Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)
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  1. #1
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    Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    While "high-end" apparently remains an ambiguous term, "fine watchmaking brand" isn't.

    "White Paper On Fine Watchmaking Identifies 64 Brands That Measure Up ... For Now"

    Edit:
    From "the White Paper Digest's" preface:

    What does the expression ‘Fine Watchmaking’ entail? A question had been raised on many occasions in the past with no clear response based on supported arguments brought forward. Too obscure, often weak, the expression “Fine Watchmaking” had lost its lustre and meaning. A situation that drove the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie to attempt to bring answers by drawing the contours of its world of knowledge and know-how.

    From the very beginning, in 2005, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) appointed a Cultural Council made of reputable individuals, independent from watch brands.

    Its main mission? Discuss and debate to build the foundations on which Fine Watchmaking will build upon. After 3 years of work and multiple considerations and consultations conducted by these experts, the White Paper of Fine Watchmaking was born. A new reference, the White Paper offers a definition of Fine Watchmaking, complete and indisputable, as well as a definition of its Perimeter: the list of stakeholders of Fine Watchmaking.

    These definitions come at an important time to defend and promote Fine Watchmaking. They offer the public at large the opportunity to better understand the mechanisms ruling the pinnacle of the art of horology, the White Paper aims to prevail as the rightful guide, a guarantee of authenticity and legitimacy for professionals, collector and amateurs alike.

    For the full version of "White Paper," click here. (It downloads as a PDF.)




    (Off Topic: Maybe WUS should rename this forum "Fine Watches" and cite the FHH's white paper as the basis for determining what makes qualify for discussion here?)
    Last edited by MDNoobie; 4 Weeks Ago at 17:50.

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    I wonder what the FHH is trying to achieve by doing that. Is this a label that is supposed to be used for communication to customer? For a future standard of quality?

    The fact that a brand like Tag Heuer is in the list makes me think that we have a different view on this forum, or that maybe we are too extreme. Tag does make a handful of high end pieces, but they represent less than 1% of their production volumes. Are we missing something?
    They also list Romain Jerome which has filed for bankruptcy a month ago, this is very odd.

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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Quote Originally Posted by ar7iste View Post
    I wonder what the FHH is trying to achieve by doing that. Is this a label that is supposed to be used for communication to customer? For a future standard of quality?

    The fact that a brand like Tag Heuer is in the list makes me think that we have a different view on this forum, or that maybe we are too extreme. Tag does make a handful of high end pieces, but they represent less than 1% of their production volumes. Are we missing something?
    They also list Romain Jerome which has filed for bankruptcy a month ago, this is very odd.
    Re: bold text:
    Look at the date of the referenced article.
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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Updated the OP by including the FHH's prefatory remarks and a link to a digest of the white paper and to the full version.
    Last edited by MDNoobie; 4 Weeks Ago at 17:50.

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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Quote Originally Posted by MDNoobie View Post
    Re: bold text:
    Look at the date of the referenced article.
    Oh, my bad, I read April 27 and assumed it was 2020!
    What do you think of that list? Useful for consumers to know what they're buying? Useful for social prestige?

    I think that each manufacture can show know-how and fine execution on different pieces, and that a whole brand is not always representative of the quality of individual watches. I'm still struggling to understand the merits and application of such a rating.

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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Quote Originally Posted by ar7iste View Post
    Oh, my bad, I read April 27 and assumed it was 2020!
    What do you think of that list? Useful for consumers to know what they're buying? Useful for social prestige?

    I think that each manufacture can show know-how and fine execution on different pieces, and that a whole brand is not always representative of the quality of individual watches. I'm still struggling to understand the merits and application of such a rating.
    "What do you think of that list? "
    • I have yet to read the list, though I can guess some of the makers that appear on it.


    What mattered to me was the methodology for developing the list, for if I find the methodology materially apt, I must necessarily agree with the results of the methodology's application. I have no material objections to the FHH's methodology. (The FHH exposes its methodology in the full version of "White Paper.")

    "[Do you think the list] Useful for consumers to know what they're buying? Useful for social prestige?"
    • Question 1 -> To the extent consumers understand the methodology that yielded the FHH's conclusion, yes.
    • Question 2 -> No as go watch buyers. Yes with regard to watchmaking firms.

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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Well, FHH is simply an industry trade group originally founded in 2005 by Richemont Group, Audemars Piguet, and Girard-Perregaux. Therefore their interests would be to have "definitions" and "criteria" broad and vague enough to fit as many manufacturers (willing to support them) as they can under the tent. One of the things in the white paper is that their "Council" uses a 65/35 objective/subjective split to decide who is in.

    'nuff said.
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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Quote Originally Posted by mlcor View Post
    Well, FHH is simply an industry trade group originally founded in 2005 by Richemont Group, Audemars Piguet, and Girard-Perregaux. Therefore their interests would be to have "definitions" and "criteria" broad and vague enough to fit as many manufacturers (willing to support them) as they can under the tent. One of the things in the white paper is that their "Council" uses a 65/35 objective/subjective split to decide who is in.

    'nuff said.
    Fine Watchmaking is excellence in watchmaking, the techniques of watchmaking in symbiosis with the applied arts.
    - Foundation of Haute Horology


    I greatly appreciate the FHH promulgating a definition of the term "fine watchmaking" Notwithstanding whether I have material objections to the definition and/or the manner by which watchmaking firms obtain the corresponding classification, - being inexpert on watches, the new and pre-owned watch industry and its macro and micro level operations or art history, I don't - the definition fills a heretofore extant gap pervading watchmaker-related discourse. Now there is a commonly understood basis for knowing what distinguishes fine watchmaking, and somewhat inferentially the preponderance of its outputs, from all other forms of watchmaking.

    I don't much care what the definition of a fine watchmaker is. I care that that term has a clear meaning. I care for the the same reasons I care that any word/term has a clear definition.

    Quite frankly, I don't see nothing to object to in that definition or what a firm must do to earn the "fine watchmaker" moniker.

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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Quote Originally Posted by MDNoobie View Post

    Quite frankly, I don't see nothing to object to in that definition or what a firm must do to earn the "fine watchmaker" moniker.
    Well, that’s kind of my point; they’ve made it so inclusive that almost anything halfway decent can qualify.

    Personally I subscribe to Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of pornography as applicable to this question.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    Re: Fine Watchmaking Brands (Firms)

    Quote Originally Posted by mlcor View Post
    Well, that’s kind of my point; they’ve made it so inclusive that almost anything halfway decent can qualify.

    Personally I subscribe to Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of pornography as applicable to this question.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    While you, as does WUS, prefer Justice Stewart's approach, and though I can effect it, it is not my preferred tack. I strongly prefer denotational unequivocality.

    Re: bold text:
    Inclusive?
    - A firm must be invited to apply for the appellation.
    - 64 of 86 invited firms obtained the classifier.
    IDK what firms were declined the recognition, but I know far more than 86 firms make watches that, to at least COSC standards, measure and report time using movements housed inside durable and attractive cases mounted on an adequate bracelet or strap.

    I can't say whether those watches are "halfway decent" because, unlike "fine watchmaking," there is no promulgated definition of what exactly that term means and by what criteria it's measured, and you provided none of your own.

    Therein lies the value of the FHH's definition and measurement criteria. It overcomes ambiguity, which is never a bad thing for discursive situations. As Mr. Ravessoud noted: "if you ask 10 people to define fine watchmaking, you get 15 answers." Now, there is one definition that all, their approbation notwithstanding, can use and/or see used and know exactly what it means.
    Last edited by MDNoobie; 4 Weeks Ago at 18:10. Reason: Added hyperlink

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