TAG Heuer Takes Top Prize at 12th Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix

Babin_GPHG_150The prize-giving ceremony of the 12th annual Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (GPHG) — the luxury-watch world’s version of Oscar night — took place at the Grand Théâtre de Genève on November 15. This year, it was TAG Heuer’s high-tech Mikrogirder model that took home the prestigious Aiguille d’Or grand prize. The luxurious event, attended by representatives of the Geneva authorities as well as a who’s who of watch-industry luminaries, was broadcast live, with English translation, in a link-up with New York and over the Euronews.org website. The jury, composed of an international array of watch professionals, selected the Mikrogirder as the finest timepiece of the year 2012, an award that was won last year by DeBethune for its DB28, and in 2010 by Greubel-Forsey for its Double Tourbillon 30° Edition Historique.

Geneva Grand Theatre

The facade of Geneva’s Grand Théâtre on the evening of the GPHG prize-giving ceremony

TAG Heuer president and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin remarked, “We’re absolutely ecstatic… We’ve won our share of Grand Prix over the years but this is the first time we’ve been selected as the best overall watch in all categories… the Mikrogirder represents a new class of watch technology, nothing less than the complete re-invention of the mechanism that has driven mechanical watches for over 300 years.” The Mikrogirder is the first timepiece that has neither a balance wheel nor hairspring, instead achieving its ultra-high frequency via the use of a coupling beam/girder system and linear oscillator. (WatchTime technical editor Mike Disher explores the Mikrogirder in his profile of TAG Heuer’s Guy Sémon in our July-August 2012 issue.)

Jean-Christophe Babin at GPHG 2012

TAG Heuer’s Jean-Christophe Babin with presenters Frédéric Beigbeder and Adriana Karembeu

GPHG 2012 prize winners

Winners of the 2012 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix

Other highlights of the ceremony include the MB&F Legacy Machine No. 1, the brainchild of MB&F founding watchmaker Max Büsser, winning both the Men’s Watch prize and the Public Prize; the hydro-mechanical HYT H1 winning the prize for Innovation Watch; and Chanel’s Flying Tourbillon Première taking home the prize for Ladies’ Watch. Click below for a slideshow of the award winners.

Ladies’ Watch Prize: Chanel Flying Tourbillon Première

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About Mark Bernardo

Mark Bernardo is the digital media editor of WatchTime magazine, responsible for developing and overseeing the editorial content on WatchTime.com as well as for WatchTime's tablet editions for the iPad, Nook, and Kindle. As WatchTime's managing editor, from 2006 through 2011, he has written about numerous watch companies from major brands like Omega, TAG Heuer and Piaget, to exclusive artisan lines such as Jean Dunand, De Bethune and DeWitt. Prior to joining WatchTime, he was the editor of Smoke, a lifestyle magazine for cigar enthusiasts, whose beats included cigars, watches, cars, wines and spirits, celebrities, men's fashion, and other subjects, and has written about luxury items for a variety of men's-interest publications, including Robb Report, Robb Report Motorcycling, Stratos, Worth, and Bloomberg Markets.

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