Exceptional watchmaking triumphs honoured at GPHG awards

The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève jury had the unenviable task of selecting 19 winners from 90 nominated entries in the most-anticipated watchmaking awards of the year. Here’s a closer look at some of them.

By Debbie Hathway

Best Sports Watch

The Tudor Pelagos 39 is a compact and versatile divers’ watch. Featuring a 39mm grade 2 titanium case, unidirectional rotating bezel, and sunray satin finish ceramic insert, the Pelagos 39 boasts a sunray satin finish black dial with applied hour markers and iconic “Snowflake” hands. It is powered by the COSC-certified Manufacture Calibre MT5400 and offers a 70-hour power reserve. The watch comes with a grade 2 titanium bracelet, a Tudor “T-fit” clasp, and a black rubber strap. Enjoy a five-year transferable guarantee with no registration or periodic maintenance checks required.

Challenge Watch

Raymond Weil won this award on the eve of its 50th anniversary, celebrating the efforts of three generations. The Millesime Automatic Small Seconds is in a slender stainless-steel case measuring 39.5mm in diameter. Beneath a vintage-inspired sapphire crystal glass box, the refined dial of the Millesime 2930 exudes sophistication. Silver-toned hands with Super-LumiNova lining track hours and minutes, while the sector dial enhances readability with discrete tracks for hours, minutes, and seconds. Contrasting finishes on the dial and a delicately brushed central area showcase meticulous attention to detail. The sapphire caseback reveals the self-winding movement and Raymond Weil’s signature “W-shaped” oscillating weight.

 Iconic Watch

Ulysse Nardin’s Freak One clinched this one sans crown, hands or dial. As the pinnacle of the revolutionary Freak series launched in 2001, this award recognises the enduring impact of the “Freak Revolution” on Swiss high horology over the past two decades. It also celebrates the independence and free-spirited mindset of the Manufacture. The key features of Ref. 2405-500-2A/3D include a 44mm black DLC-coated titanium case with a satin finish, rose gold 5N bezel, black titanium case back with a sapphire insert for the “Grinder system” visibility and the automatic in-house movement UN-240. Hours and minutes are indicated by the movement’s rotation and time is set with the front bezel. 

Ladies’ Watch

Piaget’s signature cuff watch, Hidden Treasures, won the prize in the ladies’ watch category. This exquisite timepiece showcases a captivating play of precious materials, featuring an emblematic sapphire-framed turquoise dial encased in a one-of-a-kind, hand-carved Decor Palace gold cuff. The cuff is meticulously sculpted into a silk-like fabric, creating a unique and luxurious aesthetic.

Inspired by Piaget’s evocative designs of the 1960s and 1970s, it’s a work of art that stands as a testament to Piaget’s spirit of Extraleganza, embodying the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship, creativity, and timeless elegance.

 Artistic Crafts

The Piaget Altiplano Undulata watch is a visual symphony of gold, stones, and artistry. It’s a mesmerising scene – a river of precious gold and stones flowing across the dial in captivating blue, green, and iridescent hues. French artist Rose Saneuil masterfully employs miniature marquetry techniques, using straw, parchment, sycamore, leather, and elytron to craft volumes, textures, and colours that seamlessly integrate into the ultra-thin flying tourbillon carriage. This exquisite creation is surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds, adding an extra layer of luxury and sophistication and exemplifying Piaget’s extraordinary savoir-faire.

Ladies’ Complication Watch

The Grand Soir Automate Étoile de Monsieur Dior watch is a celestial tribute to Monsieur Dior’s lucky star. Illuminating a golden 30 Avenue Montaigne with diamond-studded constellations, this spectacular timepiece transcends the boundaries of haute horlogerie artistry. It employs various precious materials and intricate layers to craft depth and enchantment, narrating the House’s story through the mastery of watchmaking. Showcasing the virtuoso savoir-faire of the Dior Horlogerie atelier, a pusher button activates two tiny stars gracefully gliding over 30 Avenue Montaigne, traversing a magical night sky hand-painted on a mother-of-pearl dial adorned with twinkling diamonds.

Jewellery Watch

Says Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari, of the brand’s latest victory for the Serpenti Cleopatra: “It’s amazing to be one of the winners of this extraordinary watchmaking grand prix 2023. Also, for Bulgari, it is the third win in the jewellery category. Yes, we are a watchmaker, of course, and we have won many Grand Prix with Octo in particular, but we were historically born as a Roman jeweller… with a jewellery watch, whose name is Cleopatra, who herself inspired an icon like Serpenti, [it] is not only a masterpiece of high jewellery and watchmaking but also a direct connection with a very rich and unique history which has been inspiring Bulgari ever since it was created.”

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