Kirsty Bertarelli to Perform at Country Night Gstaad

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Photo: NzW

 

Saanenland songstress Kirsty Bertarelli is set to take the stage at this year’s Country Night Gstaad. Performing songs from her new album, “Indigo Shores”, Bertarelli will be joined by local country band the Swiss Highwaymen. With her performances remaining a rare treat, the former beauty queen, model, singer, songwriter, and UK’s richest woman is sure to draw hundreds of friends, family and fans from across the region.

By: GSTAADLIFE

Country Night Gstaad, the most popular end-of-season event, takes place September 12 – 14. Aside special guest Bertarelli, the weekend will feature three of Nashville’s hottest stars. In their standard programming format, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 will see the top acts perform, while Sunday 14 is devoted to families and boasts sets by Paul Mac Bonvin, the Valaisan who has a nearly cult following in the Swiss country community.

Headliner Josh Turner has sold five million albums and remains firmly at the top of the charts, while Kellie Pickler of American Idol fame has successfully grown a career since finishing in sixth place on the show. Opening for these two acts is Ricky Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder, who return to the Saanenland for the third time. Bertarelli and the Swiss Highwaymen will open the first two nights of Country Night Gstaad, which begins at 5 pm.

The event, which is the biggest attraction of its kind in Europe, draws country music aficionados from Germany, England and beyond – all excited at the prospect of three days full of beer, burgers and the best entertainment country western music has to offer.

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Private Schools, Clubs & Parts -- Letter from the Editor

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Photo: Fotolia

By: Alexis Munier

At the risk of violating my own privacy, let me reveal that I’m feeling perky these days, and it’s not just the early chill in the air. Life is good here in September, traditionally one of the crispest, sunniest months in the Saanenland. And as editor of GSTAADLIFE, it’s especially good for me, given the great articles we’ve got for you this time around.

In this issue of GSTAADLIFE, we address every kind of private – from the goings on at our region’s internationally known private schools to the secrets of the scalpel, as wielded by the world-famous plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy. This is one edition you don’t want to miss. 

 

Join the (Private) Club

If sailing floats your boat, we have a detailed wrap-up of the Gstaad Yacht Club’s busy summer season. In addition to the club’s annual “Rally and Yachting” competition, you can read about GYC members Nathalie Brugger and Mathias Bühler, and their test run in Rio to prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games.

 

Private School, Public Challenges

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard the rumours swirling about John F. Kennedy International School. New director Henri Behar sets the record straight with frank answers to the pressing questions: How many students has the school lost? How will it move forward? Meanwhile the region’s most celebrated private school, Le Rosey, has just inaugurated the beautiful Carnal Hall, a performing arts complex fit for a capital city.

 

The Private Woes and Wows of Life 

Itching to break out your ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots and dance to the songs of heartbreak and happiness only country music can deliver? There are just a few weeks until Country Night Gstaad will host a three-day country music extravaganza from September 12 to 14. In addition to top young country stars, special guest Gstaad-resident Kirsty Bertarelli is sure to dazzle with songs from her latest album, “Indigo Shores.”

 

Last Word columnist Mandolyna Theodoracopulos believes “The Swiss Do It Best”. But she’s not talking about cheese or chocolate or CHF 200,000 watches – rather how the Swiss have managed to sustain a high quality of life here that is the envy of those less fortunate around the world. You may not agree with all her points, though Theodoracopulos’ words will certainly have you appreciating the good life here in the Saanenland.

 

Going Public on (Self) Defense

But no matter how good that life may be, we do have our share of growing problems to address. According to GSTAADLIFE’s summary of recent reports, violent crime is down but petty theft and burglaries are on the rise. I met with security expert James Otigbah for his take on self-defense and a full day of physical training. While I won’t be entering the boxing ring anytime soon, I did learn a thing or two about kneeing an attacker in the groin – should I ever need it.

 

Of Course They’re Real

Speaking of body parts, in our Profile interview, Januaria Piromallo talks to world-renowned plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy. Over dinner at her chalet, and high tea at his, the most famous man in Brazil after Pélé proves that at 90 years young, his extraordinary career is holding up nicely on its own. Which is apparently good news for anyone who suffers from the effects of gravity. Note: Everyone!

 

Same Time Next Season

I’d like to thank you, our readers, for your support during this summer season. Our traditional off-season lasts through mid-December, when our first issue of the winter will arrive. In a departure from previous scheduling, GSTAADLIFE’s second winter issue will be released just after New Year’s – in time to catch you for a second round during those busy holidays.

Until then, here’s hoping your public and private lives are as lovely as an Autumn day in the Saanenland.

 

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A Grand Night for Singing -- Menuhin Festival Gstaad‘s ‘Big Voices‘ Opera Gala

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Photo: Raphael Faux

By: Alexis Munier

At a sold-out concert on Friday, August 22, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad proved yet again it has the clout to draw the world’s top artists to the Saanenland.

Musical Director of the Royal Opera House Antonio Pappano led the London Symphony Orchestra in a mostly Italian program of grand lyric opera. Apart from a sole Massenet aria, Verdi, Puccini and Donizetti were the main draw here. 

Kung-Fu Conducting

Seen from behind, Pappano’s signature style of conducting appears as a musical martial art – upbeats which resemble karate chops and side-to-side twisting of his trunk as if to prepare a deadly attack on an opponent. Nonetheless, whatever Pappano is doing seems to be working; the LSO under his (non-existent) baton played with seamless enthusiasm. Several musicians in particular stood out: Violinist Roman Simovic led the lush string section, while clarinettist Chris Richards infused the opening solo to “E Lucevan le Stelle”, Cavaradossi’s final love letter to Tosca, with the appropriate heart and melancholy.

 

Sure On This Shining Night

While three operatic stars were set to shine, the LSO held its ground with a solid performance of the overture to Verdi’s “Les Vêpres Siciliennes”. Pappano managed an expert transition between the ominous introduction and the Allegro, meant to evoke revolution. Next, the “Intermezzo” from Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” brought a look of surprise and pleasure to faces in the crowd, who appeared to be discovering the piece for the first time. Pappano’s choice of programming was indeed the perfect blend of greatest hits and lesser known but equally beautiful selections. 

Frequent Gstaad performer Thomas Hampson reminded us why he remains an internationally beloved star. While some of his usual vocal silkiness was absent, perhaps due to bronchitis earlier this year, the baritone left little to be desired. Hampson’s rich blend of dramatic skill (including a nicely choreographed, clumsy stage entrance) and vocal prowess made his “Largo et Factotum” from Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Seviglia”, sound as easy as pie. So easy in fact, that half the audience hummed along. 

Soprano Diana Damrau sang a perfectly hysterical Lucia di Lammermoor, with smooth, supple coloratura. Which makes it a pity that her delicately nuanced cadenzas were difficult to hear; this was likely neither the fault of an overly boisterous orchestra, nor a quiet singer, but slightly muffled tent acoustics. Her Violetta fared better – nearly ten glorious minutes of “E Strano … Ah Forsè a Lui … Sempre Libera” had the public enraptured. 

 

The Reign of Tenor

Yet despite the presence of these two household names, it was (relative) newcomer Joseph Calleja who stole the show. With a voice reminiscent of his childhood idol, Mario Lanza, the singer’s warm, smooth tenor silenced the venue completely. In his poignant yet powerful “Nessun Dorma”, there was not a sniffle or cough to be heard – just the roar of the crowd as the last vibrations of his penultimate note – a pearly high B.

The stars performed several duos including the barrel-chested tenor and lanky baritone in an encore – the duet from Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers”. Hampson and Damrau also sang a moving rendition of Germont and Violetta’s second-act “Dite al Giovine”. So while Hampson’s comedic talents began the concert, his fine dramatic portrayal of the stern, insistent Germont brought the evening to an end. 

With any luck, not only Hamspon, but Calleja and Damrau will become Gstaad regulars as well.

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Saanenland Hosts CanWalk to Raise Funds for Children's Cancer Research

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Photo: AvS

By: GSTAADLIFE

On August 17, CANSEARCH raised over CHF 10,000 at their second annual CanWalk.  Over 140 participants were there to support the foundation on the journey, which began in Schönried and continued to the Saanewald Lodge on the Hornberg. 

Upon arrival, hungry group was served mini hamburgers at a reception offered by hotel director Philip A. Florian, who was also celebrating his 30th birthday.  Florian understands all too well the ravages of cancer, having lost a family member to the disease at a young age.

“Supporting such an occasion is the best gift of all,” said Florian. “It’s great to know that the money and support will go where it’s really needed,”

The CANSEARCH Foundation finances research projects within the Oncology and Haematology unit of the Paediatric Department of Children and Adolescents of the University Hospital of Geneva. The mission of this unit is to treat children with cancer or blood disorders (or related illnesses) and conduct research in order to improve the understanding and treatment of these diseases 

Research has helped develop new therapies for cancer, which allow more than 70% of children with the illness to survive, as well as 80% of children who suffer from Leukaemia.  More than CHF 10,000 was raised to further this research through CANSEARCH. 

For more information on the foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.cansearch.ch.

 

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What’s Not to Bike? The Saanenland’s New Emphasis on Cycling

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Photo: Gstaad Saanenland Tourism

By: GSTAADLIFE

 

The plans to turn Gstaad into a biking mecca as announced last October by Gstaad Saanenland Tourism are coming along – albeit slowly. 

The new project, known as Gstaad Bikeworld, will consolidate and optimise the region’s bike trails. Gstaad Bikeworld will focus on bike sports in general, and work to develop both Downhill and Freestyle slopes designed to show off the natural beauty of the region. 

 

Work in Progress

Since last October, Allegra Tourism has intensively scrutinised and analysed the situation, formulating a plan for the best way forward. This began with choosing the specific mountain area to develop.

 

Horneggli was selected as the first mountain to receive improvements for biking. It was chosen for its altitude difference of 540 meters, as well as potential connections (including railway and cable car) to surrounding villages like Saanenmöser, Turbach, Zweisimmen and Gstaad. Horneggli already offers options for family, racing and road cycling, making it an ideal spot for beginners and experts alike.

 

Experienced bike trail planners have already prepared mock-ups of the potential trails, taking the mountain’s diverse topography into consideration. Beginning mid-July, they will meet with local landowners to discuss the final routing of the trails. 

 

Where There’s a Wheel, There’s a Way

While initial improvements were expected to be finished this summer, the project has faced some unusual difficulties. 

Coordinating the development of trails takes a significant amount of effort, especially in Canton Bern. The Canton has no official workflow for such a project, leaving the responsibilities and procedures up in the air. 

As a result, no fewer than 34 individuals are involved, from various cantonal and municipal organisations and also landowners, who must reach a consensus on various aspects of the plans as the process moves forward. This includes Canton Bern’s Department of Civil Engineering, Office of Spatial Planning, Department of Forestry, Hunting Inspection and Department of Agriculture, amongst others. 

“The Canton of Bern still needs to catch up in the area of mountain biking, and so working with these clarifications is lengthy,” says Martin Bachofner, CEO of Gstaad Bike World, with some regret.

 

Why Gstaad?

There are many reasons to choose the Saanenland for cycling. With a varied topography ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 metres, the Saanenland is the perfect place for any bike sports. 

Part of Gstaad Bikeworld’s mandate is to promote the region as a biking destination. Steps are now being taken to certify bikehotels in the Saanenland. Additionally, existing trails will be adapted to suit bikers more easily. For example, fences cutting across trails will be replace with bike-friendly versions to allow cyclists to pass easily. 

The first completed bike trails on the Horneggli are expected to open summer or fall 2015.

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Hamburger Helper -- The Saanenland's Best Burgers Put to the Test

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The Real State of Real Estate -- Three Brokers Give Their Two Cents

 

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Last winter, the Anzeiger von Saanen held a roundtable discussion with several real estate agencies in the Saanenland. Moderated by Blanca Burri, the discussion included Martin Göppert (Consulta Gstaad GmbH), Cyrille de Kostine (Sine Tempore de Kostine and Partner) and Louis Martin (CF Immobilier Compagnie Foncière SA).

by: GSTAADLIFE AvS

 

GSTAADLIFE: Word has it that there are many available properties for sale in the Saanenland/Pays d’en Haut.

Louis Martin: Yes, that is so. Throughout the region – from Châteaux d’Oex to Gstaad – there are many objects for sale.

Martin Göppert: I also confirm that hundreds of chalets and apartments are available. In Gstaad and neighbouring villages the market is neither dead nor booming. Whether a property can be sold depends entirely on the buyers’ determination to make a deal and the vendors’ motivation to sell.

 

GL: What was the situation like in the past?

Cyrille de Kostine: Between 2006 – 2008 it was a seller’s market. They determined the price and terms of the sale. But the economic crisis in 2008 changed the playing field – many owners were forced to sell. Coupled with the excess supply of objects for sale (partially to do with the Second Home Initiative as well), it became a buyer’s market, and buyers to this day have more influence over the sale.

 

GL: Has the oversupply of residential units had an impact on selling price?

All, in agreement: No. One must note that the majority of houses or apartments on the market are new properties, and the clientele is in no hurry to complete the sale so the prices stay at a similar level as before.

Martin: Only older objects in poor condition have seen a dip in asking price.

de Kostine: One regional symptom regarding this good old economic rule is that most of the vendors can afford to wait and/or not adapt their asking prices to the perceived market reality. Therefore an “automatic adaptation” of asking prices to the fact that we rather have a purchaser’s market at present is simply not happening.

 

GL: If the market is flooded with properties, why haven’t prices come down?

Martin: Supply and demand is what determines the price, and as long as a certain demand remains, prices will remain stable. Local architecture is complex and of high quality, which increases the construction cost.

de Kostine: I am convinced that prices will remain stable in the next few years or even fall a bit. Only with constant demand will prices stay at the level they’re at today, and with the recent opinion polls, it’s clear that nothing is for certain.

Göppert: For all special properties, such as luxury apartments or very large chalets, I believe prices will rise. Prices aren’t really transparent; so it’s difficult to speak on this topic using only our own experience as a guideline. I suppose that the value of some objects – depending on the location and type of property – will continue to increase for the next decade.

 

GL: How could this transparency be increased?

Göppert: With a good broker, there is transparency! de Kostine: For reasons of confidentiality, prices are not always specified; buyers and sellers don’t always want the general public to know for how much a property has been sold.

 

GL: Depending on the region, properties are presented in detail on the Internet and published with the price. Why shouldn’t’ we do this in Gstaad?

Göppert: I regret that the prices are not transparent. In peak years before 2008 prices were sporadically high, but these spikes were not as high as one might believe according to rumour.

 

GL: How many and what type of properties did you sell last year?

de Kostine: Our company did well last year, however we sold mostly smaller objects. Objects up to five million CHF are in high demand, while those from 5 to 15 million are more difficult to sell because they are overpriced.

Martin: 2013 was quite successful. We saw many more Swiss nationals buying properties in the valley.

Göppert: After a good year in 2012, 2013 was less successful but I’ve seen demand rise again in the past few months. Lately I’ve noticed guests tend to rent large and luxurious objects before deciding to buy. Often it’s only then that they notice how difficult home ownership has become for foreigners in Switzerland. We need to advise clients correctly and only show them properties which are available for foreign ownership.

 

GL: Has the Saanenland lost its appeal for high-net-worth individuals?

Martin: It has lost some of its appeal not only for foreigners but for the Swiss! The Second Home Initiative restricts ownership for non-Swiss and Swiss alike, who want to buy a vacation home in a tourist area.

de Kostine: It’s not only the Second Home Initiative which has caused a decrease in interest; the loss of legal security in the country factors in. Changing (notably banking) legislation provokes uncertainty in buyers and pushes them to consider other locations worldwide. This is a new perception, that the country is not safe or attractive enough to potential buyers – this has not previously been an issue. Other issues include lump-sum and inheritance taxation.

Göppert: We have bigger fish to fry in the Saanenland … isses with the hospital and Bergbahnen, for example.

 

GL: What specific effects will the Second Home Initiative have on the region?

de Kostine: I think 2016 will be the year we see massive impact on the construction industry. Construction volume will decrease and as such jobs and apprenticeships might be lost.

Göppert: We need a positive outlook – even the Second Home Initiative can’t take away the great quality of life in the Saanenland. However we need to attract new guests to the region. Gstaad Saanenland Tourism has the right idea with the creation of new events and local initiatives.

Martin: Right now there is only an ordonnance. We need an application of the law as soon as possible in order to fully understand its implications.

 

GL: Yet the Saanenland remains popular­ … why? What could we improve here?

de Kostine: To remain attractive, we have to constantly reinvent ourselves, and have been doing so for half a century.

 

GL: Many people believe that real estate agents here live as kings? Is this true?

de Kostine: This is just a false perception from the outside! The decline of the real estate agent is a new phenomenon – even 20 years ago we had approximately five brokers in the area. Now with the flowering and deregulation of the industry this has been increased to 25 brokers.

Göppert: What is true is that in recent years, owing to stricter legislation, consulting expenses have increased dramatically. It is important that we answer to the requirements of the guests and show only properties which can legally be purchased. Several brokers have even abandoned the industry. Also, large companies active in Gstaad withdrew into their home territories. We even see that existing real estate agencies have been bought out by other agents.

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A Man to Watch--Interview with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Co-President of Chopard

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Photo: Raphael Faux

With sparkling eyes and a spring in his step, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is one of the Saanenland’s most well-known residents. Whether strapping skins on his skis for an off-piste adventure or chatting with customers at his wine shop “Le Caveau de Bacchus” on Gstaad’s Promenade, Scheufele’s love for the region is evident. But with only 24 hours in a day, how does the Co-President of Chopard find time to run one of the world’s leading watch and jewellery manufacturers while pursuing his passions of winemaking, rally racing, and mountain sports? GSTAADLIFE’s Editor in Chief Alexis Munier sat down with Scheufele in his Lauenen Chalet to find out.


GSTAADLIFE: You’re originally German, but have lived in French-speaking Switzerland since your teenage years. Where do you feel most at home?

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele: When my family took over Chopard fifty years ago, in the beginning my parents and my sister remained in Pforzheim while I went to boarding school in Geneva. At the International School of Geneva, I was at first a bit lost. There I was, a small-town Black Forest boy of 15, now submersed in a totally different environment. My best friend was Ethiopian; my schoolmates hailed from countries far and wide. Speaking German, French and English on a daily basis, I felt, for the first time, part of a completely international group.

Since that time I’ve called Geneva my home. I received Swiss citizenship when I was 25 years old, and while I can say that today I feel very Swiss, there is still a bit of German in me that shines through.


GL: How long have you been coming to Gstaad?

KFS: In 1987 my parents discovered the little village of Lauenen, where I remember spending holidays and long weekends as a young man. It was a chance to spend quality time together as a family – exploring the mountains and relaxing in the peaceful atmosphere.

Now, from our chalet further up the mountain, we relish an incredible 180° panoramic view reaching from the Wildhorn to the Wispile. It is one of my favourite places on earth to enjoy a glass of wine after a long day outdoors.


GL: What do you love about the Saanenland? How do you feel here?

KFS: I feel at home here. In winter, my sport of choice is ski touring, which lets me discover the area from a unique perspective. There are so many gratifying moments and I really feel like being part of the incomparable nature. The region offers incredible landscapes, sights and excursions, in addition to cultural and social activities.


GL: Did you study watchmaking in order to follow in your father’s footsteps?

KFS: I did an apprenticeship in jewellery-making and my passion for watchmaking really came afterwards. Chopard is one of the few houses well-established in both fields. We practice no less than 30 crafts in-house and due to our fully vertical integration, are able to produce about 80.000 watches and 60.000 pieces of jewellery a year. Our jewellery ranges from ‘everyday’ to high jewellery, including some very important pieces. Today this side of Chopard is my sister Caroline’s passion and falls under her responsibility.


GL: Speaking of responsibility, Chopard is family-owned and operated, with your father serving as Chairman and you and your sister Caroline serving as Co-President. Is there any sibling rivalry?

KFS: My sister and I joined the management team in the early 80’s. We are a family firm in the true sense of the word. Now, Caroline and I share responsibilities for the entire group, while our father, our Chairman, remains also active in the daily business. Because we each have individual sectors to manage as well, rivalry is absolutely not an issue. We respect and value each other’s opinions and all important strategic decisions are taken together.


GL: What inspired your love for vintage cars?

KFS: My passion for cars was transmitted to me by my father, who is also a car enthusiast. He passed this interest onto me and today we share a collection of classic automobiles. He’s more into the comfortable models while I have a flair for sportier cars. Either you drive your old-timers or you take them to a Concours d’Elegance … I don’t have the patience for these types of events. I like to actually use the cars in rallies and other occasions.


GL: How did Chopard become involved in the Mille Miglia rally?

KFS: In 1987, I went to Italy to discover the Mille Miglia. I was impressed and realized that this would be a great opportunity to naturally combine classic racing with watches. After meeting the organiser, in 1988 Chopard became the official sponsor of the race for the fist time. Ever since my first participation in the Mille Miglia 25 years ago, I have been captivated by the unique atmosphere of the event. This year, I’ll be driving a Porsche from the Porsche Museum, which they’ve entrusted to me – up to now I’ve always brought the cars back in one piece. It’s the 550 Spyder, the “James Dean” model.

Every year Chopard launches a new collector’s series in our Mille Miglia line, which is highly anticipated not only by the participants of the rally but also by classic car aficionados. Who knows, there could be a Menuhin line in the future – I wouldn’t exclude that possibility.


GL: What is your favourite car in the collection?

KFS: I love all of them; it’s like asking which child is your favourite. I adore the Mini Cooper 1968, half the size of the ones they make today. I also love my pre-war Bentley from 1929 which is a real challenge to drive!


GL: In addition to cars, you also enjoy wine? Was this also a love passed on from your father?

KFS: The wine passion slipped in through the back door. Already at age 20 my grandfather would take me down to his cellar and let me choose the wine we’d drink together. I always loved this ceremony; it was a very special moment for me. I started to discover Swiss wines then branched out to France and further beyond. A friend and I then opened a wine shop, which has now grown into Le Caveau de Bacchus in Gstaad and Geneva. We have a small wholesale company as well.

Most recently I acquired a winery near Bergerac, France, Château Monestier La Tour and the great thing about it is that it’s also a place to holiday in the summer. The estate with its vast park and a large variety of trees offers remarkable scenery, with nothing but nature and the surrounding countryside. Our red wine is a blend of three different grape varieties – Merlot, Cabernet franc and Malbec. The white wines consist of mainly Sauvignon, some Sémillon and Muscadelle. It’s like an apprenticeship for me – I learn so much about wine production and agriculture each time I’m there.


GL: Tell us how Chopard’s famous LUC movement started.

KFS: We thought it would be a good idea to re-launch a movement production of our own. We had an assembly of watch movements until the 80’s, but then closed it down. In order to be more authentic and add credibility to the Chopard name, we re-launched a complete in-house production of movements, which became the Chopard Manufacture. It was a tremendous effort, and it all had to be created from scratch. Today it is a highly regarded manufacturing site employing 200 people in Fleurier, the canton of Neuchatel. This project added a great deal of independence to our Group.


GL: Chopard has recently become one of the Menuhin Festival’s biggest sponsors. How did that come about?

KFS: It’s Chopard’s first year back as a sponsor after a break since 2003. This partnership underlines the strong ties between the Scheufele Family and the Saanenland, a region we all cherish. It unites the passion for beautiful music and nature, which makes this festival so unique.


GL: Are you a big fan of classical music? Do you play any instruments?

KFS: Yes, for example I am a big fan of Bach, but also love Mozart and Beethoven, and in particular violin music. Unfortunately I have zero musical talent. My grandfather played the violin, though. It’s interesting, his father sent him on a ship to New York when he was a young man. He said, “Go to the States and learn English, and don’t come back before a year is up.” So before studying to be a watchmaker, my grandfather travelled and wrote articles for the local newspaper in Pforzheim. In order to buy a car, he played the violin for tips in restaurants. While I don’t play an instrument, I do draw and paint – it’s another passion of mine. My biggest problem is that I have too many interests, or at least that’s what my wife tells me!

GL: With more than 140 boutiques and over 1500 points of sale around the globe, you must do a lot of travelling.

KFS: I do travel a lot for business, yes. While I like to discover new places and rediscover old favourites, I can honestly say, today travelling is not so much fun anymore. However, there is no substitution for it, when it comes to first hand experiences, market research and discoveries. You always learn a lot when personally visiting other places!


GL: Today one doesn’t need a watch to tell time – there are clocks in cars, on cell phones and computers. Why wear one?

KFS: The time telling aspect of a watch is probably secondary today. Mechanical watches were invented more than 500 years ago. They went through several stages, from clocks to pocket watches to wristwatches, and technology as well as precision has constantly improved since then. Classic, especially mechanical, timepieces survived over generations, being handed down from father to son and always cherished by their owners. Electronic gadgets will never become collector items!

Additionally, a watch is also a piece of jewellery. It makes a statement about the one who wears it, his style, character and social status. Some complicated watches are also considered works of art.


GL: What makes a Chopard different?

KFS: What’s special is the family aspect of our company – the fact that we personally represent the brand, stand behind it and are still involved on a daily basis. In our production, we feature a big vertical integration and attach a lot of value to the heritage of craftsmanship. Last but not least, our creations are the expression of our passion for excellence.


GL: What about the next generation of Scheufeles to run Chopard?

KFS: We have three children, but it is too early to tell if they are capable of managing the company. They are all very interested, but time will tell …

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Photo: Richard Bartz/Fotolia

Whether ticks have become more resistant to our harsh winters, have increased along with the deer population, or more likely, have acclimated to altitudes which have higher temperatures as a result of global warming, these dangerous parasites are now found in the region up to heights of 1500 metres.

 

by: Alexis Munier

While tick bites themselves are harmless, diseases spread by their bites are not; the greatest dangers are Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme Disease. For those who spend large amounts of time outdoors, including hunters, farmers, mountain guides and avid outdoorsmen, a TBE vaccine is highly recommended.

 

Detecting Tick-Borne Disease

The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health estimates that 20 – 25% of European ticks are carriers. Yet reassuringly, only 1.5% – 3% of bite victims will contract an illness. It is important to watch for symptoms of TBE and Lyme Disease for several weeks following a tick bite. 

Only one in three people infected with TBE will show symptoms. These include headache, fatigue and muscle pain, but can develop into encephalitis or meningitis, which may result in severe brain and motor-skills damage or death. Over 10,000 outdoor enthusiasts are infected each year in Europe, with 200 losing their battle, according to tickalert.org. 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that sometimes presents with a bulls-eye or ring-shaped rash surrounding the bite area. Other symptoms to watch for are similar to TBE flu-like chills, fever and fatigue. If detected early on, antibiotics can be taken to minimize contraction of the disease. When left untreated, it may attack the heart, eyes, joints and nervous system. It can also go into remission and reoccur many years later, leaving sufferers with lifelong vulnerability.

 

Better Safe Than Sorry

Precautions to reduce the risk of tick bite include wearing long pants and sleeves and spraying generously with a tick repellent. Ticks which are too small to be seen by the naked eye may be hidden in clothing. When returning from the outdoors, remove your clothes immediately and do not take them into other rooms. 

There are several ways to remove ticks, but experts agree on the best method: Remove the tick using a pair of tweezers – specially designed tick-removal tool exists as well; Grab the parasite as close to the skin as possible (not around its swollen body) and pull straight out; Remove any remaining mouth parts of the tick from the skin afterward; Discard or save the tick to have analysed. 

In most other European countries, ticks may be analysed by mail using a kit sold at pharmacies (no such product or service currently exists in Switzerland). However, just because a tick is a carrier does not necessarily mean the bite victim will contract any illness. 

 

Vaccination – Tick The Box

Summer in the Saanenland is ripe with mountain activities; following precautions and discussing possible vaccination with your doctor with ensure you make the most of the region’s great outdoors. For more information, Europe-wide statistics and helpful hints are available at  www.tickalert.org.

 

What do you think? What do you think? (Comments 1)

Surval of the Fittest -- New All-Boys School in Gstaad

After 52 years, Gstaad International School is no more. In operation since 1962, the all-boarding institution was one of four private schools in the Saanenland-Pays d’en Haut. 

by GstaadLife

As the next stage in its development, Gstaad International School will be reborn as Surval Gstaad. As the only all-boys school in Switzerland (the last in operation closed in 1971), Surval Gstaad will provide a curriculum and activities tailored to the needs of young males. 

“The outdoor environment and excellent facilities in the Gstaad-Saanenland region provide the setting for a tremendously exciting all-boys education,” says future Headmaster Tim McConnell-Wood. “I very much look forward to welcoming our first students in September 2015.”

Last year, Gstaad International School announced plans for a luxurious new campus within Hotel Alpine Lodge. From 2015 onward, the campus will provide the home for Surval Gstaad. Located between Saanen and Gstaad, it will be comprised of two chalets, indoor and outdoor pools and a modern fitness centre, as well as bright, spacious classrooms and common rooms. 

While Alpine Lodge will continue to operate as a hotel, attracting guests to its rooms and restaurant throughout the year, it will also host the student population in its entirety. 

A sister school, Surval Montreux, has thrived since 1961. One of only two all-girls schools in Switzerland, the student body has grown in recent years, highlighting the revival of single-sex education. 

“A single-sex environment allows boys to soften their competitive edge, develop more collaborative skills and be themselves without the distraction of girls,” insists McConnell-Wood. 

The two schools, Surval Gstaad and Surval Montreux, plan to schedule joint activities several times a year, for both social and educational purposes.

What do you think? What do you think? (Comments 0)



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