To the question: “What will distinguish this 12th edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie of Geneva?” The well-respected President of the Foundation of the Grand Prix , responds : “It will be placed under the sign of the 12th Art”. Through the “proclamation” of the watchmaking art as Art 12th we want to give watchmaking the title of nobility that it deserves for everything it has brought to mankind from antiquity to the present day and for its admirable values it . “
From that moment the concept of the 12th Art was born …
12th Art? Why not 11th, 10th or 13th?
The first obvious reason is that each half day is divided into 12 hours, that the years are divided into 12 months, and that there are 12 astrological signs (and the stars are highly related to watchmaking).
The second reason is simply based on the classification of the arts. which is divided in two parts: From the 1st to 9th Art, things are clear and accepted by all,. What comes after is a bit clouded and this is why it seemed essential to present this official classification.
In the nineteenth century, five arts are part of the definition of ‘Art” :
The first Art, also known as “Major Art” is the architecture. It’s about designing and building, while respecting the rules of construction as well as aesthetic and social concepts.
The 2nd Art is sculpture, which consists in designing and producing forms in 3 dimensional volume, highlighted by technics of cutting raw materials, welding or assembly.
The 3rd Art is painting, an art form of drawing a figure (concrete or abstract) on a surface by aesthetically using colored fluids.
The 4th Art is music, art of combining sounds and silences thus creating a melody. Rhythm ,or tempo, and frequencies constitute the base of musical art.
The 5th Art is poetry, ancient literary genre with various forms, usually written in verse, but also accepted in prose, and that emphasizes the expressiveness of the form. Starting in the the twentieth century, this art will also include literature.in general.
The twentieth century added 4 arts:
The 6th Art is represented by live performances characterized by the simultaneous presence of performers and a public. It creates an emotion such as: tragedy, melancholy, joy, anxiety. It includes street arts, puppets and circus
The 7th Art is the cinema. A show presented as a movie, that is to say a story carried by a support which is recorded and read by a continuous or intermittent mechanism that creates the illusion moving images. It includes feature films, short films and documentaries.
The 8th Art is photography. A technique that creates images through the action of light. The photograph designates the image resulting from that action. The 8th art also includes the graphic arts industry that uses this technique: it is in a way the “writing of light”.
The 9th Art has two distinct arts: first cooking, a presentation, selection of specific foods or selection of stylized cutlery or possible marriage between the flavors. Secondly, the comic books form of reading, using a juxtaposition of drawings and narrative sequences to tell a story.
As we enter the twenty-first century, the next elements of this classification remain unclear:
Concerning the 10th and 11th art, there is no consensus but various artistic activities compete for the title: digital arts, role playing, video games, model making, graphic design, calligraphy, perfume, humor, origami and tattoo. Not to mention all the other activities that, at some point, are designated as art.
The brilliant idea of Mr. Lamprecht, was to let all these good people compete for the title of the 11th Art, and directly claim the 12th art , much more suited to be the watchmaking art for all the reasons mentioned above.