Patek Seal and impact on VC

Alex, PP has officially launched the 'much awaited' Patek Seal.  I had a look on their website, and even went through their criteria.  I have few questions:

a) Is the Patek Seal really much different from the Geneva Seal? Or is it more marketing hype?

b) Do you think VC's own standards already take into account (or exceed) some of the highest standards of watching - with or without any seal?

c) Is this a competitive disadvantage for VC? How would VC react to this? VC is trying to have all their movements with Geneva Seal - would Patek saying goodbye to the Geneva Seal make it much less important?  (As it is, some of VC's own in-house calibers - Malte Tourbillon, Skeleton Minute Repeater, Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar don't have the seal anyways...).
+d) is there a link with the fact that PP is not a member of the
03/26/2009 - 11:19
SIHH Foundation?
the Foundation of haute Horlogerie has nothing to do with the
03/27/2009 - 14:28
Geneva Seal. The Foundation groups a certain number of brands (including VC, AP, Greubel Forsey etc...) whose purpose is to promote haute horlogerie and craftsmanship.
My first impression is that its mostly marketing hype
03/27/2009 - 07:35
Are the 2 sub-committees that make up the PP seal committee all internal to PP, or do they include 3rd party members, and if so what is the break down in terms of internal vs. external committee members? Will Patek license the PP Seal to others?  Would others want it?  (It's like, back in the day, would another NBA star be willing to wear Air Jordans on the court when Michael was still playing?) I believe that unless the PP Seal has open standards and is clearly more stringent than the Geneva Seal, it will not mean much to anybody outside of PP.  (Look at IWC and Omega - they both require their chronometers to be more stingent than COSC standards, but that is their choice and does not necessarily mean that they are better than other COSC chronometers). I recall reading something that Alex wrote awhile back that although VC has been somewhat erratic with the use of the Geneva Seal, all of their watches are manufactured to meet or exceed the GS standards.  I'd love to hear anybody else's thoughts on this. BR, Dan
the new PP seal looks like the "RR" (rolls royce) logo which does not.
03/27/2009 - 11:41
... look as good as the geneva seal for me.  Most WIS knows what quality is and need not to be reminded.  i am indifferent of the new seal since it does not represent higher standard from PP, however, i am concerned the loss of an art-decor logo. i hope i dont offend anyone, just my first opinion.
I'm currently at the Basel fair but here are some thoughts. I will
03/27/2009 - 14:26
try to elaborate when I get back home. a) the PP seal is more an "engagement" than a quality seal. PP commits to a certain number of criteria re: finishing, regulation, case, dials etc... so it is wider than the Geneva Seal which only refers to the functional finish of the movement. However not having finished reading PP's press material I can't compare their functional finish criteria to that of the Geneva Seal. b) Yes i do, in terms of movement finish VC's standards are amongst the highest (cf Voutilainen's comments on cal 4400) c) I personnaly think that internal seals and quality labels will always lack objectivity and as VC's reaction goes they shall continue defending the Geneva Seal and will from now on become the standard for the Geneva Seal.  
Useless in my humble opinion
03/27/2009 - 15:39
If, as Dan pointed out, this seal is granted internally by PP, than it has as much value as the brand name stamped on the dial. If you are buying a PP, you should know what you are getting, and you'd expect PP to sell watches that would meet its own quality standards.  For other brands to use this seal, it would have needed to be called something else than the "PP Seal". As Dan said, if I'm Shaq or Kobe, why would I wear Michael Jordan's shoes? The problem I have with the Geneva Seal is its geographic restriction to get the seal awarded - I personally couldn't care less if a Swiss made watch has been assembled in Geneva or in Zurich. If manufactures are moving to a more remote location to produce at cheaper cost their watches, than I don't see why they should be penalised for doing so and not be able to get the Seal... In that optic, I would have like PP's idea of a new seal if: 1) PP had created and funded an Independent Committee to award a Seal (and convince the world that it is independent!) 2) the Seal didn't have the PP name attached to it 3) the criteria required would be higher than those required for the Geneva Seal 4) any brand would be able to get the seal - expand the geographic restrictions to be eligible to receive the seal. Basically, create a new, improved and more stringent Geneva Seal. If I was PP, I would have tried to get the buy-in of VC, AP, AL (even though not Swiss), Breguet to all join in in the creation of this new standard, really to separate the top manufacturers from the rest.  My 2c... Cheers,  Francois
A move in Patek's future?
04/02/2009 - 02:33
I tried to stir things up on the Patek forum at another site with the suggestion that the only logical reason for abandoning the Geneva Seal was that Patek was planning to move it's factory to another location!