The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève this year welcomes two notable additions: Challenge Watch Prize and Audacity Prize. The former opens to watches with a retail price under CHF 4,000, and for the first time, smartwatches are admissible in this category. By facing the “crisis” of the smartwatch tide, Swiss traditional watchmaking is embracing the trend, as some affordable, even some mid to high end watch brands that don’t have heritage/history restraints, have had their brand-labeled smartwatches in the market. For traditional “traditional” brands, their high positioning and pricing strategy may not be affected in short term. While for a long haul, the popularity of smartwatches may bring a habit shift: young people may lose their potential interest, and even sense of wearing (expensive or not) a mechanical watch. GPHG welcomes smartwatches, an initiative of keeping pace with time.
The Audacity Prize rewards the best watch, presented in one of the 12 categories, which features a non-conformist, offbeat approach to watchmaking. The prize is discretionary and the jury will decide whether there are grounds for awarding it in 2018.
Stay tuned for the announcement.