A Kerbedanz timepiece reaches the Vatican Museums

Press Release

A Kerbedanz timepiece reaches the Vatican Museums

The Swiss watch brand of haute-horlogerie and its management have been received by His Holiness Pope François. Following a demand for a private audience for the presentation of a very special gift, a tribute to the aesthetics of the Armenian Alpha- bet.

Renowned for "giving meaning to beauty" through unique pieces or ultra-limited se- ries, the watch brand Kerbedanz, established on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland, introduces special messages into its complicated watches with ultimate terminations: allegories and symbols that resemble initiatory paths, desired by the wearer of the watch and sometimes only understood by his close circle. Indeed, it is the first haute-horlogerie brand to cultivate references and borrowings from human cultures, populated by legends, beliefs and allegiances, on the dial of its timepieces and sometimes even in its intimate workings.

Essential alphabet with high ethnic value

The use of the Armenian alphabet, whose unique aesthetic is a mixture of curves and entangled angles, replaces advantageously any form of index. This mysterious writing, in- vented by the monk Mesrop Mash- tots in 405 AD, is still in use today. The Kerbedanz brand, in creating this piece to be offered to His Holiness Pope Francis, did not expect to receive the distinguished honour of being accredited by the Vati- can Museums. Indeed, since His Holiness refuses any form of gift whatsoever, the gifts generally feed an auction for good works of the Church. Only a tiny part of these donations is destined to join the rich collections of the Vatican Museums, a museum complex of 12 museums comprising 1400 rooms divided into five galleries.

A Kerbedanz timepiece reaches the Vatican Museums

In June 2016, during a two-day journey to Armenia, His Holiness Pope Francis was visiting a country that he once called "the oldest Christian nation in the world". Just before landing at the international airport of Yerevan, in a video dedi- cated to the inhabitants, he gave his support to the Armenian Apostolic Church and thus, by extenso, to the Armenians of the world: "I come as a pilgrim, to draw from the ancient wisdom of your people and to imbue myself with the sources of your faith, I come as a brother, to pray with you and share the gift of friendship". Born in Argentina, one of the nations with the most Armenians in the diaspora (about 100,000 after the 1.5 million in the United States), there is no doubt that His Holiness has a particular knowledge of the history of this people at the origins of the Christian faith. There is no doubt that the story of this monk from Armenia who, with a view to better translating the Bible, developed the invention of a new alphabet, must seem to him worthy of the duty of memory.

Curiosity: Pope Francis’ Kerbedanz ‘Armenian Alphabet’ Watch

By Joël A. GrandjeanManaging Editor Switzerland
The Pope does not accept gifts. However, he receives them very frequently! Among his manifold ways of refusing, there is one that is of great honor. The...