With the big night behind us, all the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2019 highlights are now history. However, there’s absolutely no reason for not taking another look at the winners. After all, we’re talking best of the best.
The biggest ovation obviously goes to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin – the ‘Aiguille d’Or’ triumphant. With the movement measuring 2.89 mm and the case measuring 6.3 mm in thickness, this sporty bracelet watch is amazingly slim. And this is an extraordinary achievement even for the manufacture with some 130+ years of experience in perpetual calendars. Of course, it’s still the Royal Oak, but the number of subtle changes is nonetheless impressive: starting from the combination of titanium and platinum as the case material, enlarged day, date and month sub-dials and the disappearance of a trademark wafer-like dial pattern.
Saying it was quite a night for Audemars Piguet, is to say nothing: apart from the grand prix, the brand has scored another two wins in Iconic category with the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-thin and the Men’s Complication category with the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie. The latter must’ve been really special, for the collection debuting earlier this year has been receiving rather mixed welcome so far, and the recognition from the professional community surely won’t hurt.
Another big winner was Bvlgari ruling the Jewellery category with the crazy Serpenti Misteriosi Romani – a breathtaking secret watch set with baguette-cut diamond scales, sapphires and crowned by a large 10-carat Sri Lankan sapphire – and the Chronograph category with the mighty Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, the current holder of three world-thinnest records. The last one to get several prizes was the star of independent watchmaking Kari Voutilainen being hailed in the Men’s category with Voutilainen 28ti – an ‘upside-down’ watch that has its indications on the movement side – and the Artistic Crafts with the marvelous unique piece Starry Night Vine featuring half of the dial decorated in Japanese lacquer technique and the other half in enamel.
The Chanel J12 Calibre 12.1 in white ceramic case was named the best Ladies’ watch of the year, while the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT with its flying tourbillon and slightly inclined off-centered time sub-dial has won the Ladies’ complication category. The statuette for the Chronometry category went to Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud Carburised Steel Regulator featuring a direct-drive centre seconds tourbillon paired with the beautiful antique constant force principle – the fusee-and-chain transmission. The Calendar and Astronomy winner was Hermès Arceau L’heure de la lune, which we’ve covered here. The Mechanical Exception of the year is the Genus GNS1.2 a super complicated time-only watch featuring, among other things, the tens-of-minutes pointer that constantly changes the orbit of its spin. The best Diver’s watch award went to the Seiko Prospex LX, while Kudoke 2 and the Tudor Black Bay P01 won the Petite Aiguille and Challenge categories respectively.
There were also a couple of special awards. The Innovation prize went toVacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar a watch with switchable regulating organs – a traditional one beating at 5 hertz for wearing the watch on your wrist and a slow one beating at 1.2 hertz for what can be called a stand-by mode. The latter provides the piece with the unbelievable 65-day power reserve. The Audacity Prize was taken by Urwerk for the unprecedentedAMC project – a mechanical watch able to synchronize with the portable atomic clock when docked together for nighttime. And finally the Horological Revelation Prize was meant for Ming, a relatively new watch brand started by the renowned collector and photographer Ming Thein.
Nov. 09, 2019