Eric Singer, drummer for the rock band Kiss, has been named to the jury of watchmaking's highest awards, the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). He is a well-known collector of eclectic timepieces and will join the rotating group of 26 jurors in Geneva this November as they select the best watches of 2015.
The GPHG is now entering its fourth year and has quickly become the most prestigious award ceremony in watchmaking, covering categories from grande complications to high jewelry on down to watches for less than $5,000. Brands must opt in to participate, and few well-known brands abstain (Rolex being the notable exception). Smaller brands, such as Ressence, use the GPHG as a way to earn some name recognition.
While Singer is a new addition, this year's jury is composed of many returning members, including jury president Aurel Bacs, of the new Phillips watch department. They're joined by such industry notables as René Beyer of Zurich's Beyer watch shop, Lebanese jeweler Claude Sfeir (who was the underbidder on the $24 million sale of the Patek Philippe Supercomplication), super collectors such as John Goldberger, as well as such journalists and writers as Elizabeth Doerr and Nick Foulkes. Singer's spot has previously been occupied by musician John Mayer and designer Philippe Starck, other famous watch lovers.
Breguet took last year's top prize, so per tradition, Breguet Vice President Jean-Charles Zufferey will also be joining the jury and Breguet will be ineligible for the Aiguille d'Or, or Golden Hand, award. This year's shortlist of competing watches will be announced July 15. Check this space for details then.