Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève’s second innings in India

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Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève’s second innings in India
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Raymond Loretan, president of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, on catering to all worth tags, India’s rising luxurious market, why mechanical timepieces are right here to remain and on his option to not put on a watch

Raymond Loretan, president of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, on catering to all worth tags, India’s rising luxurious market, why mechanical timepieces are right here to remain and on his option to not put on a watch

“Compensation is driving the revenge purchasing demand within the post-pandemic world”, says Raymond Loretan, president of the recently-concluded Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) exhibition in New Delhi.

Dubbed because the Oscars of the watch trade, the GPHG exhibition comprised 84 timepieces throughout 14 classes for the 2022 Awards, together with among the most interesting wristwatches from numerous classes from creative and girls’ problems to tourbillons. That is the second time the exhibition has travelled to India, offered but once more by watch retailer, Ethos Restricted. Created in 2001 as a public curiosity organisation, GPHG’s aim has been to uphold the excellence of the watchmaking artwork by honouring and rewarding horological masterpieces that push the boundary of the trade yearly.  

The Arnold & Son Luna Magna Platinum (left), and the HYT Moon Runner Supernova Blue
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

A profession diplomat, and pupil of Regulation from the College of Fribourg, Raymond joined the Swiss Federal Division of Overseas Affairs submit his internships in Strasbourg, on the UN in New York and in La Hague. After serving as chief of cupboard of the Secretary of State within the Overseas Affairs, and a number of other diplomatic positions later, Raymond left public service and took on the manager chairmanship of the Swiss Medical Community Group. He continues to be on the board of a number of corporations, foundations and NGOs, amongst others the Swiss Broadcasting Company, and the financial and monetary newspaper L’AGEFI. Excerpts from an interview forward of the awards ceremony in November:

Why was India chosen because the vacation spot for the exhibition this yr?

After our final exhibition right here in 2014, we’ve been wanting to return to India for a very long time. The pandemic delayed our plans, however we had been lastly fortunate to be invited by Ethos Watches and Yasho Saboo to exhibit the pre-selected watches of GPHG 2022 and to have significant interactions with India’s watch professionals and aficionados. India is poised to open up much more to the worldwide watch trade, and our Minister of Financial system visited India earlier this month to expedite the conclusion of the Free Commerce Settlement which makes us optimistic in regards to the market.

What are the important thing highlights and your favourites from this yr’s line-up?

I respect strict neutrality and that’s crucial precept that drives the Grand Prix. I by no means point out a model or a specific product; I don’t even put on a watch to keep up neutrality. If we’ve to extend the legitimacy and impression of the Grand Prix, we’ve to respect this side. On this course, we took a giant step in 2020 by creating the Academy of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. We imagine via the academy, we will reinforce and reaffirm this precept of impartiality.

A snapshot from the exhibition

A snapshot from the exhibition
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

How do you go about categorising the awards?

Yearly, we rethink the classes and reaffirm or readjust them primarily based on the evolution of the watch market world wide. To attain this aim, we don’t determine ourselves, however seek the advice of numerous watchmaking specialists. For instance, we’ve launched a brand new class this yr: mechanical clocks (that didn’t come to India because of logistical difficulties), and reintroduced chronograph. We additionally emphasise on this yr’s innovation prize, the dimension of sustainability with out introducing any new class.

What’s driving the sale of luxurious watches globally?

The Grand Prix is not only about luxurious watches. Whereas we’ve 20 million swiss franc value of watches competing on this yr’s version, the best worth of a single timepiece is 8 million swiss franc and the bottom is 1,700 swiss franc.

By way of gross sales, the luxurious section survived the pandemic nicely as a result of luxurious watch consumers had been much less touched by the financial disaster and this class will all the time keep steady and doubtless develop sooner or later. India will carry out nicely if the market situations open up much more. It’s nonetheless tough to import watches into the nation.

The Astronomia Metaverso NFT Venus watch by Jacob & Co

The Astronomia Metaverso NFT Venus watch by Jacob & Co
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

What’s the impression of crypto foreign money on the watch trade?

Although I’m not an knowledgeable, from what I hear from buddies within the banking trade, I don’t assume crypto currencies have an enormous future. I wouldn’t wager an excessive amount of on it.

Any developments that you would be able to crystal gaze for 2023 by way of design, expertise, color, performance?

The digital class is progressing slower than anticipated, and a majority of collaborating watches are nonetheless mechanical. We’re open for digital watches, however I nonetheless don’t see quick progress. That is nonetheless a pleasant steadiness, and that’s not a supply of concern. Mechanical watches are right here to remain.

The Bovet Récital 20 Astérium watch

The Bovet Récital 20 Astérium watch
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

What’s the position of GPHG in selling positive watchmaking?

Our mission is to advertise the watch trade as a complete. One of many three rules I attempt to implement at GPHG contains being completely neutral and impartial. I believe we’ve achieved this with the academy, now we’ve 650 members up from 300 two years in the past and I’m focusing on 1,000 members by 2025. Second, to attain universality of the Grand Prix. We’re open to watches from anyplace on the planet. Typically, we’re perceived as a Swiss Grand Prix, however we aren’t. We’ve watches from Japan, Russia, China and others. I hope Indian watches could be on this record someday quickly. Third, is the side of solidarity. I anticipate all manufacturers to take part as an indication of solidarity in direction of the reason for the watchmaking trade.

The Awards Ceremony shall be held in Geneva on November 10, 2022.The author is founder and president, The Horologists.



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