The 84 pre-selected watches of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Genève 2019 are arriving back from the world tour to Geneva to compete for the ‘Aiguille d’Or’ Grand Prix and the 18 category prizes.
UPDATE – GPHG 2019 Winners by category:
Ladies’ – Chanel J12
Ladies’ Complication – MB & F Legacy Machine Flying T
Men’s – Voutilainen 28ti
Men’s Complication – Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie
Iconic – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra-thin
Chronometry – Ferdinand Berthoud Carburised Steel Regulator
Calendar and Astronomy – Hermes Arceau L’heure de la lune
Mechanical Exception – Genus GNS1.2
Chronograph – Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic
Diver’s – Seiko Prospex LX line diver’s
Jewellery – Bvlgari Serpenti Misteriosi Romani
Artistic Crafts – Voutilainen Starry Night Vine
‘Petite Aiguille’- Kudoke Kudoke 2
Challenge – Tudor Black Bay P01
“Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
A healthy competition usually supports creativity and innovation and sweetens the taste of winning. The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Genève (GPHG) showcases top watchmaking excellence.
This year GPHG is in its 19th edition. The jury will announce winners from the 84 pre-selected contestants in 14 categories at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, on 7 November 2019. Like every year, the timepieces have travelled to major cities such as Sydney, Bangkok, Mexico City, Puebla, and Geneva before the grand event. The final stop is Dubai from 20-24 November 2019 at the Dubai Watch Week. The competition is open exclusively to ‘new’ watches in the given time period: launched on the market after March 2018 and before October 31, 2019.
New category prizes are introduced in 2019. As GPHG Director Carine Maillard pointed out: ‘The mission of the GPHG is to acknowledge the vitality and creativity of the watchmaking art in all its diversity. We adapt the prize list each year based on trends especially observed at the main watch shows’.
The categories include: Ladies’, Ladies’ Complication, Men’s, Men’s Complication, Iconic, Chronometry, Calendar and Astronomy, Mechanical Exception, Chronograph, Diver’s, Jewellery, Artistic Crafts, ‘Petite Aiguille’ (watches with a retail price between CHF 4,000 and CHF 10,000) and Challenge (watches with a retail price under CHF 4,000).
The ‘Aiguille d’Or’ Grand Prix, one of the three main distinction honours the top watchmaking excellence. The ‘Horological Revelation’ Prize rewards one creation from a youthful brand, while the Special Jury Prize goes to a personality, institution or initiative that has played a fundamental role in promoting high-quality watchmaking.
The jury is headed by the well-known vintage timepiece expert Aurel Bacs (Co-Founder and Partner of Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo). The vice president is Gianfranco Ritschel; consultant & trainer in watchmaking, who also works for the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie and gives courses at the Geneva HEG University (Masters in Luxury Management) and at the HEAD (Haute École d’art et de design Genève). 28 ‘jury-mates’ help their work, including professionals from watchmaking, watch-collectors, specialist from media and other opinion leaders, including 7 women.
New jury members are Jasem Al Zeraei (influencer, collector / Kuwait), Aldis Hodge (actor, watch designer / USA), Pierre Salanitro (CEO of Salanitro / Switzerland), Jiaxian Xu (collector and founder of SJXwatches.com / Singapore), and Jessica Yu (founder of Hantang Culture / China). The brand that wins the ‘Aiguille d’Or’ Grand Prix is automatically ineligible for the competition the following year. However, its founder or CEO is invited to sit on the jury for one edition. In 2019, proud winner Pascal Raffy (Owner of Bovet Fleurier) joins the experts.
Régis Huguenin-Dumittan (doctor in history and curator-director of the MIH, Musée International d’Horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds) acts as the jury commissioner. He has no voting rights but is responsible for compliance with the rules and that competing watches meet the admission criteria.
The Award has also received critics throughout the years. The main concerns are that the brands nominate themselves and there are fees per watch for registration and a greater sum for transport and organisation. There are brands out there that do not want to or cannot afford these pre-conditions.
In my opinion, the continuous renewals and developments can gradually increase the acceptance of the prize, which is regarded one of the greatest distinctions in the watch world already. Check out a few of the pre-selected timepieces below and see the full list on the site of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Genève.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com.
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