The GPHG Academy will soon be making its submissions for the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. As Ian Skellern began putting rough lists of watches together, he realized that he was likely only aware of a fraction of watches that are both eligible and noteworthy. And as his favorite niche sectors are likely to be different than yours, many of you will know about watches that he, and perhaps other Academy members, don’t. So please let us know your favorite new watches in the categories here and we’ll take them into consideration.
The Red Dot is one of, if not THE, world’s most important and widely recognized design awards. Here Elizabeth Doerr shares 2020’s watch laureates with us.
The Horological Society of New York has started a program called the “Working Watchmakers Grant” funded by donors and made available to watchmakers in the United States who have lost work due to the Coronavirus lockdowns. It will provide a bit of support to tide them over during these difficult times. GaryG shares the details with us here.
The point of the large watch fairs is (or was) the sheer scale of their visitor numbers. In no other venue can brands meet with so many clients, collectors and press, and vice versa. If a large fair is limited in visitor capacity by health restrictions, can it still dominate the launch cycles of big brands? Ian Skellern examines likely winners and losers of the brave new world of exhibitions in 2021.
Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor have just announced leaving Baselworld to create a new watch show in Geneva with the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie’s Watches & Wonders. The show will be held in early April 2021 at Geneva’s Palexpo. This is going to be one interesting year full of new thoughts and ideas. Get out the popcorn!
With the two big Swiss fairs’ very existences hanging in the precipice thanks to past mistakes and the global pandemic COVID-19, and with no inkling of a clear way forward, Elizabeth Doerr looks at the turbulent first three months of 2020 and shares how brand managers are reacting to the ‘new normal.’
“Dear Mr. Babin, I’m speaking as a fan, but you are sure making it difficult. It gives me no pleasure to take shots at you like this, but if you keep standing up and saying these things, I’ll keep rebutting you,” Ian Skellern begins his second open letter on this subject . . .
Despite feeling that Geneva Watch Days was wrong, hope, stupidity, and self-interest prevailed enough to cause Ian Skellern to hold off on canceling his accommodation in Geneva previously booked for the now-canceled Watches & Wonders 2020. He was hoping organizing brand Bulgari would cancel the event first and take the decision and uncertainty out of his hands. But it didn’t. Now’s the (well-overdue) time to say bye-bye to Geneva Watch Days 2020 in his opinion.
Ian Skellern’s feelings regarding the rapid series of announcements of watch events like the cancellation of Watches & Wonders and Baselworld as well as the full-steam-ahead project Geneva Watch Days have been equally quickly undulating: from initially being enthusiastically for, Ian ended feeling against Geneva Watch Days. Why put anyone’s health at risk, especially with perhaps little in return but a few photos and a persistent cough? But it is a tough call.
The news broke like a hurricane on the morning of February 27, 2020: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has been canceled for 2020. In the words of Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe, “The future of the fairs is already [hanging] in the balance – to cancel them [this year] is really bad news for them, and for Baselworld in particular.” Read on for more of his opinion.