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GPHG - Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
Editorial - Paul Newman’s Daytona or the entire GPHG crop?

Editorial Paul Newman’s Daytona or the entire GPHG crop?

Our annual, quirky, statistical overview of the entrants for this year’s GPHG.

If you wanted to buy every one of the 195 timepieces entered for the GPHG this year, it would cost you precisely 17,738,069 Swiss francs, a figure that comes eerily close to the 17.8 million US dollars that were paid for one single watch, the Rolex Daytona that belonged to Paul Newman, at auction last year. Among these 195 watches, there is the usual extreme in terms of price. The cheapest watch on the list is the Ikepod Duopod Dots at 500 Swiss francs (incidentally it’s great to see Ikepod back on the scene and true to form with their designs). The most expensive watch is Greubel Forsey’s Grande Sonnerie, which costs roughly the same as the altogether different Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage that held the same honour last year. Both will set you back a cool 1.238 million Swiss francs.

To put the difference between these two extremes into context, I considered the difference between one of the cheapest cars available in Switzerland, the Dacia Sandero, which costs 7,990 Swiss francs (cheaper than the new Rolex GMT Master II), and one of the most expensive, the Bugatti Chiron at 2.5 million euros. The latter is over 300 times more expensive than the former. But in the GPHG the most expensive watch is over 1,500 times the price of the cheapest!

Paul Newman’s Daytona or the entire GPHG crop?

Marine Torpilleur © Ulysse Nardin

The decision to introduce a new category, called “Challenge”, for watches that cost less than 4,000 Swiss francs, has clearly paid off. It is the category with the biggest number of entries (35) and has no doubt been the major factor behind the jump in the number of different brands entering the competition, from 88 last year to 106 this year. Correspondingly, the conditions for the “Petite Aiguille” have been changed to accept watches (including smart watches) costing between 4,000 and 10,000 Swiss francs. Hence we find some surprises like Hublot’s Big Bang Referee going head-to-head against Ulysse Nardin’s Marine Torpilleur in this category. 

Greubel Forsey are not alone with their “million-plus” price tag. Antoine Preziuso and Van Cleef & Arpels have both entered watches that cost in excess of one million Swiss francs. In fact, the 15 most expensive watches entered this year cost more than the remaining 181 put together! Even taking the new Challenge category into account, these astronomically priced outliers push the average price of a watch entered into this year’s GPHG to 90,694 Swiss francs. 

Paul Newman’s Daytona or the entire GPHG crop?

Chronograph Dynamique © Fabergé

As usual, the choice of category that brands have submitted their watches in could prove decisive. This year, for example, the Fabergé Chronograph Dynamique and the Singer Reimagined Track 1 Hong Kong Edition, which share a common movement and an uncanny aesthetic resemblance with their black cases and orange accents, are no longer competing head-to-head. Instead, the former is in the Sports category, while the latter has been submitted in the Chronograph category. Fans of tourbillons can find them in no fewer than six different categories: Mechanical Exception, Chronometry, Men’s Complication, Ladies’ Complication, Jewellery and…. Challenge!

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

20 August 2018
Peter Braun
Very good point! Over the years collecting rolex has come very close to collecting stamps. horology? it's celebreties, stupid! Keep up your good work peter

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Audemars Piguet is one of the few independent family-owned watch businesses and has been based in Le Brassus, in Switzerland's Vallée de Joux region, at the heart of the fine watchmaking industry,...

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Fabergé delights in producing the unexpected for its timepieces, much like the famous Imperial Easter Eggs for which the house is famous.

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From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had...

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Combining cutting-edge technology with a unique heritage from marine chronometry is what sets Ulysse Nardin apart from other brands.

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Each of Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations is imbued with jewelry and watchmaking excellence, drawing inspiration from whether nature, couture or the imagination. Its creations evoke a timeless world of...

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