This young honor is just barely three years of age, but undoubtedly it has already figured out how to remunerate probably the best personalities in the world of watches for their “energy” and “talent” – which are undeniably the most essential elements for the best watchmaking.
The grants’ recipients are chosen by the Cultural Council of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) jury. Both the FHH and the new honors were created by Franco Cologni, one of the brains behind the cutting edge incarnation of Cartier.
The goal of the annual Hommage à la Passion and Hommage au Talent grants is to respect two personalities in the world of high watchmaking.
The inaugural prizes of 2012 went to Jean-Claude Biver (Hommage à la Passion) and Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi’s Giulio Papi (Hommage au Talent).
One year later, these two honors went to Walter Lange (Hommage à la Passion) and Agenhor’s Jean-Marc Wiederrecht (Hommage au Talent). See A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange And Watchmaker Wiederrecht Win ‘Energy’ And ‘Talent’ Watch Awards for more data on them.
The latest duo in line to won these honors was Henry-John Belmont (Hommage à la Passion) and Philippe Dufour (Hommage au Talent). See Philippe Dufour and Henry-John Belmont Win FHH Homage To ‘Enthusiasm’ And ‘Talent’ Awards .
This year, the FHH once again granted two such personalities, but then again they are intriguing in nature.
Hommage à la Passion
Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is a man extremely enthusiastic about the mechanical watch. It was he who started the concept of bringing back manufacture developments to Chopard – the Swiss brand his family had acquired in 1963 – after the quartz crisis had ended.
Scheufele’s family hails from Pforzheim, the jewelry capital of Germany, but he, when all is said and done, is the product of an upbringing in Geneva and travels on a Swiss visa – though on the off chance that you listen hard, you can still hear a small touch of the local southern German dialect when he communicates in German.
“This was an additional opportunity for Chopard to become a recognized brand in haute horlogerie, and I think to be really recognized and accepted, it was necessary to go this direction,” Scheufele explained his decision to me nearly two decades prior as he was founding the L.U.C division of Chopard. “This implied making, conceiving, and producing our own development, not just professing to. So we decided to go this relatively hard, bumpy street, rather than just advertising. We believe in substance.”
Scheufele thus returned Chopard as a brand to its underlying foundations: “L.U.C., Louis Ulysse Chopard, made developments, his own developments, in the old days. Because of the development after my family dominated, Chopard was more known as a ladies’ watch manufacturer, even as a jewelry brand, and less any longer but rather more a manufacturer of men’s watches. To be really credible in that field, I thought the best thing would be to make our own movements.”
Spearheading this development in 1993, he brought together a group of specialists with the goal of making a serial manufacture movement.
Now, as L.U.C. turns 20 years of age and Scheufele has resurrected Ferdinand Berthoud ‘s name with a fascinating timepiece (see Ferdinand Berthoud Is Reborn With FB 1 Thanks To Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele ), he can look back with satisfaction.
“Certainly, technically talking, the L.U.C. project brought another measurement to the whole group. Furthermore, from a human point of view I think it has been an incredible experience because it demonstrates that when you set out to accomplish something, and regardless of whether you don’t believe perhaps in the first place that you’ll make it, on the off chance that you have a decent group of people together, you can do it. In such countless aspects it was an incredible experience, not to be missed.”
Hommage au Talent: Anita Porchet
Anita Porchet has set the principles, the tone, and the bar in the specialty of enameling in the advanced period. Her illustrious client list includes brand such as Van Cleef & Arpels, DeLaneau, Piaget, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Hermès, and Ulysse Nardin. She collaborates regularly with the greater part of them, and they proudly name her as the artist.
Porchet is a free craftsman specialized in enamel, which includes cloisonné (isolating enamel colors with miniature gold strings), champlevé (putting the enamel into arranged depressions), and paillonnée (gold specks terminated inside the enamel). Porchet is considered by numerous individuals to be the best enamel craftsman in the watch world (see The 2015 Gaïa Awards: Giulio Papi, Anita Porchet, And Jonathan Betts Honored ).
The workmanship that the 2015 Gaïa recipient practices is officially called “peinture miniature en emaille stupendous feu technique de Genève”: stove terminated miniature enamel canvases in the Geneva style. There are almost no craftsmans left today who practice this particular technique, and only a not very many brands exist who appreciate the outrageous skill and tender loving care that go into making one of Porchet’s miniature works of art.
Porchet realized that miniature composition would be her vocation when she was a teen. Creating a painted landscape miniature as a project for her uncle’s etching workshop, she fell in love with this style of painting. In the wake of going to the Ecole Cantonale d’Art in Lausanne to study workmanship, she took lessons from Elisabeth Juillerat, an enamel teacher in Geneva who gave her last official class in 1970.
Perhaps the most difficult thing about the craft of enamel is realizing how to separate the distinctive color hues. The enamel powders – which only become usable once they are blended by the craftsman with the appropriate amount of water or essential oil – are not a similar color they will eventually turn out to be once they have been started up to multiple times in the kiln. It takes the experienced knowledge of the enameler and a precisely arranged chart to know exactly which color will turn out to be which when they finally leave the kiln.
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