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GPHG - Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
GPHG - The rich GPHG 2017 harvest

GPHG The rich GPHG 2017 harvest

Our editor-in-chief takes his annual statistical look at this year’s GPHG candidate watches.

The annual Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) is always guaranteed to offer a wealth of statistics with varying degrees of relevance. The number of participating watches is hardly a reflection of the industry’s health, because the figure has varied by less than twenty over the past three years. The same is true for the number of participating brands (88 this year, compared with 86 last year). What is much more interesting is which brands are putting their watches forward and which are not.

Among the big watchmaking groups, all the brands in the LVMH group are participating, with up to six watches each, accounting for one seventh of the 181 watches in the competition. Only Chopard rivals their level of participation, with the family-owned brand fielding six watches. Horological behemoths like Patek Philippe and Rolex are conspicuous by their absence, as is the entire portfolio of Swatch Group brands, with the notable exception of Longines. Like most years, a number of lesser-known brands have also submitted watches in the hope of some much-appreciated global visibility from the competition. There are 14 of them this year, coming from as far afield as Austria, Finland, France and China.

To stand any chance of winning either the coveted Aiguille d’Or trophy or the prize for one of the 12 individual categories, a watch must first make it through the first round, where the members of the jury vote for their six favourite watches in each category. Choosing the category in which a watch is submitted can therefore have a big influence on a brand’s chances of winning. By far the most hotly contested category this year is the one for men’s watches, with 29 entries, while the entrants in the calendar category are guaranteed to make it through to the next round, since there are only six.

As usual, the jury will face some tough decisions. The men’s category, for instance, includes almost every conceivable case shape and price range, from a TAG Heuer Link 41 up to an A. Lange & Söhne Moonphase. The Tourbillon category also poses some tough choices, with David Candaux’s “First 8” going up against the world’s thinnest skeleton tourbillon (Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton) and the world’s biggest tourbillon carriage (Kerbedanz Maximus).

La riche moisson du GPHG 2017

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton

La riche moisson du GPHG 2017

Kerbedanz Maximus

The most difficult choice, however, will undoubtedly be in the Chronograph category, where the jury is faced with a choice between the Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph and the Singer Reimagined Track 1 – both have a distinctive design but use the same ground-breaking central chronograph movement from Jean-Marc Wiederrecht’s Agenhor and both have been widely acclaimed this year.

La riche moisson du GPHG 2017

Fabergé Visionnaire

One area in which the GPHG is particularly representative of the industry is on price. All watches are submitted with their price (there is one notable exception this year with the unique piece Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600), which offers a rare chance to marvel at the extravagance of some of the creations submitted. The Rebellion WEAP-ONE is one of the most expensive non-jewellery watches submitted (450,000 Swiss francs) but the top spot is claimed by a watch whose name says it all: the Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage will set you back a cool 1.238 million Swiss francs. For the same price you could buy 1,414 Longines Conquest VHP quartz watches, which is the cheapest watch in the competition at a much more down-to-earth 875 Swiss francs.

La riche moisson du GPHG 2017

Vacheron Constantin Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

La riche moisson du GPHG 2017

Rebellion WEAP-ONE

La riche moisson du GPHG 2017

Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage

 Watch the ceremony

 

Brands

Following the vision of Ferdinand Adolph Lange to build the world’s best watches, A. Lange & Söhne strives for ultimate precision and explores new avenues in order to advance the art of fine...

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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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Bulgari has its own clear definition of excellence, which involves the perfect balance between design, added-value, quality of its products and its worldwide service. In the case of Bulgari...

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Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition,...

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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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Kerbedanz offers the discerning customer highly exclusive timepieces as unique pieces or strictly limited editions packed with symbolism.

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Today Longines is the oldest brand still in business, unchanged, in the international registers held by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The firm has a long tradition,...

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A passion for the ultimate in performance is what drives both Rebellion Timepieces and Rebellion Racing, two entities whose worlds are closely intertwined.

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Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly...

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An exploration of the history of Vacheron Constantin is a voyage of discovery, revealing the excellence of age-old watchmaking. Each timepiece is the result of the creative inspiration of the...

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