“The Oscars of the Watch World” – Our Top Picks For The GPHG Awards 2016
It is that time again – the biggest watch award ceremony in the industry, The Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Genéve [GPHG], takes place on the 10th November 2016 in of course the watch capital of the world, Genéva. Often referred to as the Oscars of the watch world, this year has some heavy-weights match ups in comparison to that of Leonardo DiCaprio & Matt Damon. The winners of the awards are first selected by a committee of experts, including the likes of Vice-chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, extraordinary watchmaker Philippe Dufour and top horology author John Goldberger. Although the task of adjudicating such watches must be difficult, there will no doubt be favourites and here are just a few of ours to keep an eye out for.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire
Some may consider this as the ultimate Big Bang because it simply represents Hublot not holding back and showing the entire contents of the watch that features a case crafted completely from sapphire. This gives an unprecedented view of the signature Unico movement by Hublot. The fact that Hublot is building 500 of the Unico Sapphire shows that the brand has mastered the unique manufacturing process of the sapphire cases, and the incredible workmanship that goes into each and every watch. The Hublot Unico Sapphire is in the category for best chronograph and up against the likes of the Ulysses Nardin Marine Chronograph Annual Calendar and the Louis Moinet Memoris Red Eclipse, making it a very tough ask for the watch.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
The 2015 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar was made as a homage to the classic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar and considering the size of that task, the Swiss watchmaker certainly passed with flying colours. One initial difference – the case was increased from 39mm to 41mm. This was to utilise the space more effectively and to make the different functions easier to read. The functions on the dial include the day, date, month, week of the year and a special phases of the moon complication, which are all stunning to behold. The self-winding watch’s new larger calibre (5134) is fully visible through the glare-proofed sapphire crystal casebook. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is in the category of best Calendar watch and up again some absolute classics. For example, the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chrono and the stunning Andersen Genève Perpetual Secular Calendar “20th Anniversary’ Blue Gold Dial.
Audemars Piguet Millenary
In the category for the best Ladies watch, our top pick has to be the Audemars Piguet Millenary. Despite the category being filled with the likes of the classic Chopard or Bovet 1822, the style and precision of the Millenary as to be rewarded. The Millenary in question is Ref 77249BC.ZZ.A102CR.01, is encased in 18K white gold, entirely set with brilliant cut-diamonds, glare proofed sapphire crystal and casebook and crown set with an onyx cabochon. The dial, a sight to truly see, is 18K white gold off-centered disc and small seconds counter with a zebra pattern, set with brilliant-cut diamonds and onyx, with signature yellow gold hands. The movement of the watch is the custom hand-wound manufacture calibre 5205, with a 49 hour power reserve. Fortunately at Luxe Watches, we have the close relative to this watch available in stock. Click here.
Bovet 1822 Recital 18 Shooting Star Tourbillon
Much like the Best Motion Picture at the Oscars, the category for Mechanical Exception epitomises the crowning jewel of the watch industry. Despite some exception watches in the category, including the fantastic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, our top pick has to go to the Bovet 1822 Recital 18 Shooting Star Tourbillon. The wristwatch is more masterpiece than watch in first light, yet you are constantly reminded of the mechanical genius that went into creating such a watch. The watch multi-functions include seconds, an incredible moon phase complication, unwavering power reserve, retrograde minutes, jumping hours, a second time zone feature, global time and a tourbillon. The case is 46mm in 18K white gold and finished off with a leather strap.
What true sets this watch apart from the others is the manufacturer movement for this watch. Two specific patents were filed for this calibre, which was manufactured entirely at Bovet 1822. One concerned the adjustable ruby runners that enable the rotation of both hemispheres by liberating their central axis. The second was for the ingenious corrector system integrated into the crown to deliver constant and separate power to the two mechanisms it drives, ensuring optimisation and secure ensemble. The movement’s architecture was designed to highlight Earth and its satellite – an atypical concept enhanced by the truncated case-side. Only 50 of these movements will be manufactured (across the entire range of models), which makes this watch very special and highly valued – priced at 295,000 CHF.
Will these watches win their respective categories? Only time will tell. Be sure to catch our reflective post after the event!