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GPHG - Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
GPHG 2016 - Candidate watches – crunching the numbers

GPHG 2016 Candidate watches – crunching the numbers

We seek out the trends among this year’s GPHG candidate watches

We have once again crunched the data for this year’s candidate watches for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève to see the main changes over last year’s edition and highlight any trends. The first observation is that there are fewer entrants in the competition this year (175 total entrants from 86 different brands, compared with 193 last year) and that the watches are distributed differently across the 12 categories. One interesting way to sum up the candidates is to take an average value for a number of criteria to come up with a single “photo-fit” watch that best represents this year’s crop of GPHG 2016 watches and, by a stretched analogy (given that some of the major brands do not submit any of their timepieces to the GPHG), the 2016 horological vintage as a whole.

We chose criteria common to all watches, such as case material, size, functions and price, all of which are included in the list of watches found on the official GPHG page. After crunching the data, it is perhaps no surprise that our “photo-fit” watch has a stainless-steel case and is most probably round, with a diameter of 42mm (41.88mm being the exact average, taking the longest side in to account for non-round watches). More surprising, however, is the average price, which is just over 97,000 Swiss francs.  This is no doubt skewed by outliers such as the 1.5m Swiss franc Sarcar Goldfish, which is by far the most expensive watch submitted this year. But over a quarter (42) of the watches submitted at this preliminary stage cost over 100,000 Swiss francs. Roughly the same proportion (41 watches) comes in under the 8,000 Swiss franc limit for the “Petite Aiguille” category for “affordable” watches. The most affordable? Raymond Weil’s instant classic “Beatles” watch, which comes in at just 1,500 Swiss francs with its self-winding mechanical movement.


The Ladies’ Watch category has proved a popular choice, with 24 entrants – one more than the Men’s watch category. There are 15 tourbillons in competition, compared to a disproportionate 23 last year, which may reflect current market trends. Although Montblanc and Ulysse Nardin both seem to have pre-empted a glut of tourbillon entrants by entering their TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Limited Edition and Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon in the Sports Watch Category. Whether or not the strategic choice pays off will not be known until 10th November. In the meantime, the entrants have to survive a first round of voting by the jury, which will whittle them down to six finalists in each category.

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