Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), on 9th November organized it’s 17thCeremony at the Theatre du Léman, gathering hundreds of guests. The international jury of experts, collectors and watch editors crowned numerous watch brands.
The GPHG is intended to salute the excellence of worldwide horological production, annually rewards the finest creations and most important operators in the watchmaking sector. Here are quick highlights of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Sports Watch Prize: Ulysse Nardin – Marine Regatta
The Ulysse Nardin, Marine Regatta won the Sports Watch Prize of the year. It is equipped with a sweep countdown timer that can be set from 1 to 10 minutes. The Marine Regatta is carefully designed keeping in mind kinematics beforehand to ensure precision and reliability.
By combining complex functions, this sophisticated mechanism has an inverter which enables the central seconds hand to turn in either direction (counter clockwise and clockwise) to track the countdown and then the race time with no further user action required apart from activating the countdown. The ample 3-day power reserve, the two-way second’s hand that can be stopped to adjust the hour and the bi-directional date change complement its remarkable practicality.
With its distinctive appearance, the Regatta timepiece comes with heavy 44 mm diameter steel case, water-resistant to 100 meters, is completed by a fluted bezel with rubber inserts, a screw-down crown and two molded rubber pushers. The dial features an ocean blue with bursts of signature Artemis Racing yellow.
Innovative Prize: Zenith – Defy Lab
Zenith the Defy Lab which was awarded the Innovative watch, has a completely new development called ZO 342. The automatic movement with a diameter of 32.8 mm and an overall thickness of 8.13 mm reveals its revolutionary feature at first glance, since the single 0.5 mm high Zenith-Oscillator is revealed beneath the dial. The Oscillator beats at a frequency of 15 Hz (108,000 vibrations per hour) frequency, three times higher than that of the historical El Primero movement, while enjoying a 10 percent higher power reserve.
The Defy Lab has got triple certification including the chronometer-certification by Besancon Observatory on behalf of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. The precision of the Defy Lab “naturally” meets the requirements of the ISO-3159 standard and in fact exceeds them. Never before in watchmaking history and in no chronometry contests has a serially produced mechanical watch ever attained such a degree of precision. With a variations of around 0.3 seconds per day and per degree Celsius of deviation, which is twice as good as the standard recommends, are certified. And of course the magnetic certification ISO-764, according to which it can even exceeds them by nearly 18 times (the completed watch), that is to say 88,000 Amperes per meter or 1,100 Gauss. Moreover there is no need for an extra inner case to achieve this.
This is the first watch with a case made from Aeronith, the world’s lightest aluminium composite material, which is said to an extremely solid metal foam developed using an exclusive high-tech process and features a density of just 1.6 kg/dm3, which is 2.7 times lighter than titanium, 1.7 times lighter than aluminium and 10% lighter than carbon fibre.
Chronograph Watch Prize: Parmigiani Fleurier – Tonda Chronor Anniversaire
To mark its 20th anniversary, Parmigiani Fleurier introduced the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, its integrated chronograph movement with PF361 movement.
Any chronograph relies on kinematics with a chain of actions, each one determining and triggering the next, and each sequence precisely synchronised and adjusted. Perfectly integrated into the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire’s PF361 movement, this complication enhances the chronograph with its potential to measure split times. Its principle rests on an additional hand known as the “split second hand” which sits on top of the central chronograph seconds hand, or “trotteuse”, and is permanently linked to it (when started, stopped and reset).
First highlight of the watch, higher the oscillation frequency, the more accurate the chronograph, this chronograph offers a frequency of 5 Hertz (36,000 vibrations per hour), very rare for such a calibre, means that the chronograph’s seconds hand makes ten jumps or steps per second, thus enabling a precision to the 10th of second.
Lastly, this movement comprises a large date which is also integrated into the movement, rather than added to an additional module. The large date appears at 12 o’clock, behind a double counter with gold appliques. According to the creators the purpose of this development is to keep the movement as slim as possible, whilst retaining technical reliability.
Revival Watch Prize: Longines – The Longines Avigation BigEye
The Revival Watch Prize was given to the Longines Avigation BigEye which belongs to the Heritage collection. It is a model with an assertive look with beautiful vintage pieces steeped in history. The Longines Avigation BigEye is inspired by a chronograph whose aesthetic is typical of the great age of aviation. True to the spirit of pilots’ watches, the model displays a very readable dial with a focus on the minute counter and impressive push buttons that enable the wearer to handle them while wearing gloves.
The 41 mm diameter case of The Longines Avigation BigEye houses a L688 column wheel chronograph movement produced exclusively for Longines. Its semi-glossy black dial is decorated with Arabic numerals coated with SuperLuminova©, and displays a small second hand at 9 o’clock as well as a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. The oversized 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock adds a touch of aesthetic originality to this timepiece. A domed crystal and a brown leather watch strap add vintage elegance to the piece.
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Vacheron Constantin – Les Cabinotieres Celestio Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
Without any doubt the Mechanical Exception Watch prize is for the Vacheron Constantin Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600. The unique twin-dial combines astronomy and the watchmaking art in a celestial white gold composition. Twenty-three essentially astronomical complications appear on the front and back dials of the watch, providing a reading of time in three modes – civil, solar and sidereal each driven by its own gear train. Embodying the height of technical sophistication, its new fully integrated 514-part calibre measures a mere 8.7 mm thick, while six barrels guarantee three full weeks of autonomy.
The Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 is the world’s most complicated watch equipped with 57 complications in which it displays 23 complications on its twin dials. It took five years for development starting from a blank page, a dedicated master-watchmaker, along with two years of design.
This unique this timepiece indicates hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, day/night indication, precision moon phase, age of the moon, running equation of time, sunrise and sunset time, day and night length, seasons, solstices, equinoxes and zodiacal signs, tide level indicator, Sun-Earth-Moon conjunction, opposition and quadrature, transparent sky chart of the northern hemisphere with indication of the Milky Way, of the ecliptic and celestial equator, hours and minutes of sidereal time, tourbillon, and comes with 3 weeks of power reserve (6 barrels), power reserve indication.
Time Travel Watch Prize: Parmigiani Fleurier – Toric Hemisphere Retrograde
The Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde is the ultimate traveller’s timepiece. With its two time zones, each accurate to the nearest minute. A module is indexed to the main movement in order to govern the second time zone.
By pulling out the small crown at 2 o’clock, the module is disengaged from the movement, meaning that it can be adjusted independently of the second time zone, to the nearest minute. When the crown is pressed back in, the movement and the module re-engage and the second time zone is re-indexed to the first so that they operate simultaneously with the desired interval. The main crown at 9 o’clock is used to wind the movement and set the time of the two paired time zones. Each of the time zones is associated with a window, which provides the day/night indication so that the time of day can be read in an instant for each time zone.
The Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde’s is fitted with calibre PF 317 also features an instant retrograde calendar, indicated by the third central hand. As it moves towards the last days of the month, the hand activates a spring which drives it back to number 1 with great force. This 240° movement is so fast that it cannot be seen with the naked eye. The self-winding movement has a double series-mounted barrel for improved isochronism and rate regularity, with a power reserve of 50 hours.
The other watches on the list include Chopard’s Lotus Blanc Watch for the Jewellery Watch Prize, Bvlguri’s Octo Finissimo Tourbillion Skeleton for the Tourbillion and escapement watch prize and Chopard – L.U.C. full Strike for ALGUILLE D’OR” GRAND PRIX. The beautiful Chopard L.U.C. full strike, features the aesthetic art of composition, sense of intricate detailing and secure movement and sound and also features the Chopard’s original power reserve indication system.