Since 2001, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) has been awarding “the most remarkable creations in order to nurture the advancement of the art of horology worldwide.” As a result, the GPHG quickly became the most important and prestigious annual award in the industry, even though brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe (or any member of the Swatch Group) are currently not represented. The award is open to watchmakers from every region of the world, with several non-Swiss brands already having been recognized since 2001 (like, for example, the Zeitwerk (Ref. 140.029) from A. Lange & Söhne in 2009 which won the Grand Prix, or Grand Seiko winning the Petit Aiguille in 2014 with the Hi-Beat 36000 GMT SBGJ005).
The GPHG’s Multi-Step Judging Process
For 2022, the GPHG’s Academy members were invited for the third time to first select and upload watches worthy of an award. This selection then had to be confirmed by the corresponding brands in order to be able to officially proceed to the first round of voting. Alternatively, brands were also able “to enter the competition spontaneously via the dedicated digital platform” (the basic entry fee is CHF 700 per watch), if they hadn’t already been entered by the Academy. The most important rule: “only watches or clocks commercialized after May 2021 and at the latest by the end of October 2022” are eligible to take part.
“The GPHG Academy members are significant stakeholders in the main sectors related to watchmaking, in addition to personalities whose activity supports the influence and dynamism of watchmaking. […] Members of the Academy have the fundamental mission of proposing the eligible watch models – in parallel with the traditional brand entries – and taking part in the various votes to determine the winners.”Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG)
By the end of August 2022, the 650 members of the Academy had selected 90 timepieces for the shortlist (out of 254 pieces that were entered in this year’s competition), consisting of 84 wristwatches and 6 clocks (the category for clocks was added in 2022). Divided into 15 categories, these entries are now in the running to win one of the 20 awards of this 22nd edition of the GPHG, including the prestigious Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix.
Pole Position for Parmigiani Fleurier
Of those shortlisted brands, Audemars Piguet, Parmigiani Fleurier and Van Cleef & Arpels have gotten the most nominations, followed by Chopard, Breitling and TAG Heuer, with four shortlists each:
Historically, Audemars Piguet (15 awards since 2001) has been the best performing brand at the GPHG, followed by Piaget (12 awards), Vacheron Constantin (11 awards) and Van Cleef & Arpels (10 awards). Which makes Parmigiani Fleurier’s 5 shortlisted watches even more impressive: In 2020, the brand had entered the Tondagraph GT Steel Black (Ref. PFC906-0000210-B00182) and the Tonda Reine de Mai (Ref. PFH801-1510020-B10302), in 2021 the Tonda Sélène Rose Gold White Mop 33 mm (Ref. PFC810-1510020-HC6181), the Tonda GT Steel Silver Black (Ref. PFC910-0000141-X01482) and Toric Heritage White Gold (Ref. PFC909-2020001-300181) – in both years, only one watch got pre-selected.
So, looking at this year’s already impressive performance, this is clearly another sign that, in the relatively short time since he took the helm at Parmigiani, the brand is on the right course under the leadership of Guido Terreni. On the other hand, of course, previous years have shown that the number of shortlists does not influence the Jury’s decision to hand out awards (Breitling, for example had already four watches shortlisted in 2021, and still didn’t get a trophy).
This year’s winners will be announced on Thursday, November 10 during the 2022 awards ceremony, which will take place at the Théâtre du Léman in Geneva, Switzerland. The event, too, is fully dedicated to the promotion of contemporary watchmaking creations and will be broadcasted live on WatchTime.com.
Additionally, from November 2-20, all 90 entries will be on display at the Rath Museum in Geneva, and from December 1-4 at Watches of Switzerland (60 Greene Street, New York). If you don’t want to wait that long: From October 22-24, among the many watch brands showcasing their latest timepieces during WatchTime New York (at Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan), 11 of them have received one or more nominations in this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve.
Follow this link for the full list of this year’s nominated watches.