Defying the economic climate : Highlights of the last quarter – 04.01
In between these shows came the annual watchmaking jamboree that is the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and the bi-annual Only Watch charity auction. Both events brought their surprises. As every year with the GPHG, it is easy to question the subjective decisions of the judges, although those who do so often simply offer their own equally subjective opinions of which watch should have won which category. But the one prize that was difficult to contest was the best watch overall, the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision, which was awarded the prestigious Aiguille d’Or. Few other brands lavish such an insane attention to detail on their movement finishing and decoration and few – if any – watchmakers other than Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, together with Philippe Dufour, are so passionate about preserving traditional watchmaking techniques for future generations. The Grand Prix caravan also goes from strength to strength, with the traveling exhibition this year bringing the 72 finalists in the competition to the public in Dubai, Seoul, Macau and Hong Kong, and the winners to SalonQP in London.
Only Watch 2015 broke a number of records and raised over 11 million Swiss francs in aid of research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Precisely 7.3 million of this total came from the sale of just one watch. Not surprisingly, it was a Patek Philippe that had collectors from around the world on the phone and in the room battling it out to acquire the star of the auction. Tudor also did exceptionally well at the sale: the brand had cannily taken the standard catalogue price of the Heritage Black Bay as the estimate for the unique Heritage Black Bay One model, whose wonderful combination of many sought-after vintage details triggered a bidding war that took the final price to a staggering 100 times the estimate.