All 72 pre-selected watches from the 18th chapter of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) have been on tour, mere weeks ahead of the award ceremony, so that watch lovers who aren’t in Geneva as often, might get a chance to view some of this year’s latest and greatest, up close and personal.
This year’s stops included Venice, Hong Kong and, last but not least, the sunny shores of Singapore.
Speaking on the subject matter of GPHG stopping by Singapore, for the first time, Director of the GPHG, Carine Maillard explained, “Each year when we try to find partners for the places we bring the tour to, it’s a difficult task. We have to try to avoid appearing commercial and therefore avoid showcasing in commercial places. Rather we opt for museums and art galleries.
“We always try to find partners who will choose with us a venue that is more about art, because we try to present the timepieces as creative objects of art. It’s difficult for us to find the right partner who will understand these values that are important for us.
“Speaking with Michael Tay (Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass) at the Dubai Watch Week last year, I learned how much of an art connoisseur he really is. And then seeing the space that is the Malmaison by The Hour Glass — it is really more like an art gallery than a retail space. We knew we had found the right partner to bring the tour to Singapore.”
All 72 pre-selected watches have been on show at the Malmaison by The Hour Glass since the evening of the 17th of October and will be there until Sunday the 21st.
For the GPHG, though, things haven’t simply been a matter of bringing its cause to new shores. In a time when the entire watch industry is moving swiftly to take on new mindsets and strategies, the wheels are motion to bring fresh ideas into the Prix as well.
Newly appointed President of the Foundation, Mr Raymond Loretan explained, “We have to think about how the Prix is going to look in the future. There are some movements in the watch world, in Switzerland. In this time, we have to understand this movement for ourselves and then ask how we should move.
“We’re thinking about how we can give the Prix a larger more international recognition. Part of the thinking out loud we’ve been doing is considering perhaps taking on an academy rather than a jury, which would be larger and require digitalization of the selection process.”
But not just ideas from within the organizing committee of the Prix, Mr Loretan explained that his team is actively engaging those from within the industry to discover innovative ways that GPHG can see itself forward.