Earlier than the curtain had totally closed on this yr’s GPHG awards ceremony in Geneva, I sat down and recorded a short video with a few of my first ideas on the outcomes. However now that the mud has settled a bit, I believed it will be price strolling by way of the GPHG 2023 winners, watch by watch, to see what we are able to be taught from the outcomes. I’m going to go within the order wherein the prizes have been awarded, so buckle up and let’s go.
Girls’ Prize – Piaget Hidden Treasures
Different nominees embrace Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon 38 Mintnight, Beauregard Lili Bouton, Hermès Arceau Petite lune, Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo Secret watch, XRby La Montre d’Artwork Espressione Romantica
I used to be very blissful to see that not one of the watches on this yr’s Girls’ class fell into the dreaded “shrink it and pink it” class of watches. All six watches have been deliberately designed and have one thing to say.
That mentioned, I used to be thrilled to see the Piaget win. There are few watchmakers with a historical past of creating excessive jewellery watches that rival Piaget’s and the Hidden Treasures’ mixture of gold work, stone craft, and gem setting actually stood out to me. I’d think about that the Hermès and the Van Cleef additionally acquired numerous first place votes and I wouldn’t be stunned if the ultimate tally was tight.
Girls’ Complication Prize – Dior Montres Grand Soir Automate Etoile de Monsieur Dior
Different nominees embrace Andersen Genève Arctic Dawn Andersen Genève x BCHH, Chopard Imperiale Leaping Hour, Gucci Timepieces G-Timeless Planetarium with diamond-studded stars, IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Perpetual Calendar, Louis Vuitton Tambour Fiery Coronary heart Automata
Speak about a wierd remaining discipline of watches. The six shortlisted items ranged from understated to garish and every seemed to be extra mechanically sophisticated than the following (no shock, given the class), and a couple of would fall underneath a extra “gender impartial” heading if I have been requested to weigh in.
Together with Van Cleef & Arpels, Dior is without doubt one of the extra underappreciated watchmakers in relation to inventive, poetic issues. Hopefully an award like this shines some mild on Dior as a watchmaker and encourages others to assume outdoors the field.
Males’s Complication Prize – Voutilainen World Timer
Different nominees embrace ArtyA Tiny Purity Tourbillon Chameleon, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Idea Cut up-Seconds Chronograph GMT Giant Date, Bovet 1822 Récital 27, Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante, Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Extremely-Skinny, Voutilainen World Timer
Some classes have apparent winners. After which there’s this class. The issue right here (should you can name it an issue) is that every of the six watches right here takes a very completely different method to making a “sophisticated” watch. So what is going to the jury reward? Is it pure mechanical madness? Is it the standard of watchmaking and craftsmanship? Is it wearability within the face of complexity?
Plainly the jury determined to weigh these components and reward the watch that greatest balanced them. The square-ish case of Voutilainen’s World Time is non-traditional, however the degree of expertise within the watch is next-to-none and the power to create one thing inventive however not over-the-top has lengthy been a power of Kari Voutilainen and his group.
Iconic Prize – Ulysse Nardin Freak One
Different nominees embrace Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph, Breitling Navitimer 01 Chronograph 41, Chopard L.U.C 1860, IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automated 40, TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph, Ulysse Nardin Freak One
Speak about one other crowded discipline. Offshore, Navitimer, L.U.C, Ingenieur, Carrera, Freak. That’s a murderers’ row of all-time greats. I don’t envy the jury on this one. I’m not too shocked to see Ulysse Nardin take residence the trophy for the Freak One, given its influence on the final twenty years of watchmaking, however I’d be prepared to wager that the voting was shut.
For my part, this era of TAG Heuer Carrera is the perfect because the pre-TAG days and the newest Ingenieur is a masterclass from IWC of the right way to design a watch impressed by the previous with out making a straight-up reissue of a chunk from the archive. After which the ceramic Beast? I might maintain going…
Tourbillon Prize – Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon Pursuit
Different nominees embrace Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Gold, Bovet 1822 Virtuoso XI, Bulgari Octo Roma Placing Papillon Tourbillon, HYT Conical Tourbillon Infinity Sapphires, Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon
Years in the past, once I obtained a preview of the very first Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon, I’ll admit I didn’t get it in any respect. The design wasn’t for me and I didn’t really feel the connection between the watch and the remainder of the model. It simply didn’t click on and I type of moved on mentally, hardly ever interested by the watch within the years that adopted.
After which this yr’s model of the watch got here out and now I believe I get it. Will I be queuing as much as order a chunk? No, it’s nonetheless not for me, however I utterly perceive why persons are so enthusiastic about it. Within the face of everybody scrambling to create excessive issues in sport watch packages, Mr. Ferrier is wanting very forward of his time. With that in thoughts, I wager the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon is our runner-up right here, however we’ll by no means know for certain.
Calendar & Astronomy Prize – Bovet 1822 Récital 20 Astérium
Different nominees embrace Felipe Pikullik Moon part 1, IWC Schaffhausen Massive Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar High Gun Lake Tahoe, Habring2 x Massena LAB Chrono Felix Perpetual, Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Xiali Chinese language Calendar, Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Obsidian
Bovet has fairly the historical past on this class, and with these sorts of watches, so the win is not any massive shock. Actually, I’d type of been shocked if the rest had gained right here.
However that doesn’t imply the opposite watches are undeserving. The Récital 20 Astérium is a critical feat of watchmaking, however personally I believe I’d be extra excited to put on any of the opposite 5 finalists myself. I’ve all the time cherished how IWC makes perpetual calendars approachable to non-nerds with the Massive Pilot’s QPs and the Habring² x Massena LAB Chrono Felix Perpetual needs to be top-of-the-line value-driven watches in your complete GPHG this yr. And that 3D moon part within the Felipe Pikullik? Don’t even get me began.
Chronograph Prize – Petermann Bédat Chronographe Rattrapante
Different nominees embrace Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph, De Bethune DB Eight, Grand Seiko Tentagraph, Singer Reimagined 1969 Chrono, TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Skipper
That is one other a kind of “what are we rewarding right here” classes. Is that this about creating probably the most revolutionary chronograph? Probably the most sophisticated? Probably the most wearable? In the end, I believe the jury went the “go massive or go residence” route with the mind-blowing Petermann Bédat splitter, and I don’t know that I might have voted for the rest in good conscience had I been within the room with them. The watch is improbable on practically each degree and I believe it was a real contender for the Aiguille d’Or too. It appears my colleagues right here at Revolution would agree, because the watch was additionally named Greatest Chronograph within the 2023 Revo Awards earlier final week.
However at the same time as an avowed non-chronograph man, there’s loads to love right here. Grand Seiko’s Tentagraph answered the decades-long prayers from collectors in search of a completely mechanical GS chronograph, and it answered them in type; De Bethune made a watch that hides an excessive amount of complexity in a easy, elegant design; and TAG Heuer revived a fan-favorite with a splash of shade. I’d wager that the primary place votes have been fairly aligned throughout the jury, however down poll I wager practically each watch obtained some well-deserved consideration.
Sports activities Prize – Tudor Pelagos 39
Different nominees embrace Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF, Doxa Military, Grönefeld 1969 DeltaWorks, IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automated 40, TAG Heuer Monza Flyback Chronometer
Tudor profitable the sports activities watch class? Not precisely groundbreaking or stunning at first look. However you then take a look at the watches. The Pelagos 39 was the second least costly watch within the discipline, which was largely populated by what I’d name “elevated” sport watches, such because the titanium Ingenieur from IWC, the Monza Flyback from TAG, and even the 1969 DeltaWorks from Grönefeld.
For a easy, closed-back, three-hand watch to take the prize here’s a assertion from the jury. It’s the watch cognoscenti saying “Positive, your luxurious sport watches are nice, however let’s get again to fundamentals.” The Pelagos 39 is about nearly as good an on a regular basis watch as anybody might need, with its clear design, nice high quality, and traditional nature. I used to be actually blissful to see it acknowledged as such.
Jewellery Prize – Bulgari Serpenti Cleopatra
Different nominees embrace Chopard Pure Happiness, Damiani Margherita Watch, Gucci Timepieces G-Timeless Planetarium with coloured stones, Piaget Swinging Sautoir, Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo Secret Thriller Set emeralds watch
I’ll acknowledge my very own bias right here – If there’s a Serpenti in a class, I’m going to have a tough time rooting for the rest. Positive, the Serpenti Cleopatra is extra a snake-themed cuff vs. a zoological bangle with a watch hid within the head, however I nonetheless adore it and I’m nonetheless thrilled to see it take residence this prize.
Setting my very own proclivities for snake-diamonds apart, Piaget and Van Cleef each had unimaginable contenders and ones that I’d fortunately have cheered for underneath different circumstances. As with the Girls’ and Girls’ Problems classes, the creativity appears to be getting higher year-over-year and I’m excited to see the place the business continues to go together with watches like these.
Creative Crafts Prize – Piaget Altiplano Métier d’Artwork Undulata
Different nominees embrace Andersen Genève Leaping Hours Rising Solar Version, Louis Moinet Savanna Tourbillon Tiger, Rudis Sylva Hymne d’Orient, Sarpaneva Watches Näkki, Van Cleef & Arpels Woman Duo de Lions watch
For somebody like myself, for whom three fingers is nearly an excessive amount of on a watch, this class is all the time a troublesome one to evaluate. However, as with the model’s different win, I believe Piaget made a really robust case right here, with a watch combining a number of crafts and sophisticated watchmaking, all in a chunk that you could possibly put on for an evening out with out attracting an excessive amount of consideration. It’s a case of a model enjoying to its strengths, having the conviction to make use of conventional crafts in non-traditional methods, and actually going for it. I’ll all the time applaud that.
Petite Aiguille – Christopher Ward London C1 Bel Canto
Different nominees embrace Bulgari Octo Roma Automated, Habring2 Chrono-Felix High-Second, Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Konstantin Chaykin, Magraph by Massena LAB x Raúl Pagès, Tudor Black Bay
I bear in mind when this watch was launched, the web watch group appeared virtually dumbfounded. A chiming watch at that value? From an impartial model? What’s the catch? (Spoiler alert: It turns on the market isn’t one.) This award appears a becoming method to acknowledge the Bel Canto and the fervor it stirred up on Instagram and elsewhere.
It’d sound a bit wishy-washy, however this is without doubt one of the few classes the place I legitimately assume any of the six watches might have gained. That’s not to remove from Christopher Ward’s victory, however that is an excellent assortment of watches that exhibits the range accessible to collectors, even with a price range in thoughts. You wish to really feel optimistic about the way forward for watches? Look no additional than this quick listing.
Problem Prize – Raymond Weil Millésime Automated Small Seconds
Different nominees embrace Kurono Tokyo GMT 1, Nomos Glashütte Membership Campus 38 electrical inexperienced, Seiko 1968 Diver’s Fashionable Re-interpretation GMT, Studio Underd0g Watermel0n (Perpétual Restricted Version), Timeless Swiss Watch HMS 003
Additional proscribing the value ceiling is the Problem class, and that is the place issues begin to get actually funky. The Raymond Weil makes good sense to me because the jury’s choice, with its traditional attractiveness and vintage-style allure. It’s not a watch I’ve seen in particular person, however it appears each bit the a part of a Problem winner and it’s the type of watch I’m immediately drawn to.
Nonetheless, personally, I believe each of the Japanese GMT watches on this discipline are price one other look. The 1968 Diver from Seiko and the GMT 1 from Kurono Tokyo are each watches I discover extraordinarily compelling and items the place the value tag presents reverse sticker-shock. I’d like to see the Problem class evolve, including some type of design part along with the value requirement, however that’s a dialog for one more time.
Mechanical Clock – L’Epée 1839 Time Quick II Chrome
Different nominees embrace Alain Silberstein Journey Alarm Clock iZman, Maison Alcée Persée Azur, Matthew Norman Diaphane, The Unnamed Society The Champion Macassar, Van Cleef & Arpels Éveil du Cyclamen Automaton
A mechanical clock that appears like a chrome race automobile with an idiosyncratic time show? Positive. I’m in no way stunned that this gained the class. L’Epée makes completely unimaginable clocks and their capacity to faucet into the issues that watch collectors love is unmatched. Speak about a crowd pleaser.
However for me, the Alain Silberstein Journey Alarm Clock iZman is one thing actually epic. It’s much less flashy, it has a narrower attraction, and it’s a lot much less business. However I’m undecided I might have voted for the rest with this on the ticket. Now to begin saving these pennies…
Chronometry Prize – Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2SPC
There have been no different nominees from this class; This watch was initially a nominee for Greatest Males’s Watch.
Just like seeing a Bovet within the Astronomical class, you may’t sleep on a Ferdinand Berthoud in relation to the Chronometry Prize. The model took residence the award in each 2019 and 2020, and was the odds-on favourite once more this yr. You may want a level from WOSTEP to completely perceive the Chronomètre FB 3SPC, however I believe right here that’s a function and never a bug.
I do know it’s not a part of the factors for this award, per se, however I’ve all the time cherished the best way Ferdinand Berthoud nods to historic chronometers and clocks in its designs. From the dial layouts to the ending, there’s an air of historical past about these watches that I discover very alluring.
Horological Revelation – Simone Brette Chronomètre Artisans
There have been no different nominees from this class; This watch was initially a nominee for Greatest Males’s Watch.
There are few questions I get requested greater than “Have you ever seen [Insert New Watch Name Here].” And there are few watches over the past couple of years which have elicited extra such inquiries than the Chronomètre Artisans. From collectors who usually favor massive manufacturers to the indy nuts, everybody needed to speak about this watch, Simon Brette’s method to his model, and what this may inform us about the way forward for watchmaking.
I don’t have solutions to all of these questions proper now, however what I can say is that the one time I used to be fortunate sufficient to see one in every of these within the metallic on a buddy’s wrist, my jaw hit the ground. The Chronomètre Artisans is a surprising watch made to a really excessive degree in an attention-grabbing approach. What extra might you need, actually? (There’s a motive Simon Brette was additionally awarded the “Rising Star” prize within the 2023 Revo Awards too.)
To say I can’t wait to see Brette’s subsequent creation is kind of the understatement.
Audacity Prize – Maison Alcée Persée Azur
There have been no different nominees from this class; This watch was initially a nominee for the Mechanical Clock Prize.
I’ll admit I had by no means heard of this clock till I went and did my voting for the GPHG Academy. Nevertheless it captured my consideration instantly. The thought of a nice mechanical clock delivered in a do-it-yourself equipment is simply too cool of an concept to gloss over, particularly within the finely managed world of horology, the place manufacturers usually don’t even need a third-party watchmaker your watch.
There have been fairly a number of wristwatches that got here to thoughts for the audacity prize, however nothing even comes near the Persée Azur. Glorious job by the jury and I hope we see extra creativity like this sooner or later.
Innovation Prize – Hautlence Sphere Collection 1
There have been no different nominees from this class
I used to be fortunate sufficient to see a prototype of this sphere-based time show from Hautlence years in the past on a go to to Switzerland and it gave me that “how the hell does this work” rush that solely a very revolutionary watch may give. I sat there, carefully analyzing the watch as I adjusted the retrograde minutes hand to provide the sphere a spin and transfer to the following hour. Even after a chat with a watchmaker, I needed to give myself over to it nonetheless feeling a bit like magic – and, actually, I prefer it that approach.
As with the Audacity Prize, there have been a number of watches that would have competed right here, however I can’t fault the jury one bit for choosing this watch. It exhibits us that we’re nonetheless simply scratching the floor of mechanical timekeeping and that the longer term doesn’t need to look (or work) something just like the previous.
Aiguille d’Or – Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Extremely-Complication Universelle RD#4
And that brings us to the grand prize, the Aiguille d’Or. For these of you not conversant in how this award works (and who’ve miraculously made it this far into this story), this award can go to any watch from any of the classes, deemed to be the “greatest in present.”
There’s actually nothing to quibble with in relation to Audemars Piguet taking residence prime honors for the Code 11.59 Extremely-Complication Universelle RD#4 (additionally named Greatest Grand Complication within the 2023 Revo Awards). It’s an insanely sophisticated watch, executed at an excellent excessive degree, from one of many business’s nice historic watchmakers. It additionally comes simply weeks earlier than the departure of long-time CEO François-Henry Bennahmias, who has been some of the necessary individuals in watchmaking throughout his tenure. So the timing couldn’t have been higher.
We’ll by no means know for certain, however I’d wager that Simon Brette’s Chronomètre Artisans and Petermann Bédat’s Chronograph Rattrapante have been each very excessive within the voting right here. Going into the ceremony, these have been my three prime picks, although I’d like to know the way shut the voting was.
If you wish to evaluate all the outcomes for your self, yow will discover the total listing of shortlisted watches right here and the winners proper right here.