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“My rule: It’s either the jewelry or the wardrobe“ | The actress Bettina Zimmermann will be a new juror for the INHORGENTA AWARD on February 24, 2019. The 43-year-old already played a leading role at a prize ceremony in Munich in 2006, when she won the Diva Award as best actress. She talks about her new role here.

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The actress Bettina Zimmermann will be a new juror for the INHORGENTA AWARD on February 24, 2019. The 43-year-old already played a leading role at a prize ceremony in Munich in 2006, when she won the Diva Award as best actress. She talks about her new role here.

Ms. Zimmermann, you’re a juror for the INHORGENTA AWARD 2019. You and your fellow jurors will choose the winning jewelry and watches. Are you looking forward to your work?

Oh, yes! But I don’t view it as work. I see it as an excursion into a fascinating world, where great artisanal skill brings art and beauty to life. For some people, these creations even contribute toward defining their own personal identity.

You and your husband Kai Wiesinger utilize your craftsmanly know-how in the Amazon series “Der Lack ist ab,“ in which the two of you play an over-forty couple. How do online formats differ from TV formats?

No matter whether it’s online or TV format, the basic precondition remains the same: it must be good entertainment. With “Der Lack ist ab,“ we conceived a series that also works well on small screens. For example, the 10-to-15-minute episodes are perfect for viewing while traveling by train.

As a juror for the INHORGENTA AWARD, your tasks are to scrutinize and evaluate watches and pieces of jewelry. Which style is your personal favorite?

The jewelry and watches I wear every day are classical, timeless and not too “loud,“ i.e. they’re not ostentatious, but neither are they dull and boring. Depending on the occasion, especially for an evening event, I might opt for something a bit more eye-catching. But I always obey my personal rule: “either the jewelry or the wardrobe,“ which means that my outfit mustn’t upstage a beautiful piece of jewelry and vice versa.

“I will enjoy my jury job” | The Swiss jewelry designer Patrik Muff did an apprenticeship as a goldsmith and, without any school qualifications, graduated from Cologne University of Applied Sciences with a degree in art – due to “extraordinary artistic ability.” He has a very special relationship with the INHORGENTA AWARD: Muff designed the 3.5-kilogram trophy. In 2019 he is sitting on the jury. He won’t have far to travel to the exclusive gala event – after all, Muff has lived in Munich since 1998.

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The Swiss jewelry designer Patrik Muff did an apprenticeship as a goldsmith and, without any school qualifications, graduated from Cologne University of Applied Sciences with a degree in art – due to “extraordinary artistic ability.” He has a very special relationship with the INHORGENTA AWARD: Muff designed the 3.5-kilogram trophy. In 2019 he is sitting on the jury. He won’t have far to travel to the exclusive gala event – after all, Muff has lived in Munich since 1998.

Mr. Muff, you are one of the most sought-after jewelry designers in Germany. You also designed the diamond-shaped trophy for the INHORGENTA AWARD. Now you are a jury member for the first time. Are you looking forward to the job?

You bet! I am really looking forward to being part of it all. It is fantastic meeting the designers in person and chatting to them about how the jewelry and watch industry is continuing to evolve. Being able to take a step back occasionally, look at everything happening from the outside, and talk to others about it is an opportunity that presents itself far too seldom. I will enjoy it.

Until now, you have created your own jewelry. Now you are set to judge other pieces. How much experience do you have of this?

I have worked at Pforzheim University as a lecturer. You are inspecting and assessing all the time there. You also learn to open your mind to new things. Over the years, I have gained a basic knowledge that will certainly come in useful when sitting on the jury. I look for the statement the jewelry makes. Somebody who wears a skull and crossbones wishes to make a completely different statement to someone who prefers a floral design. I also constantly ask myself: Who could wear this piece of jewelry? That is very important to me.

What advice would you give to young designers?

I started designing jewelry at the age of 14. My tip would therefore be: Stick at it! Designers have to find their own design vocabulary. That can take some time. Once you’ve found it, however, it is wonderful.

"I am very curious to see daring and strong design projects." | Xavier Perrenoud, designer and professor at the ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne, talks about the greatest challenges facing the jewelry and watch industries and about the significance of awards.

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Xavier Perrenoud, designer and professor at the ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne, talks about the greatest challenges facing the jewelry and watch industries and about the significance of awards.

What are the biggest challenges in the watch and jewelry industry at the moment?

There is a lot of change going on recently. It‘s not only about the way young people think about consuming. All generations are changing their ways of looking at individual needs. The biggest challenge is to foresee these changes and present our customers with solutions for problems they haven‘t even discovered themselves yet.

Can you give an example of a similarly profound change that happened in the past?

Well, we talk about digitalization constantly. Yes, it is a big change, but we do see the opposite trend as well. We have the smart watch hype and we have a need for traditional, truly mechanical watches. Customers like to understand the items they wear. They like to understand why things work. On the other hand, digital devices open up a field of possibilities that were unthinkable ten years ago .

How important are awards for the watch and jewelry industry?

First of all, awards are important because they support innovation. We all know how esteem can rise our motivation and creativity. Also, it is great to have the opportunity to think “out of the box” and to present creativity to the public, in order to give the watch and jewelry industry greater visibility. Last but not least, you can‘t overestimate informal settings to get in touch with new contacts, and possibly new business partners.

What are you most looking forward to when thinking of the INHORGENTA AWARD in February?

I am very curious to see daring and strong design projects. I am looking forward to seeing the designers get all the attention they deserve. They are working so hard all year, the INHORGENTA AWARD finally rewards them. Additionally, I am convinced that the AWARD helps to stimulate creativity in the watch and jewelry industry in general. 

“Design always plays an important role in everyday life” | ​Watch expert and INHORGENTA AWARD jury member Gisbert L. Brunner on the role of the industry award and the rapid rise of the smartwatch

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Watch expert and INHORGENTA AWARD jury member Gisbert L. Brunner on the role of the industry award and the rapid rise of the smartwatch.

Mr. Brunner, how important is the INHORGENTA AWARD?

Very! And precisely because it stands out from other awards for its versatility. Very different categories are evaluated here: jewelry, design, brands....everything is here and that’s what makes the INHORGENTA AWARD so special.

Why is it important that smartwatches be honored in the SMART & CONNECTED WATCH OF THE YEAR category?

The market share of these timepieces is now in the double-digit range. Smartwatches are particularly popular with younger buyers. They want to be connected to their surroundings around the clock and read the latest information on their wrists. With these watches, you are immediately up to date. That’s why you have to keep up with the times and include smartwatches in the AWARD.

How important is design for you?

Design always plays an important role in our everyday life. For example, the smartwatches should be comfortable on the wrist and designed to be user-friendly. If I always need the manual, then they’re no use to me. The watch should be intuitively controllable via a single button. For example, when I play a song through my Bluetooth headphones or load a city map for navigation, it has to be simple. Even after a longer break away from it, I have to be able to operate the watch without any problems. Whether you like the exterior design of the smartwatch depends on your personal taste.

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