The Grand Prix D’horlogerie De Genève (GPHG) is introducing a new system for nominating and voting for the best watches of the year for 2020.
Owners of the event are creating a GPHG Academy, loosely modeled on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body that votes on Oscars for the film industry.
It means that, rather than the winners of the watch awards being voted on by a jury of around 30 experts every year, there will in addition be input from a much larger Academy of around 300 people.
In its first year, members of the Academy will be selected by The Foundation of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, but from 2021, new members will be admitted if they are put forward by existing members.
Up until this year, watchmakers had to submit their own watches for consideration by the jury, but from 2020 onwards, Academy members will be able to propose watches. The brands will still, however, have the right to prevent their watches taking part.
Because brands can ultimately still decide whether their watches are part of GPHG or not, it is possible that a criticism of the event — that the biggest brands do not participate — will continue.
In this year’s event, four out of the top five watchmakers in the world: Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe and Cartier, did not participate.
There is also some uncertainty over how much weight the votes of the jury and Academy members will have in the selection of winners next year.
Information about participating watches will be shared with all Academy members, but only jury members will be given time to examine the models in person.
A spokesman for The Foundation of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève says that the jury’s voting will have more weight than the votes of Academy members, but could not provide further detail.