MVDB Diffusion SA (van der Bauwede)

Both sides of the street I'm on are lined with apartment buildings and most looks to have been built in the 1940's or 1950's. Downtown Geneva lies less than a half-mile away. It's on the second floor of a seven-story apartment building (circa 1940's?) that I find the offices for MVDB Diffusion, the parent company of watchmaker Van Der Bauwede.

Finding the offices is the easy part, getting someone to meet with me turns out to be mission impossible. After being buzzed into the offices it turns out the receptionist doesn't speak English. Another woman comes out and neither does she. They find a man who speaks a little English. I explain what I do and how I sent a letter of introduction with background material to CEO Maxence van der Bauwede four weeks ago. I'm told he just left for two weeks and he's the only one who can talk to me. I leave another batch of background material and tell them I'll be returning.

In two weeks I return and am put in a small conference room while the receptionist goes to talk to van der Bauwede. It's not a very big place and looking down the hall there seems to be maybe two offices. The décor is sparse and except for the parquet floor, there's not much to the offices as it has the pre-World War II look. The receptionist returns and says, "Mexence isn't interested in meeting with you". I stand up and say, "oh, okay" and leave. I have a feeling I'm not missing much here especially with the welcome extended to me. Riding off on my bike I do the usual mental review where I categorize people into one of two groups, class or no class. No need to tell you where Mexence van der Bauwede ends up.