NEWS: Breguet takes out top prize at GPHG 2014, the Watch Oscars

Winner of the 2014 aguille dor

Congratulations to Breguet, who, on Friday October the 31st took out watchmaking’s top prize, the ‘Aiguille d’Or’ (‘golden hand’ in French) at the 14th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) for the Classique Chronométrie. Champagne! This 14th edition of the GPHG had record levels of participation with representation from all the major watchmaking groups as well as a number of independents. There are multiple categories, but the hand of the king, sorry (too much Game of Thrones) the golden hand, is reserved for the what is judged to be the best watch across all categories. The Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann officially presented this prize on-stage, taking the moment to praise “the vitality of the Swiss watch industry.” The GPHG was established in 2001 as a way to showcase the best of the luxury watch industry. While it is based in Geneva, the competition is open to watches made all over the world. Winners are chosen by a 25-person jury that consists of watchmakers, journalists, designers, watch collectors, auctioneers and retailers. And John Mayer, who is often touted as celebrity-land’s watch geek. The Classique Chronométrie was not a controversial choice; to quote Forbes, “it is absolutely insane.” From the outside it’s vintage Breguet, with many hallmarks including a guilloché dial… Read More

REVIEW: The Breguet Classic Tourbillon Quantieme Perpetuel 3797


Breguet holds a special place in the world of fine watchmaking. Founded in 1775. Breguet takes it name from Abraham-Louis Breguet, an Eighteenth century watchmaker and horologist responsible for a number of important technical inventions (not least the tourbillon) and a client book comprised of a significant chunk of European royalty and nobility. Fast forward to 2014 and Breguet are still making timepieces that honour the spirit and aesthetic of their founder, such as the brand new Breguet Classic Tourbillion Quantieme Perpetuel 3797. Now, in case you’re not au fait with specific French language watchmaking terms (we get it, you guys have lives – don’t make us feel bad) QP is short for Quantieme Perpetuel which in turn translates to Perpetual Calendar. Not content with telling you the minutes, hours and seconds a QP watch adds day, date, month and leap year to the equation (plus it’s clever enough not to need adjusting for 30 or 31 day months – pretty convenient really).   Breguet have made this watch available in platinum or pink gold, and with either a guilloche dial or a fully skeletonized dial. And while the solid dial is nice, in our (not so humble) opinion the… Read More

BASELWORLD 2014: Day 3 – Mechanical Marvels.


If the last post was all about the colour of watches, today we’re all about the movement. All the watches highlighted today represent an impressive achievement. They are technical achievements, marvels of micro-engineering, masterpieces of movement finishing. First up we have this stunning annual calendar tourbillion from masters of classicism, Breguet. This version really shines because of the multi-layered skeletonized dial, which has amazing depth and richness.   And now we have a few watches from Girard Perregaux. First up is the Neo-Tourbillion with the trademark GP three bridges. The bridges on this are made from PVD titanium and inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. A stunning watch. Also we see a new Constant Escapement watch released in pink gold. The Constant Escapement won the prestigious Aiguille d’Or award at the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (or GPHG for those in the know). It’s a technically impressive watch that uses silicon components to ensure regular, constant force, which also results in greater accuracy. The Constant Escapement was inspired on a long, dull train trip, on which a GP engineer found himself bending and snapping a playing card in his hand absent-mindedly. Closer physical analysis of this process led… Read More

BASELWORLD 2014: Day 1 – First Impressions


As I write this, sitting on the balcony of my apartment by the Rhine, the sun setting gently on the Swiss town of Basel, the first proper day of Baselworld has come to a close.  And I’m exhausted, jetlagged and having trouble stringing a sentence together. I’ve also had the privilege of getting up close and personal with some of the best watches in the world. Because that’s what Baselworld is all about. Baselworld, in case you weren’t aware is a trade show for watches.But on a scale which defies description. The brand exhibitor ‘booths’ (in the case of the large brands) are as big as small apartment blocks, often have inbuilt bars, restaurants, aquariums (seriously) – you know, the usual. It’s the single largest watch event of the year, with the exhibiting brands releasing their  2014 collections, and vying to outdo each other with the most high tech, luxurious or downright awesome looking timepieces. In the coming days we’ll give you some more in-depth looks at some of the highlights of the show, but for today, here is an edited highlight reel of some of the early favourites. Rolex are perhaps the most hotly anticipated release of any Baselworld. This… Read More