Created in 2001 and established in 2011 as a state-approved public-interest foundation, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève pursues its mission of celebrating and promoting the watchmaking with the support of its public and private partners, notably including its new principal partner, LGT Private Banking. The prize-winners of the 17th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève —GPHG— were revealed last night November 8th at the stage of Geneva’s Théâtre du Léman. Watchmaking excellence, innovation and expertise were saluted by an international jury that handed out 16 prizes and awarded the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix to Chopard for the L.U.C Full Strike Watch.
The Zenith, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Voutilainen, Ulysse Nardin, Tudor, Parmigiani, Longines, Greubel Forsey, Chanel and Bvlgari brands were also awarded at this 17th prize-giving ceremony, presented by Edouard Baer and Lauriane Gilliéron.
The 72 competing watches, including the 15 prize-winning models, are still on show at the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Geneva —MAH— until November 12th, as part of an original exhibition dedicated to the contemporary art of watchmaking. The winners will also be exhibited from November 16th to 20th during the 3rd Dubai Watch Week. Below please find the winning watches with our usual live pictures and all details.
Grand Prize “Aiguille d’Or” - Chopard L.U.C Full Strike
Available with or without diamonds on its bezel, the Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike was just awarded the Grand Prize 'Aiguille d'Or' at the 2017 GPHG —Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. As usual, we have live pictures of the winner for your viewing pleasure. With a crystal clear sound, featuring a number of world première features the Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike strikes the hours, quarters and minutes on sapphire gongs. Yes, sapphire gongs, you read that right and its not a typo. Hands-on review of this watch here.
Innovation Prize - Zenith Defy Lab
Following the rich horological prowess that gave birth to the Zenith El Primero, the first ever automatic chronograph introduced in 1969 —capable of measuring tenths of a second, the unit of time naturally stemming from a 5 Hz oscillation frequency—, Zenith is now renewing ties with innovation and fundamental research by presenting Defy Lab. Full details on this watch here.
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize - Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
One of the most complicated and exceptional wristwatches ever produced is the new Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication ref. 3600 Unique Piece. This timepiece that is beyond impressive, took five years to develop all the way from scratch, along with two years of design by one dedicated master watchmaker at Vacheron Constantin. The Vacheron Constantin Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication includes 23 complications in a fully integrated movement composed of 514 parts. This new timepiece is now the most accurate Equation of Time in the market. Full hands-on review here.
Calendar Watch Prize - Greubel Forsey QP à Équation
After seven years of research, the assembly of no fewer than 624 parts, three patents, and the combination of two inventions, Greubel Forsey revolutionizes one of the oldest watchmaking complications, the perpetual calendar, by incorporating an equation of time. To create this watchmaking complication it was first necessary to develop a Mechanical Computer: this enabled ergonomics and readability of the various functions to be simplified, and for all corrections to be made rapidly by turning the bi-directional crown. Full hands-on review here.
Sports Watch Prize - Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta
Proud sponsors of the Artemis Racing Team in the America's Cup sailing challenge, Ulysse Nardin is a brand that is very well know for their marine timekeeping heritage and their marine nature. As the perfect companion for those that enjoy sailing and especially those aboard the Artemis Racing team, comes the new Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta ref. 1553-155-3/43 —winner of the Sports Prize at the GPHG 2017— with a marine blue dial, blue rubber strap, and a convenient 10-minute regatta countdown paired with a 12-hour monocounter chronograph. Full hands-on review here.
“Petite Aiguille” Watch Prize - Tudor Black Bay Chrono
Since the presentation in 1970 of the Prince Oysterdate Chronograph, its first chronograph, Tudor has always produced watches that are closely tied to the world of motorsports. In the same way, since 1954 Tudor has been constantly improving its professional divers' watches. The new hybrid Heritage Black Bay Chrono chronograph dares to combine the aquatic heritage represented by the Black Bay family with the queen of the racetrack, the chronograph. Remaining faithful to the Black Bay aesthetic with the famous snowflake hands –a brand signature since 1969– the Heritage Black Bay Chrono model offers optimum readability against the domed matte black dial. Full hands-on review here.
“Revival” Prize - Longines Longines Avigation Big Eye
The Longines Avigation Big Eye is inspired by a chronograph whose aesthetic is typical of the great age of aviation. True to the spirit of pilots’ watches, this 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.
Ladies’ Watch Prize - Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton
This year, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Première watch, Chanel expands once again the parameters of its exclusive vision of Fine Watchmaking, presenting the Première Camélia Skeleton. This exceptional piece is equipped with the second in-house Chanel movement, the Caliber 2, whose ethereal geometry sketches out the shape of a Camellia flower. The complication of this movement was in the arrangement of all the different mechanisms, which had to be positioned so that only the three-dimensional form of the camellia flower would be visible. This skeleton movement in deepest black, unique in its genre, thus incarnates one of the iconic symbols of the House.
Ladies’ High-Mechanical Watch Prize - Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
To celebrate its centenary in 2006, Van Cleef & Arpels imagined a watch in which the hours would slip by in step with the seasons. The Poetic Complications collection – a new way of viewing time – was born. Each new model combines creative inventiveness with a sense of wonder. Retrograde, 24-hour, Quantième de saison, 5-minute Repeater or Planétarium movements enable time to be measured by a stroll through Paris, a starry night sky, the path of planets, a flutter of butterflies or a lovers’ meeting. Beyond their technical prowess, these intricate mechanisms offer precious moments of emotion, marked by the imagination of Van Cleef & Arpels.
Men’s Watch Prize - Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
The Octo Finissimo Automatic is the slimmest ultra-thin self-winding watch on the market to date, representing BVLGARI’s third successive world record. After introducing its Tourbillon in 2014 and the Minute Repeater in 2016, the Maison unveiled its new Finissimo creation featuring a total thickness of just 5.15mm, while its self-winding movement, the Calibre BVL 138, is just 2.23mm thick for a 40mm diameter.
Chronograph Watch Prize - Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire
To mark its 20th anniversary, Parmigiani Fleurier is unveiling the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, its new integrated chronograph movement, a feat of watchmaking that very few of today's manufactures are capable of achieving. With its first Anniversary model featuring a gold movement, Parmigiani Fleurier pays tribute to the tradition of the chronograph.
Tourbillon and Escapement Watch Prize - Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton
Continuing its quest for beauty and elegance, BVLGARI achieves a new feat with a skeleton-worked new interpretation of its Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, the world’s slimmest tourbillon, introduced in 2014. An haute horlogerie creation that has pushed back one of the ultimate limits of the watchmaking art that of thinness with regard to one of the most delicate and coveted horological complications: the tourbillon. In 2017, Bvlgari moves to another level by offering devotees of beautiful watchmaking a new interpretation with an entirely skeleton-worked tourbillon. The whole movement is now visible and the magic spell is woven even more powerfully through this contemporary elegance tinged with extreme technical sophistication.
The Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton is driven by an ultra-thin, openworked tourbillon comprising 253 parts, featuring 13 jewels and eight ball bearings serving to reduce the overall thickness of the calibre. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour, the movement delivers a 52-hour power reserve.
Travel Time Watch Prize - Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hemisphères Rétrograde
The Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde is the ultimate traveller's timepiece. With its two time zones, it allows any two locations to be paired, and correct to the nearest minute. It even allows those locations with a half-hour or quarter-hour difference to be paired with full hour times set from the Greenwich meridian. Featuring a knurled bezel, the signature feature of the Toric family, the case of this timepiece was the first creation designed by Michel Parmigiani in 1996. This founding model is now bringing its elegant and classic aesthetics to the world of modern travel.
Jewellery Watch Prize - Chopard Lotus Blanc Watch
The white lotus, an oriental flower of remarkable delicacy, symbolizes purity of heart and mind. Chopard could not have imagined a finer emblem to compete in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Embodying the encounter between the watchmaking know-how and the jewellery expertise cultivated by the Maison, the Lotus Blanc watch unfurls to reveal the secret of its exceptional beauty: infinite beauty matched by perfectly mastered execution. Set with 25.66 carats of white diamonds, this precious timepiece reflects the meticulous work of the in-house artisans. From designer to watchmaker and from jeweller to micro-gemsetter, the prestigious High Jewellery crafts have patiently combined their talents in giving life to this daring dream.
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize - Voutilainen Aki-No-Kure
One of the greatest lacquer studios in the world is Unryuan in Wajima, Japan. Under the guidance of Mr. T. Kitamura, they create works of lacquer art that stand at the pinnacle of Japanese tradition, bringing a craft that has existed for hundreds of years into the present, exemplifying the passion to preserve the soul, spirit and identity of traditional Japanese culture as expressed in the Edo period. This masterpiece shown here; using the techniques of lacquering which takes far more than thousand hours of work to complete the dial, bridges and cover of the case back. The raw materials for its creation are: Kinpun —gold dust—, Jyunkin-itakane —gold leaf—, Yakou-gai —shell of great green turban— and Awabi-gai —abalone shell from New Zealand.
Special Jury Prize - Suzanne Rohr and Anita Porchet
Patek Philippe's Suzanne Rohr has earned her reputation as the world's most renowned miniature enamelist in the watch industry, on the other side her counterpart at Vacheron Constantin Anita Porchet is another genius mastering this ancient technique. Both women working from home have created some of the most incredible creations for both brands. The Special Jury Prize was awarded to them last night for their hard work, dedication and legacy.