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Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie FHH Adds 12 New Partners

Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie FHH Adds 12 New Partners Watch Industry News

The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, whose mission is to be an independent guardian of watchmaking culture and “promote Fine Watchmaking throughout the world,” continues to grow their membership. Founded in 2005 by the Richemont Group, Audemars Piguet, and Girard-Perregaux, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) has a range of activities among which is organizing the annual watch trade show SIHH that is second in importance for the watch industry only to Baselworld and takes place a couple of months before. Both SIHH and the Foundation have continued to grow in size in recent years, increasing the number of partner brands as well as exhibitors at the show. So, it should perhaps be unsurprising that many of the 12 brands the FHH has just announced as new “partners” are also bringing their booths and money to SIHH from Baselworld.

Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie FHH Adds 12 New Partners Watch Industry News

Adding 12 new members to the FHH’s partners brings the total list to 41 brands (see them all above) as of late 2017. The dozen new brands are: Armin Strom, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, DeWitt, Grönefeld, Hautlence, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, Ressence, Romain Gauthier, RJ-Romain Jerome, Speake-Marin, and Urwerk. As mentioned, SIHH has been growing year over year, and it increased to 24 participating brands in 2016 and then even more for SIHH 2017. Expanding from mostly the founding partners’ brands, SIHH added a “Carré des Horlogers” section of the show for independent watchmakers in recent years. Many of the brands now announced as new FHH parnters were also in last year’s Carré des Horlogers.

Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie FHH Adds 12 New Partners Watch Industry News

It is hard to say exactly what it means for the FHH, SIHH, or the brands for them to be “partners.” As is so often the case in the watch industry, one is forced to try to read between the lines of vague statements and terms. The FHH notes that these partners “actively support” their mission, but it is not clear how they do that nor what benefits they get in return, though surely there is mutual prestige and “legitimacy” in the association and probably some marketing advantage as well. In a perfect example of obfuscation, in my opinion, the FHH put out a “white paper” in 2016 with the purpose of defining the term haute horlogerie – “fine watchmaking” or whatever translation you choose is equally ambiguous in English. What they ended up with after three years was an elaborate set of criteria and a list of 64 brands that met the criteria – about the same number as the FHH’s “partners” plus their also obscurely named “perimeter brands.”

Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie FHH Adds 12 New Partners Watch Industry News

Vis a vis Baselworld, SIHH has worked to maintain its prestige and reputation as “exclusive,” and perhaps only FHH members will be allowed to exhibit in the future. SIHH has been growing in size, but exclusivity means they can’t just let everyone join, right? About that, SIHH Managing Director Fabienne Lupo says the following: “There is no intention of extending SIHH indefinitely. It will grow within carefully measured limits so as to preserve the values of excellence that have forged its reputation. It must also meet the expectations of its exhibitors and clients, both now and in the future.”

Fondation De La Haute Horlogerie FHH Adds 12 New Partners Watch Industry News

SIHH 2018 adds Hermès to its “Historic Maisons” (total 18 brands) and the Carré des Horlogers (total 16 brands) adds three exhibitors – DeWitt, Ferdinand Berthoud, and Romain Gauthier – bringing the total number this year to 34 participating brands. So, clearly, not all the new FHH partners are joining SIHH right away. However, with Baselworld attendance having declined in 2017 and SIHH expanding, we can perhaps expect more balance between the two major shows, and hopefully even more variety and interesting releases at SIHH coming up in January 2018. hautehorlogerie.org

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  • Pete Pete

    12 new partners and bremont isn’t one of them? I’m shocked.

    • Invicta is missing too, ha ha.

    • Jon Snow

      Bamford should be on there, given that anyone in the know always thinks of Bamford when it comes to serious Rolex watch customization and Bamford also has a lot of expertise in case coatings and dial modifications, which makes the company special – along with the fact that they service many of their watches in-house.

  • Interesting the Hublot and Zenith have not yet joined while Bvlgari, Louis Vuitton and TAG Heuer (all from the LVMH group) have.

    • Maybe the FHH Board of Directors has not made the proper pilgrimage to worship at the feet of JCB yet?

      • IG

        They are afraid of tasting his cheese.

        • Say what you will about JCB, but his cheese is great.

      • But oddly, TAG is already a member. Go figure…

  • Tea Hound

    I have to say it sounds like a complete load of bollocks.

  • SuperStrapper

    When will they get some real brands on board tho.

  • Terance Hill

    I truly don’t understand what it all means ! But my take on it can be summed up with a quote from a very famous man !
    HOLY UNDERWEAR , WE GOT TO DO SOMETHING TO PROTECT OUR PHONY-BALONEY JOBS !
    PAHRUMP …PAHRUMP ….PAHRUMP… PAHRUMP …PAHRUMP
    HEY …..I DIDN’T GET A PAHRUMP OUT OF THAT GUY !
    And in summation I have a few nice watches .
    I would like more nice watches …& .
    I don’t need more watches

  • Mikita

    Good luck in “promoting Fine Watchmaking throughout the world” without PP, GO, Zenith, GS, Moritz Grossman, Urban Jurgensen, P. Dufour, Arnold & Son, Angelus, R. Smith, Lang & Heune, Bremont and Janis Trading Co.

    • spiceballs

      – – – – and a good few others.

      • Mikita

        Bamford? Gentleman Warfare? 🙂

        • Jon Snow

          Squaleeeee!

    • UniversalXpectator

      Not to mention…. Rolex!

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