The 15th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), known as the watch world’s Oscars, took place October 28 at Geneva’s Grand Théatre. A distinguished jury of 26 authoritative watch experts and collectors awarded 17 prizes to watch brands that excelled in their categories in 2015. The top prize, known as the “Aiguille d’Or” (Golden Hand), went to Greubel Forsey for its Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision. Scroll down for details on that watch and to discover other prize-winning watches.
The Greubel Forsey 24 Secondes Vision, introduced at SIHH 2015, demonstrated that the 11-year-old brand founded by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey could do “quiet” just as well as it does “loud.” The watch is equipped with a rapidly rotating 24-second tourbillon, inclined at a 25 degree angle, which for the first time in a Greubel Forsey timepiece is visible from the back of the watch, tucked under a sapphire crystal dome that bulges from the exhibition caseback. On the dial side, other than the aperture placed at 9 o’clock, all is understated elegance: lance-shaped blued steel hands, enameled blue hour numerals and indices, an applied Greubel Forsey logo in gold below the 12 o’clock numeral, and a discreet small seconds subdial at 4 o’clock. Click here to read WatchTime’s report on the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision from SIHH.
The Chronograph Watch Prize was awarded to the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph, which sets two new slimness records, both for the movement (just 4.65 mm thick) and the case (a wafer-like 8.24 mm). The movement, Caliber 883P, is based on Piaget’s 880P, the thinnest automatic movement on the market. It boasts unprecedented thinness in several key components, including the cannon-pinion (.12 mm), barrel staff (.115 mm), and chronograph gear finger (.06 mm). Piaget also managed to equip the movement with a 50-hour power reserve, a small seconds display, and a dual-time indication along with a flyback chronograph controlled by a column wheel. For more on the Piaget Altiplano Chrono, click here.
Tudor took the Sports Watch Prize for its Tudor Pelagos, a retro-chic 500-meter water-resistant dive watch featuring a lightweight, brushed titanium case and bracelet and now outfitted with the first movement developed and produced in-house by Tudor. For a hands-on review of the Tudor Pelagos, click here.
The hotly contested Mechanical Exception Watch Prize went to the Jaquet Droz Charming Bird, with its white gold case, domed sapphire crystal, and stunningly realistic “singing bird” automaton figure operated by a piston-driven bellows system in the movement. For a review of the Charming Bird, click here.
Ulysse Nardin won in the Tourbillon Watch category for its Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon, the first watch equipped with Ulysse Nardin’s proprietary constant force escapement system, made entirely out of silicon. This escapement is front and center on the grand feu enamel dial thanks to the tourbillon mechanism, which is on display in the aperture at 6 o’clock. Click here for more on the Anchor Tourbillon.
The Blancpain Villeret cadran Shakudō took the Artistic Crafts Watch Prize, wowing the jurors with its dial’s depiction of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh, executed in the ancient Japanese Shakudō technique — using an alloy of copper and gold that acquires a dark blue-to-black patina — and also featuring engraving and Damascening. The extremely limited watch from Blancpain’s Metiers d’Art collection has a 45-m rose gold case and an immaculately decorated hand-wound movement, Caliber 15B, which is visible through the clear caseback.
Hermès was recognized for its Slim d’Hermès QP, winner of the Calendar Watch Prize. The watch is the show horse of the new Slim d’Hermès family, with a 39.5-mm rose gold case and a perpetual calendar movement (the base Caliber 1950 with an added module produced by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his team at Aghenor). The watch’s opaline silvered dial has a four-year display that indicates months and leap years, subdials for a dual-time/GMT function and date, and a moon-phase indication with a white mother-of-pearl moon disk against an aventurine sky. More details on the watch here.
This year’s Ladies Watch Prize went to Hublot, for its Big Bang Broderie, a watch that pays tribute to ancient Swiss-made Saint Gall embroidery. It features a meticulously executed skull design on a dial framed with 11 diamonds, with soft arabesques for the bezel and the strap.
The complete Prize List for the 2015 GPHG:
“Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix: Greubel Forsey, Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision
Ladies’ Watch Prize: Hublot, Big Bang Broderie
Ladies’ High-Mech Watch Prize: Fabergé, Lady Compliquée Peacock
Men’s Watch Prize: Voutilainen, Voutilainen GMR
Chronograph Watch Prize: Piaget, Altiplano Chrono
Tourbillon Watch Prize: Ulysse Nardin, Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon
Calendar Watch Prize: Hermès, Slim d’Hermès QP
Striking Watch Prize: Girard-Perregaux, Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Jaquet Droz, The Charming Bird
“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Habring2, Felix
Sports Watch Prize: Tudor, Pelagos
Jewellery Watch Prize: Audemars Piguet, Diamond Punk
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: Blancpain, Villeret, cadran Shakudō
Revival Watch Prize: Piaget, Extremely Piaget Double Sided Cuff Watch
Innovation Watch Prize: Antoine Preziuso, Tourbillon of Tourbillons
“Horological Revelation” Prize: Laurent Ferrier, Galet Square
Special Jury Prize: Micke Pintus, Yannick Pintus, Jean-Luc Perrin. The three Vacheron Constantin watchmakers who developed the Reference 57260 watch.
In addition, voting via the Internet and at the exhibitions resulted in the awarding of the Public Prize: Antoine Preziuso, Tourbillon of Tourbillons.
The prize-winning watches will be presented in London at the Salon QP from November 12 to 14.