Bovet took home the prestigious Aiguille d’Or at the 2018 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve at a ceremony held over the weekend. It was also a big night for independent brands with wins for Laurent Ferrier, Singer Reimagined, Akrivia, Nomos, and Habring.
Bovet’s Récital 22 Grand Récital is the third and final part of a trilogy of timepieces that began with the Récital 18 Shooting Star Tourbillon in 2016 and followed by the Récital 20 Astérium in 2017. This triad of timepieces forms what the brand describes as a “poetic watchmaking narrative” that is only completed by the astronomical Récital 22 Grand Récital.
The 46.3 by 19.6 mm case functions as a horological Tellurium including a stunning, hemispherical, birds-eye view of the Earth at 12 o’clock and a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock that represents the sun with a carriage bridge acting as fiery rays shooting out of the sun’s body. Finally, a spherical moon orbits the Earth according to the exact length of its synodic period of 29.53 days.
The Petite Aiguille award was bagged by the Habring² Doppel-Felix, a cam-operated split-seconds chronograph from the Austrian watchmaker. Going into the ceremony, the Akrivia Chronométre Contemporain might just have been the hottest watch on the planet. The brainchild of 31-year old watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi and his small Geneva-based team, the Chronométre Contemporain delighted enthusiasts and collectors with its blend of asymmetrical and symmetrical elements and stop-second/zero-reset mechanism.
Deservingly, Rexhepi brought home his first GPHG award in the Men’s category competing against the likes of the Voutilainen 217QRS and Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942.
De Bethune solidified its outstanding year — its first under new ownership — with a victory in the Chronometry category for the customizable DB25 Starry Varius Chronomètre Tourbillon. Seiko made a statement with this re-creation of Japan’s first hi-beat diver from 1968. Dive watch enthusiasts had been craving a re-edition of this historic model for decades and Seiko didn’t disappoint when this limited edition model was released at Baselworld. This Seiko diver was a clear winner in the Sports category this year.
The Best Ladies’ watch was won by Chanel’s Skeletonized Boy-friend watch, while Van Cleef & Arpels Secret de Coccinelle bagged the Best Jewelry watch award. There were no surprises in the Ladies’ Complication category – the stunning Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium while Laurent Ferrier took home the Best Men’s Complication for the gorgeous Galet Annual Calendar School Piece.
Singer Reimagined, maker of the most interesting chronograph in recent times, deservedly took home their first GPHG award when the stealth Track 1 Hong Kong Edition bagged the Best Chronograph Award.
Greubel Forsey’s Grande Sonnerie - a thoroughly modern minute repeater that has been 11 years in the making – took home the Mechanical Exception award. This is a thoroughly modern Grande Sonnerie, what with its asymmetrical titanium case and water resistance up to 3 ATM. Designed to be easy to use, this timepiece has powerful acoustics thanks to a titanium resonance cage (basically the more empty space in a case, the better it will be in terms of acoustics). And it solves a problem that most grande sonnerie watches face – a healthy power reserve.
The jury selected the Nomos Glashütte Tangente 41 Update, with its innovative date mechanism, as the inaugural winner in the Challenge category, which includes new models priced underCHF4,000. Other prizes awarded tonight include the Audacity Prize for Konstantin Chaykin (nominated in the Mechanical Exception and Petite Aiguille categories), the Innovation Prize for the Krayon Everywhere Horizon (nominated in the Men’s Complication category), the Revival Prize for the Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 (nominated in the Men’s category), and the Special Jury prize, which went to Jean-Claude Biver for his contributions to watchmaking over the past three decades.