After a long investigation into the world of Haute Horlogerie (fine watchmaking), the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) in Switzerland announces that it has created a guide book to define what really constitutes fine watchmaking. The White Paper on Fine Watchmaking — a detailed guide of criteria and brands — is the result of three years of work by the Foundation's Cultural Council.
The FHH tapped its Cultural Council of 46 independent, international experts from across all areas of the watch industry, each of whom worked pro-bono to give their input into what defines fine watchmaking and to bring it together into one document that informs and sets forth the defining values inherent in fine watchmaking.
Within the guidelines, there are four main categories: Historic Maisons, Contemporary Brands, Luxury Brands and Artisan Creators. Additionally, the Council has developed a criteria that examines seven areas of expertise, including R&D and Production, Style and Design, History and DNA, Distribution and After-Sales Service, Collectors, Brand Image and Communication, and Training.
It specifies 28 objectives and measurable criteria across each of these areas. Each brand is evaluated against these criteria by the Cultural Council experts. For the release of The White Paper, 86 brands were evaluated and 64 met the criteria. This evaluation will be repeated every 2 to 3 years to stay current with developments in the industry.