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An Open Letter To Watch Brand CEOs: Why You Should Enter The 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) | Quill & Pad

An Open Letter To Watch Brand CEOs: Why You Should Enter The 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) | Quill & Pad

Gentlemen and Ladies:

Greetings! If you know it, you have – collectively and separately – had a genuine effect in my life. Your products have brought me countless long periods of euphoria, and individuals I’ve met through watches have become a considerable lot of my closest friends.

One of the most joyful side advantages of my active contribution in the watch pastime throughout the years has been the chance to interact with, and gain from, a large number of the’s business and creative pioneers. On the off chance that I’ve met you as of now, I consider it to have been a privilege; if not, I desire to make your acquaintance later on and find out about your perspectives, goals, and challenges.

Right now, you have a chance to have another genuine effect, this chance to the soundness of the mechanical watch industry and the flourishing of your own brand. Regardless of whether your brand has participated in the past regularly, occasionally or not in the slightest degree, 2020 is the year for you to commit to entering your best new pieces in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve .

Big brands can win: 2019 GPHG Innovation Prize champ, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat

Why hear me out?

For those of you who don’t have any acquaintance with me, I hold the fairly fanciful title of “Occupant Collector” here at Quill & Pad. I’ve been engrossed with timekeeping and timepieces however long I can recall. I have been building my watch collection since the mid 1990s and have been actively associated with on the web and in-person watch communities since the mid 2000s.

Over the years, I’ve possessed watches from basically the entirety of the significant groups, the big unsupported houses, a few more modest brands, and a large number of the great autonomous creators within recent memory, from Philippe Dufour, Kari Voutilainen, and F.P. Journe to Konstantin Chaykin, Ludovic Ballouard, and Romain Gauthier, and back again.

In my normal everyday employment of 40+ years, I am a veteran business strategist, extensively distributed management creator, and little firm CEO of numerous years’ standing.

For the previous two years, I have filled in as an individual from the GPHG jury; and while the 2020 jury has not been named, I stay an individual from the GPHG Academy. When requested to join the jury in 2018, I was complimented to be described as an “all-rounder”: somebody with wide interests, an open demeanor, and no particular inclinations possibly in support of any brand, creator, or watch.

It is in that soul that I solicit your participation.

Why join, and why now?

It’s no secret that for the watch business, and for its Swiss branch specifically, the recent months have been tough. The genuine danger of extraordinary sickness, travel restrictions, political and social agitation, shuttering of retail outlets, and economic uncertainty are just a portion of the factors that the business is grappling with as it tries to support its connections with consumers and reconstruct demand.

With the destruction of Baselworld and the consistent trickle of new-product introductions throughout the year, we currently appear to have lost much of the excitement associated with the big occasion centered marketing chances of the past.

And while there’s reasonable no going back from (and genuine advantages to) spreading introductions across the calendar, wouldn’t it be great to have a focused occasion that focuses on the whole business, gets consumers’ juices flowing, and animates both active discussion about the general benefits of various timepieces and helps purchasers to remember watches that they might consider adding to their collections?

Yep: GPHG.

Highly noticeable: audience of distinguished guests and candidates, GPHG 2019 (photograph courtesy Gregory Maillot/Point of Views)

Four big purposes behind you to join in:

Showcase: Once each year, everyone’s eyes – including those of the upcoming expected significant customers – are on that stage in Geneva, where the “Oscars of Watchmaking” are introduced, and the choices of the jury are then dissected, lauded and criticized, similarly likewise with film and expressions grants around the world.

But imagine a scenario where at the Oscars Sony, Universal, and Disney declined to participate. It just wouldn’t be the equivalent. Yet, the genuine point is that they wouldn’t consider such a thing: the perceivability associated with the honors has demonstrated butts-in-theater-seats benefits that put forth the attempt, cost, and “danger” of losing totally worthwhile.

The GPHG is an under-leveraged stage for you to construct brand mindfulness and reputation.

Community and fortitude: Yes, you compete with different brands, and yet you rely upon each other to raise the profile and prestige of the business, uphold the occupations of countless providers, and give consumers motivations to purchase another watch instead of a car, boat, or case of wine. I’ve likewise spent enough hours attending board discussions involving executives from different brands and much more hours propping up the bar at Basel’s Trois Rois to realize that a large number of you actually like each other!

Yes, our little world includes watches, however it’s about individuals. Beside Only Watch , GPHG is maybe the solitary regular chance to advance this principle in a material and publicly noticeable way.

Luc Pettavino, champ of the Jury Special Prize at the 2019 GPHG (photograph courtesy Miguel Bueno)

Feedback: In my business life, and besides in life in general, I disdain losing more than I love winning. In any case, in each business misfortune, I gained important (if excruciating) data about how to decipher possible clients’ cravings, necessities, and obstacles in a really compelling path to win the following time.

Especially with the new Academy structure set up for 2020, you have the chance to hear what more than 300 profoundly intrigued industry participants find in your watches – and don’t see.

In 2020, interestingly the new Academy model has given a general group a clear record to propose the current year’s new watches of particular legitimacy. In the event that you or your group have been approached by the GPHG organization with the news that the Academy encourages you to enter at least one of your watches, you’re now winning. Appreciate the positive feedback and act on it!

Fresh faces, new sources of info: The Academy is a central component of new GPHG president Raymond Loretan’s upgrades to the 2020 process; this assorted group recognizes commendable possible participants, yet will be the get together that votes to select the six finalists in each category – and it will likewise have a voice in the jury’s last selections of the winning watches.

As for the actual jury, it is being completely reconstituted for 2020 and half of the individuals will be drawn at random from various sectors of the Academy, providing all the more new perspectives.

The 2019 GPHG jury along with the winners in front of an audience: expect big changes for 2020 (photograph courtesy Gregory Maillot/Point of Views)

Addressing your objections

I’m not innocent, so we should speak honestly about certain reservations you might be harboring:

The competition is “fixed”: First of all, see “new faces, new sources of info” above.

Second: having sat in the jury space for a very long time, I don’t see it. A considerable lot of the jury individuals are people I’ve known for a lot of years and for whom I have great respect, and I consider them to be neither corruptible nor even particularly subject to influence.

And recall: the jury can just select among the watches that are entered. Do heaps of free movers appear to win? Indeed, a considerable lot of them enter, and I’d challenge you to reveal to me why a Rexhepi, Voutilainen, Grönefeld, MB&F, or Greubel Forsey is certifiably not a commendable contender, similarly as your entered watches would be – in the event that you entered them.

The creator greets Men’s Watch victor Kari Voutilainen in front of an audience, GPHG 2019 honors ceremony (photograph courtesy Gregory Maillot/Point of Views)

To be reasonable, I’m on the record beforehand having said that while I accept that everybody I’ve interacted with on the jury is trying hard to make the best decision, their meanings of “the right thing” seemingly cover a range from selecting the objectively best watch in each category (my core principle) to likewise considering the benefits of different manufacturers, rewarding longevity, and so on (views that have come up in conversation however which have then been actively challenged by other jury individuals, myself included).

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, victor of the Iconic category at GPHG 2019

The categories are odd: Okay, you’ve got me there. Again, I don’t participate in the policy discussions of the GPHG authority, and a portion of the augmentations, erasures, definitions, and combinations of prize categories do appear to be downright odd to me. Once you are an active participant in the process, I trust that you will push for more transparency here as I do in private discussions.

We might not win: In a great deal of ways, that is truly not the point of participating in this occasion, right? A reasonable process that gives you added perceivability and raises the fortunes of the whole business can’t be so terrible to play in, as I would like to think, regardless of who gets to wave the trophy.

Is the GPHG, even in its amended guise, ideal?

Of course not. You know from your own experience as a corporate pioneer that all frameworks that include people are a different mix of judiciousness, feelings, and politics – and the GPHG is no exception.

That said, while I don’t participate in any of the inside discussions of GPHG authority, I do see the current year’s changes to the model as sincere trust endeavors to reduce further the political aspects of the occasion; and who at any point said that watches and watchmaking weren’t profoundly saturated with emotion?

So, go ahead, attempt it. Goodness – and one more thing – you might just win.

Parting shot: you might be a champ! Victorious CEOs and free creators at GPHG 2019 (photograph courtesy Gregory Maillot/Point of Views)

For more data, if it’s not too much trouble, visit

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