President Joseph S. Blatter was awarded the Dove of Geneva at the Home of FIFA on Wednesday, receiving the symbol of peace designed by Swiss watchmakers Quinting from the company’s chief executive, Pascal Berclaz.
The Dove of Geneva is a limited edition watch featuring a pair of doves, the bird recognised as a symbol of peace throughout the world. In this model, the image of two doves is engraved on rotating sapphire crystal discs, with one turning at the speed of the minute hand and the other at the speed of the hour hand. The two doves come together for just a single minute every hour, thus signifying that 60 seconds of peace are worth 59 minutes of hard work.
“This model was the realisation of a dream for me because I come from Switzerland, a country that has always been a peaceful nation,” explained Mr. Berclaz. “What we tried to do in creating the Dove of Geneva was to make a watch that was true to Swiss tradition. There are only 193 Dove of Geneva watches, to reflect the number of countries that make up the United Nations.”
Quinting award this special watch to eminent personalities who have contributed to the promotion of peace, and the list of figures now wearing the timepiece to indicate their commitment to the cause includes former American President Bill Clinton; the President of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika; former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan; the Prime Minister of Bahrain, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Sulman Al Khalifa; the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin; and numerous former Swiss heads of state including Pascal Couchepin, Joseph Deiss, Moritz Leuenberger and Samuel Schmid.
“Doves represent peace, which is something necessary for any democracy, but there is also a ball on this watch as we believe it symbolises a link between peoples” said Mr. Berclaz as he presented President Blatter with his watch. “Football contains the first rules a youngster has to apply. You who will now wear this watch, you are an artisan – a builder of a better future.”
“I’m very touched by this distinction,” replied the FIFA President. “It’s a beautiful symbol, which fits very well with our mission at FIFA. Our goal is to ‘build a better world’ for youngsters and I believe that your philosophy for peace is in line with that.”