Translation of the Le Temps article on Alex Ghotbi

Here is a translation of the article about our fearless leader from Le Temps, for Kazumi and anyone else whose French is not too good.
I certainly do not consider myself totally fluent but for me it was a good exercise in comprehension and I'm happy to share it.
It is not a literal translation but an idiomatic one so that it can be more or less easily read in English.
No doubt there are a few errors. Sometimes words or expressions can have more than one meaning depending on context. Some constructs used in one language are never used in an other and perhaps in those cases I took a few liberties with the translation. I've also included a few explanations.

Alexandre Ghotbi, law leads to Plan-les-Ouates (home of Vacheron)

Alexandre Ghotbi was destined for a brilliant future as legal head of  a large French concern in New York City, but he decided to give it all up and  seek his ideal goal and join Vacheron Constantin in the role of Community Manager, or in other words, moderator of a virtual discussion space. <<The choice was Cornelian (this is a literary reference which refers to a conflict between love and duty), he admitted but I did not want to have any regrets and I realized that the time had arrived to take advantage of this incredible opportunity, which I dare say, represented a dream of a lifetime!>>

It was during his law studies in Paris that Alexandre began his interest in watches. << I was doing an internship (clerking) in a law office not far  from a watch boutique and I was drawn repeatedly to their windows, attracted like a magnet. Moreover, the choice of my first job was largely influenced by the fact that the associate (partner) with whom i had to work wore a Breguet tourbillon: I told myself that this was a heaven-sent opportunity to spend my days close to this "beast" (Note: Bete means beast or animal. I hope Alex wasn't refering to his partner, but rather to the watch :-) Here though I feel the better translation is "great performer or terrific piece, as in bete de scene).>>  Over time he learned more and more and his tastes narrowed more specifically to the fine horologie of Switzerland and Germany. << I was interested in all brands from Audemars-Piguet to Zenith, including Lange, Breguet and IWC; but what was surprising was that I always returned to to Vacheron Constantin in an almost irrational way: I say "almost" because I was quickly fascinated by the extremely avant-garde design of the vintage pieces and also very interested in the brand's history. >>

It was in 2001 that he entered the industry creating the Vacheron Constantin Discussion Forum on thePurists web site. << I had a great admiration for the brand without really knowing it in depth and I learned about it at the same time as other members of the forum. It was an exhilirating time: the Net was poorly regarded by the watch brands and we were gathered together in a small family where everyone knew each other.>>  It was during this period of intense expansion where he spent his free time learing and exchanging ideas with other enthusiasts that he set himself, in a little corner of his mind, the goal that he would one day make this his career. But how to go about it? He attempted through trial and error for several years to gain entrance ( literally: to find the front door).
He proceeds first of all by sending out unsolicited applications to the watch firms and auction houses who reply not at all or almost (during the only interview that he lands, he wonders if the Net is useless!)  Well, tough luck! He then embarks with two other enthusiasts, to create an independent brand around several exclusive pieces dreamt up by a watchmaker friend who wanted to bring his creations to market. They therefore prepare a business plan and begin to canvass the banks, several businesses of luxury goods, and watch manufacturing houses in order to come up with financing, but, unfortunately, once again, doors open with difficulty. The only person who listens attentively to their project and who spends time with them beefing up their business plan is Maximillian Busser, at that time CEO of Harry Winston Timepieces.

It was in fact for the celebration of Vacheron-Constantin's 250 birthday while approaching more directly the Geneva groups in order to organize the enticing attractions on thePurists that the idea comes to him to propose the launching of an in-house discussion forum. The Hour Lounge thus sees the light of day in 2007 and quickly becomes the special place to share and exchange, which today has lead to a genuine community of "Loungers", who appreciate more than anything (above all) the independent tone and the  exclusive news that they can find there.
So this idea to join Vacheron Constantin in the role of Community Manager to support and develop this community of collectors and aficianados, what's it all about?  << This group has developed a lot over a few years and their members, who beforehand enjoyed their passion on their own, today want to get together; and the need is genuine to create around this an on-going process which did not exist until then (creation of the Hour Lounge).
Thanks, JB
03/27/2009 - 00:15
Great story on Alex.
Joseph, thanks for doing us this great favor!
03/27/2009 - 02:42
Especially for anglo Western Canadians like me .  Although we are a bit shy about revealing our personal side, it really does help us communicate better.  Thanks again!
Thank you ever so much from a french illiterate :-)
03/27/2009 - 03:26
It's a great article about our HL Leader.  Greatly appreciated Joseph, thanks for taking the time and effort.  BR, Dan
Merci beaucoup mon ami!!
03/27/2009 - 05:50

Thank you so much, JB. I am glad that the "hidden plea" in my message got through to a kind soul!! Cheers! Kazumi

amazing story of passion turned career. congrats alex, for landing ...
03/27/2009 - 11:33
yourself on a dream job. the rest of us only can "dream" about opening a cafe when we retire to display our watches for gathering of WIS to discuss and spend time.  
amazing story of passion turned career. congrats alex, for landing ...
03/27/2009 - 11:33
yourself on a dream job. the rest of us only can "dream" about opening a cafe when we retire to display our watches for gathering of WIS to discuss and spend time.  
Which "law office" & which "watch boutique"? and
03/27/2009 - 12:18

who was the "associate" withe the "Breguet Tourbillon"?

Re: Which "law office" & which "watch boutique"? and
03/27/2009 - 13:01
Hmmmm, I also wondered about that JB
And what about a kind of "lawyer trust"?
03/27/2009 - 14:07
never trust a lawyer my friend :-) (nt)
03/27/2009 - 14:36
"lawyer" as you were (nt)
03/29/2009 - 15:07
Wilde Sapt and Chronopassion (nt)
03/27/2009 - 14:35
Alex, you have to kinda sad that it's kinda sad and deranged that you
03/27/2009 - 15:45
would make such an important  decision as choosing a job based on what one of your colleagues might be wearing as a watch... Sad, sad, sad... Having said this, when I was younger I was dreaming of working for Merrill Lynch... because I really liked their bull logo and I wanted to have it on my business card (yes, a la American Psycho) It's a good thing I didn't go work there Cheers,  Francois
oopps, I meant to write "you have to admit that it's kinda..." (nt)
03/27/2009 - 16:03
Thank you, JB! Interesting read on our dearest, lawyer/moderator Alex
03/27/2009 - 21:25
Very kind of you Joseph, only want to add!
03/27/2009 - 22:00
First of all he is one of Doc's closest friends,   he also are much more brilliant than the story tales! Your good Alex! See you there Doc
merci Doc; you made me blush :-) (nt)
03/28/2009 - 15:49
Nice to know more on our favorite moderator :))
03/29/2009 - 12:44
Thank you again Alex for sharing with us your passion, bring us fresh news!!! Your only biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig defect is The Teasing LOOOL!!
JB - thank you for sharing such.......
03/30/2009 - 02:47
a great review on our esteemed moderator Alex. I guess this was a well kept secret and now we all know where to get free legal advice, lol. Am not surprised to know that Alex has achieved such heights in his career and work as we see it everyday here on the Lounge. My congratulations to Alex and my sincere thanks to JB for confiding in us. Best wishes, Matt