Chopard’s first minute repeater – the L.U.C Full Strike – took top honors at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie (GPHG), considered by many as ‘The Oscars of Watchmaking’, in Geneva this week. Chopard also took home the prize for the beat jewellery watch with the stunning Lotus Blanc watch.
Tudor won big when the Black Bay Chrono was awarded the “Petite Aiguille” capping a fine year for one of the most talked about timepieces at Baselworld this year. It was a good night for chronographs as Longines was awarded the Best Revival prize for the superb Avigation BigEye Chronograph.
However, it was the minute repeater won fetched Chopard the prized Aiguille d’Or. Introduced at Baselworld 2016, this timepiece’s most distinctive feature is the material used for the gongs: synthetic sapphire.
The gongs (visible at 10 o’clock) and the watch crystal are machined together from a single block. Chopard says that sapphire produces a clearer, purer tone than metal, and the fact that there is no break between the gongs and the watch crystal means there is better transmission of the acoustic waves.
It was a good night for Bulgari and Parmigiani Fleurier what with both brands sweeping the top honors in two categories. Bulgari, which has enjoyed a good run under CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, claimed the Men’s Watch Prize with the innovative new Octo Finissimo Automatic, the world thinnest automatic watch; and also came up trumps in the Tourbillon and Escapement category with the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton.
Parmigiani Fleurier, considered by many as among most under-appreciated haute horology brands in the business, deservedly won the best Chronograph Watch prize with the tastefully made Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, which debuted the brand’s first in-house integrated chronograph movement. The Fleurier brand also took the Travel Time Watch with the gorgeous Toric Hemisphères Rétrograde.
The world’s most complicated wristwatch, Vacheron Constantin’s one-off Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 claimed the Mechanical Exception category. Unveiled at SIHH 2017, the watch features a staggering 23 complications and was created as a unique piece for a client.
There were no surprises in the Ladies High-Mech Watch category, Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Papillon Automate that featured a self-winding mechanical movement with an on-demand animation module developed by movement specialists Agenhor.
Here’s the full list of winners:
Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix – Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike
Petite Aiguille – Tudor Black Bay Chrono
Ladies Watch – Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton
Ladies High-Mech - Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
Men’s Watch – Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
Chronograph – Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire
Tourbillon and Escapement – Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton
Calendar Watch – Greubel Forsey QP à Équation
Travel Time – Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hemisphères Rétrograde
Mechanical Exception – Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
Sports Watch – Ulysee Nardin Marine Regatta
Jewelry Watch – Chopard Lotus Blanc
Artistic Crafts – Voutilainen Aki-No-Kure
Revival Watch Prize – Longines Avigation BigEye Chronograph
Special Jury Prize - Suzanne Rohr and Anita Porchet