Safe to say that few other foundations garner this much attention with the announcement of their panel of jurors as the Fondation du Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

The 2017 jury line-up is of particular interest because, while there is an entire list of returning faces, there has been an addition of several new ones, who are more than qualified for the appointment.

We start off with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who has been invited to the panel as a result of the Chronometer Ferdinand Berthoud FB 1 winning the Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix in 2016. GPHG tradition is that the principal of the brand that wins the award in a given year will be automatically invited to serve as jury in the following year.

Master watchmakers are a natural staple to the panel. Many have become a mainstay. This year’s fresh addition is British independent watchmaker, Roger W. Smith. If for some reason the name is unfamiliar to you, fear not. There are no history books you’ll have to navigate through, simply search for the documentary “The Watchmaker’s Apprentice” on Netflix (bloody shame that it isn’t available in certain regions, including Singapore).

Karl-Friedrich Scheufele
Roger W. Smith

Next on the list, Eric Ku. I’ve been most fortunate to be in touch with Eric for the Paul Newman Daytona epic Wei Koh wrote for Revolution.Watch in the middle of 2016. Throughout the entire process, Eric was nothing short of a friend; ever willing to share his knowledge. The vast expanse of his expertise as a collector and a vintage watch guru will, no doubt, prove invaluable to the panel.

The concluding two names we’ll walk through hit very close to home. First, Jack Forster. Former Editor in Chief, of Revolution Magazine USA; Group Technical and Features Editor, Revolution Media Pte Ltd and presently, Editor in Chief of HODINKEE. In every sense, Jack is one of an elite class of watch journalists whose work is not only informative and educational, but inspirational as well.

Last, and certainly not the least, Suzanne Wong. Suzanne whom I consider to be part of the same elite class of watch journalists as Jack and a mentor who has availed her encyclopaedic horological knowledge to many a shortcoming of mine own. Suzanne has a particular skill for taking the most complex of subjects and explaining them in a way that is all at once entertaining and easy enough for a five-year old to comprehend. This intellect of hers has proved instrumental to Revolution, time and time again. And it is this intellect that will, indubitably, bring a dimension to the jurors’ table the likes of which the GPHG has never seen before.

Watch nominations for this year’s awards will out just around July on gphg.org. We will follow through with that report and, of course, bring you the results at the conclusion of the ceremony in November. In the meantime, check out the complete jury panel here.

Suzanne Wong