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GPHG - Interview with Carine Maillard

GPHG Interview with Carine Maillard

An interview with the director of the GPHG on the changes for the 2018 edition.

Watch the ceremony

The GPHG foundation has a new president and you are introducing some new prize categories. What is the reason behind the changes for the GPHG 2018?
The arrival of a new president brings with it a new dynamism. To some extent is marks the dawn of a new era. The character of Raymond Loretan fits well with the changes we are implementing with new partnerships and developments. The prize categories are adapted each year in line with trends so that we are able to judge the full diversity of excellent watch creations.

The new category for watches with a retail price below 4,000 Swiss francs opens the competition up to more brands. Do you worry that the number of participating brands could explode? Do you have an objective for the number of participating brands?
We do indeed want to encourage new brands to participate by giving everyone a chance of recognition. The Challenge Prize, for watches that retail for less than 4,000 Swiss francs, underscores the challenge to produce high-quality watches at accessible prices. The GPHG’s mission is to reward excellence at all price levels. This prize comes in addition to the Petite Aiguille, which will be awarded to a watch that costs between 4,000 francs and 10,000 francs. These two categories are also open to smart watches. We don’t have a specific objective for the number of participating brands, but we hope the new category will appeal to more brands.

At the last five editions of the GPHG, the Petite Aiguille prize was awarded to watches from three different brands, of which only one (Seiko) exceeded the 4,000 franc barrier of the new Challenge Prize. So how do you see these two categories evolving in parallel in the future? 
Between them, these two categories will allow the jury to shortlist more of this type of watch and we will be able to showcase more of them in our exhibitions. After all, they account for a high percentage of watch production.

Interview with Carine Maillard

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT, Petite Aiguille 2014 © Seiko

There will also be a new Prix de l’Audace this year that will be awarded by the jury across all 72 shortlisted watches. What criteria will be taken into consideration for this prize (particularly compared with those for the Innovation prize)?
The Prix de l'Audace, as its name indicates, will allow the jury to honour an audacious, non-conformist or off-beat model. The mai~n criterion for selection will be the expression of a certain amount of freedom or creative folly. The Innovation Prize honours an innovative vision of the measurement of time in terms of technology, design, display or materials, any of which could, for example, open up new avenues of development for the art of watchmaking. So we are talking about two different approaches. The two prizes are optional and can be awarded to any of the 72 shortlisted watches.

Interview with Carine Maillard

Julien Tornare, CEO of Zenith, winner of the Innovation Prize 2017 © GPHG

What is the timeline for the 2018 edition (registration, shortlist, exhibitions, award ceremony… ?)
Registrations open on 1st May and close on 22nd June. The jury will vote on the shortlist over the summer and we will announce the shortlisted watches on 1st September.

The 72 shortlisted watches will be exhibited in Singapore, Hong Kong and Geneva. We will announce the full programme in June. In Geneva, the exhibition will once again be held at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (MAH) and will be organised in partnership with the MAH and the FHH and opened on 31st October.

The winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on 9th November 2018 at the Théâtre du Léman. Edouard Baer will once again be the master of ceremony. His relaxed sense of humour was much appreciated. We are happy that he is able to join us again, especially as he will have plenty opportunity to practice during the ceremonies of the Festival de Cannes 2018! There will also be some changes to the organisation of the cocktail reception and the dinner, which you will discover, along with the winners, on 9th November.

Interview with Carine Maillard

Exhibition in Milan in 2017 © GPHG

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