GPHG 2018: The favorites are lining up

What are the most striking facts in this 18th edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève so far, before the prize-giving ceremony to be held on Friday November 9th in the Théâtre du Léman ? Firstly, that the Foundation of the GPHG has created a new Challenge category for watches with a retail price under CHF 4,000 ; and secondly, signs of strong mobilization within the watch industry. As Carine Maillard, director of the GPHG, explains : “This 18th edition of the GPHG has attracted record participation, with representatives from all the major watch groups, as well as a number of independent Maisons. Creations from both large and small brands are thus vying with each other within a unifying spirit designed to enhance the international reputation of an industry that consistently pushes technical and artistic boundaries, while displaying impressive vitality.” Who will carry off the much sought-after “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix, the ultimate GPHG trophy ?


Historiques Triple calendrier 1942, Men’s

Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel, Chronometry

Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel, Jewellery


Naturally, when a brand succeeds in having watches nominated in three, four or five different categories, its CEO’s chances of being called to the platform to accept a prize are significantly higher. Such is the case for Vacheron Constantin (in the Men’s, Men’s Complication and Artistic Crafts categories) ; Ulysse Nardin (in the Chronometry, Mechanical Exception, “Petite Aiguille” and Sports categories) ; and Bvlgari (in the Ladies’ Complication, Men’s Complication, Ladies’, Mechanical Exception and Jewellery categories !). All of these three brands had already won awards last year. On the feminine side, Chaumet also stands out with a selection in three categories (Ladies’ Complication, Ladies’ and Artistic Crafts). The potency of Bvlgari’s appeal is particularly impressive, since the entire jury has selected it on masculine as well as feminine territories, in both Fine Watchmaking and Jewellery. This year, only one other brand – Bovet – has been nominated at once in feminine (Ladies’ category) and masculine (Mechanical Exceptional category) selections. Longines and Seiko also have two pre-selected watches and are competing in the same two categories (Challenge and “Petite Aiguille”), as are TAG Heuer and Zenith (Chronometry and Sports). In parallel, five other brands have convinced the experts to select two of their watches : Chanel (Ladies’ and Jewellery), Girard-Perregaux (Men’s Complication and Mechanical Exception), H. Moser & Cie (Men’s Complication and Men’s), Piaget (Ladies’ and Jewellery) and Van Cleef & Arpels (Ladies’ Complication and Jewellery). All these brands have already been honored by the GPHG jury in previous editions, apart from Bovet whose exceptional creations are nonetheless selected each year. Perhaps its time has come ?


Monaco Gulf, Sports

Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon, Mechanical exeption

Defy Zero G, Chronometry

Brice Lechevalier is editor-in-chief of GMT and Skippers, which he co-founded in 2000 and 2001 respectively. He has also been CEO of WorldTempus since it joined the GMT Publishing stable, of which he is director and joint shareholder. In 2012 he created the Geneva Watch Tour, and he has been an advisor to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève since 2011. Also closely involved in sailing, he has published the magazine of the Société Nautique de Genève since 2003, and was one of the founders of the SUI Sailing Awards in 2009 and the Concours d’Elégance for motor boats at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2015.

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