Well, it’s been another successful year for what many in the horological world refer to as (much to the chagrin of Time+Tide’s Nicholas Kenyon) the “Oscars of the watchmaking industry”.
And, much like Hollywood’s most revered awards ceremony, there’s been more than a few upsets at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, across quite a few different categories.
Now we understand that GPHG is an awards ceremony, so the ability to please everyone is nigh on impossible. However, these three watches represent the biggest shocks from the famed awards night:
Yeah, I don’t think anyone saw this one coming, but somehow, against the misshapen odds, the Tudor P01 has gone and won the hotly contested “Challenge” category at this year’s GPHG. Quite how this … inimitable-looking timepiece managed to upend a field that consisted of watches like Ming’s gorgeous 17.06 Copper and Doxa’s excellent new SUB 200 is beyond me, but GPHG’s expert judges obviously saw something in P01 that this mere mortal did not. Anyway, while the Tudor P01 is a contentious timepiece, it does at least present consumers with an unquestionably unique design language that you won’t find anywhere else. Kudos to Tudor for taking home the prize.
Talk about an upset, the relatively unknown boutique watchmaker that is Genus has not only taken home the prize for “Mechanical Exception” with its eccentric GNS1.2, it’s beaten a field of some of the best watchmakers in the world. When you see Genus’s mesmerising GNS1.2 in action, however, it all starts to make a bit more sense; it truly is a special timepiece. And one that has taken a very long time to come to fruition, with development of this one-of-a-kind wristwatch taking 10 years of research and three years of development. The result of all this R&D is two patent-pending display complications, and a whole lot of loupe-wielding horologists giving the GNS1.2 a big ol’ standing ovation.
Taking out arguably one of the most competitive categories at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the “Men’s” category, the Voutilainen 28ti, like the aforementioned Genus, was up against some stiff competition from stalwarts of the industry like Laurent Ferrier, Grönefeld, De Bethune and Grand Seiko. There’s no denying it, though, Finnish watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, the man behind the Voutilainen 28ti, knows how to make an exceptionally fine timepiece. For example, the escapement of the Voutilainen 28ti is the first of its kind, and utilises two escapement wheels in a completely bespoke arrangement. All in all, a very impressive timepiece indeed, and well deserving of the upset.