2017 Concours international de chronométrie CANCELLED!

News / Communiqué 03.06.2016 - Le Locle 

The 2017 edition of the International Chronometry Competition has been postponed.

In a meeting on June 2, 2016, the Committee of the International Chronometry Competition decided to postpone the 2017 edition of the competition.

It has been observed that, in its current form, the competition has not been receiving the support of the majority of watch companies. The committee has therefore decided to re-evaluate the overall concept. The President of the Competition consulted numerous personalities from the watchmaking world, representing brands, manufacturers, specialised press, collectors and associations in the sector.

Several options were proposed in order to improve the format of the contest, but none reached unanimity within the committee. Its members – all volunteers and watch enthusiasts – aspire above all to promote the values of watchmaking excellence, accuracy, reliability, expertise, know-how, innovation and tradition. They strive to promote watchmaking excellence and innovation; both for and with the watch manufacturers!

The decision to postpone the 2017 edition was the one that was required and gives the association some time for reflection in order to undertake a deep restructuring of the competition. A dedicated “thinktank” will be created, composed of representatives of all watchmaking circles. Its task will be to create a competition which will promote innovation and excellence while uniting the world of watchmaking.

See you in 2018!

See official site here: http://www.concourschronometrie.org/e/home.

IMHO this issue is also relevant to the recent thread by Bill on the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve, which also depends on Manufacture interest and has been absented by Vacheron Constantin for some years.  I always feared that too much industry manipulation would suffocate the Concours.  Is the same true for the GPHG?

Re: 2017 Concours international de chronométrie CANCELLED!
06/08/2016 - 03:46

I don't think one can make any of these competitions/contests mandatory.

Sorry to hear about the Concours, it is a more objective competition as it is testing something that can be objectively measured and also repeatedly measured if desired.  But I think this is exactly why different brands have decided to participate (or not participate).

The GPHG competition is also based on voluntary participation.  And while I highly respect and recognize that many of the judges are extremely experienced and knowledgeable, especially when compared with me (such as Sean, who very nicely posted a message under Bill's post)...I do not put much weight into these types of subjective competitions.  (I'm like this in regards to all awards that are based on expert judges/panels, etc. and not just in the watch industry.  I don't put much weight into the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Grammys, etc. either)

When in the news, I will notice who the winners are, but it doesn't affect me very much when I compare the winner with other options/candidates that I am looking at. 

Subjective contests of any type don't terribly interest me.  So ones where the public (including myself) may have an opportunity to affect the decision interest me even less (unless its elections or votes for things that have the potential to impact my life).  So "reality" TV and competitions are things I avoid (such as The Voice, DWTS, American Idol, etc.  and don't even get me started on the popularity of KUWTK!). :-)

Now, being able to talk, listen and read what the expert judges say when they review a specific watch...that is often where I can learn specific details about a watch that I did not know about before.  This is the important and exciting part of watch collecting for me.

 

Hope is in the margins
06/08/2016 - 03:52

Still a rank amateur in the field of high horology, I follow events like the GPHG Grand Prix to help seperate the chaft from the wheat. If GPHG says it's good, I'll believe them. If a decision is merely a political or business one, I'll be at a loss.

I hope that Vacheron Constantin enters the new Overseas series in one or more of the GPHG Grand Prix categories this year, and I'd become leery of the event if they did not enter. (I'd be convinced of jury tampering if they didn't win something!)

What gives me hope in the integrity of both the process and organization is the winnings by little companies like Harbring2--which has won 3 Grand Prix awards (2 in Petite Aiguille and 1 in Sports Watch). They only make 50 watches per year, and they're only about 10 years old...and they're not Swiss. If they can win with high quality watches; the contest appears sound.

By the way, I added a link to both the GPHG Grand Prix winners and one that shows luxury watch ownership groups:

http://www.sandlight.com/Watches/

I think that both the Concours international de chronométrie and Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève  should think a bit more about online watch collector communities and connecting better with them. For both the watch events and watches themselves, such moves would help sales and conference interest.

 

Having been an industry insider I can tell you that the concours de chronometrie even though
06/08/2016 - 09:31

an excellent idea had both marketed itself poorly to the brands and the public. The only reason brands would accept to enter such a competition would be if they would get something out of it ie: if they do well they want every one to know and they want the organisers to be the ones announcing it!

The Concours de Chronometrie was (is) an excellent idea but I think that the whole organisation will need to be rethought as to make it both more attractive to the participants and to the public.

As for the GPHG I find it a real shame that all the major brands do not participate, Geneva is considered the world capital of watchmaking and there is one major contest and all should participate but the big guys are always afraid they would loose next to a smaller brand, but who cares right?

Thanks for these very insightful comments
06/08/2016 - 23:50

smiley