Harry Lime, played by Orson Welles, famously sneers that while Italy’s perpetual tumults gestated the Renaissance, Switzerland’s centuries of stolid stability bequeathed the world little except the cuckoo clock. A sharp-witted comeback might have asked Lime where he would rather do his banking, or in which country he would prefer to live.
If Lime were to opt for Switzerland today, he would find himself living in a place where people speak more than one language and from where you can travel to neighbouring countries and some of the world’s most interesting places within hours. Milan, Venice and Rome are, for instance, but a stone’s throw from Zurich and Geneva.
To satisfy the ‘Harry Limes’ among us, Swiss Style has reached out to its southern neighbours to discover some of the makers and shakers who so faithfully spread their culture under Brand Italia, as well as to renown but also obscure destinations where culture and pleasure are had by all.
As so clearly exemplified in Switzerland’s recent referendum on immigration, Italy has been plagued by scandal and financial woes, and has long been making headlines for the wrong reasons.
Not so in this issue.
Venice is an attraction for many reasons, good and bad. In La Serenissima, as Editor-in-Chief Allison Zurfluh explains, “luxury is as much a mindset as canals are a way of life. A visit to Venice can look like anything from a Bellini at Harry’s Bar, an afternoon at François Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi or a visit to The Venice Architecture Biennale, that invites some of the most conceptual thinkers from around the world to flex their creative muscles. Among the many 5-star hotels dotting Venice’s scenic byways, only one remains independently owned to this day and can lay claim to the cultural viability to which the city aspires: The Bauers”. In Switzerland, Carlo Giordanetti epitomizes the relationship between Italian design and Swiss innovation. As a creative and visionary leader at Swatch Group, where he reigns supreme in his ability to create some of the most unique and wonderful designs, Giordanetti demonstrates a bold sense of panache and brand coherence that speaks to his Italian roots.
Along the lines of extraordinary design, Swiss Style’s Milan correspondent Courtney Smith takes a look at the pains that luxury houses go to in order to convert well known opera singers into fashion muses. Rara avis!
And coming back to home base, Swiss innovation is well represented by Logitech, the Lausannebased company founded by Daniel Borel. Elle Vanderwit explores a company that began selling computer mice in 1981 and over the next decades took decisive steps to diversify by offering webcams, speakers, and unified communications systems.
Finally, Swiss Style takes a look at Swiss innovation as showcased by the 130th anniversary of Victorinox AG, creators of the emblematic Swiss Army Knife. In a joint celebration, the company helped mark 150 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Helvetia. Speaking of soft power wielding a samurai sword.
John François Béguin