Baptiste Savoye

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Baptiste Savoye (1851-1927) was a Swiss watchmaker and a prominent figure in the Swiss watchmaking industry.

Savoye was born on October 8, 1851, in Corgémont, and christened Robert Baptiste. His family moved to Saint-Imier the following year. Savoye began working as an office employee for Ernest Francillon, the director of the watchmaking factory that is now known as Fabriques des Longines, on January 1, 1871. He worked for 56 years, contributing significantly to the growth and prosperity of the company with his exceptional competence and remarkable work ethic.

In addition to his work for the company, he served in multiple positions in various watchmaking industry associations and organizations. He also held positions in the local government of Saint-Imier, such as heading the Commercial School Commission, and was involved in the creation and operation of the Saint-Imier-Mont-Soleil Funicular and the Goule enterprise. He served as the president of the Bank Commission of the St-Imier branch of the Banque Cantonale de Berne and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Swiss National Bank from 1904 to 1922. He was also a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Biel, the Horology Section, and managed several local charitable organizations.

Savoye's influence was felt everywhere he went, and his authority, judgment, experience, and capacity produced results that were as fortunate as they were significant. His involvement in the Swiss Watch Federation, particularly in the area of the professional and economic organization of the industry, was also significant. He played an essential role in the complete restructuring of the Swiss Chamber of Horology, where he served as a member of the central committee from 1913 to 1922. He was also one of the founding members and vice-president of the Bernese Watchmaking Manufacturers Association from 1916 to 1920. In addition, he was a diligent member of the Swiss Watch Factories Union, which ceased to exist in 1916 after 28 years of existence. He also served as the president of the Watch Importers' Union (S.I.H.), a temporary organization created during the war. Finally, he was a National Council deputy, where he actively pursued and defended the interests of the watchmaking industry.

Those who knew him personally admired not only his intellectual brilliance, work ethic, clear understanding of situations, and ability to find solutions to problems, but also his character, his constant equanimity, his unfailing courtesy, his comforting and creative optimism, his inexhaustible kindness, and his noble and sympathetic features. He retired from the Swiss Chamber of Horology's central committee in 1922, and his colleagues missed his presence and contributions greatly.

Savoye passed away of an extended illness in October 1927