Ferdinand Berthoud Karl-Friedrich Scheufele on the GPHG and the future of Ferdinand Berthoud
To coincide with the announcement of this year’s GPHG finalists, we spoke to the man who picked up the Aiguille d’Or last year about the impact of winning the most coveted prize in watchmaking.
Mr Scheufele, you won the Aiguille d’Or last year with Ferdinand Berthoud, but how important is it for you in general to have watches competing in the GPHG?
I think the GPHG gives great visibility to fine watchmaking in general. It is for that reason that I insist on participating, without fear of losing. Like the Olympic Games the most important thing is taking part. I think it is a great initiative and a great showcase for the industry so I’m proud to support it.
One year on, what has been the impact of Ferdinand Berthoud winning the Aiguille d’Or in 2016?
First of all, it was a genuine surprise and a great honour to win and we weren’t expecting it. As far as brand awareness for this “new old” brand is concerned it was undoubtedly a great boost.
FB1 Chronometer by Ferdinand Berthoud © Ferdinand Berthoud
What is it like being a member of the jury and seeing things from the inside?
When we won the Aiguille d’Or with Ferdinand Berthoud, I didn’t realise at first that that meant I would be a member of the jury for this year. It only dawned on me later on and I realised that there was a conflict of interest with regards to Chopard. I wanted to suggest that I should not participate in votes in relation to Chopard watches but the organising committee suggested the same thing at the same time, so the problem was solved. I have to admit that I am curious to see what happens behind the scenes, but I would also have been quite happy to abstain from voting completely if that was necessary. Now I think we have found an elegant compromise.
Even without any influence on your part, four out of six of the Chopard models that were entered into the competition have made it through to the final round. I guess you are happy with this result?
It is already fantastic to be included in the preselected watches. I’m particularly proud of our minute repeater model, the L.U.C Full Strike, so we’ll see… But as I’ve seen all the other watches in the competition I can say that there are some very beautiful creations and the GPHG acts as a great showcase for some of the smaller brands.
L.U.C Full Strike © Chopard
What are your objectives for Ferdinand Berthoud?
The objective is above all to remain faithful to the values of the man from whom the brand takes its name, the same values we defined for the FB1 chronometer. So it is important for us to be very strict in our interpretation of Ferdinand Berthoud’s ideas – and there are a lot of them. The most important keywords are quality, innovation, passion and pleasure. It’s certainly not about quantitative objectives, it’s much more a personal project and the aim is to keep production very limited. We are also considering producing some completely unique pieces. We have already done one bespoke model because the customer insisted on having my signature on the movement, which was nice.
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