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GPHG - Grand prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève - The jury’s selection on display in New Delhi

Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève The jury’s selection on display in New Delhi

It was almost a dream come true when I heard that finally Indian watch buyers would get to see the fine watches selected for this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in Delhi. Ethos, one of India’s largest luxury watch retailers, brought the extremely prestigious and coveted timepieces to India.

At the GPHG, discerning watch lovers and collectors get the rare opportunity to admire phenomenal timepieces, as every notable watchmaker presents only their finest, most unique and technologically superior creations, as winning at the awards is an honour that luxury watch brands the world over vie for every year. Prior to the prize-giving ceremony held in October in Geneva, the participating watches are exhibited in two countries.

I couldn’t help asking Yashovardhan Saboo, Chairman of Ethos, what inspired him to invest in such an initiative. “When I started a decade ago very few people believed that my model that is transparent business in India would succeed,” he said. Eight out of 43 stores he owns deal in luxury watches.  He explained that the number of luxury customers is growing by 28 per cent per year. “The Indian customer is ready to indulge but needs education. Young Indians especially between 25 to 30 years old want to make an informed purchase,” he explains. He further adds that his team inspired him to bring GPHG to India. His team (with less than 1 per cent turnover) was anxious about Apple launching a watch. He took the step of bringing the GPHG exhibition to India to make these touch points for customers to explain that fine watchmaking is an art. Buying a fine watch is like a getting into a relationship - we take care and invest in time to ensure a lasting relationship.

 

Mr Yashovardhan Saboo, Chairman of Ethos, a luxury watch retailer in India

 

Carlo Lamprecht, President of the GPHG foundation, explained that he chose India, as like China, it is a growing economy. “In India people appreciate art and so it was important to make a start in India. It is necessary to showcase new innovations, international skills and not just Swiss watches,” Lamprecht said. His message to Indian customers is that Switzerland may be a very small country, but it has some of the finest watch production in the world.

Your watch is a symbol to show a good moment or sad moment, but above all memorable moments. Watch collectors gathered happily to admire these works of art along with the curiosity to understand which watch they can add to their existing collections. They were delighted that Indian customers are being given the importance that they deserve. There were mechanical exceptions, and even for ladies high-end mechanical watches were on display. The collection of 72 watches was divided into categories such as jewellery watches, ladies, men’s and tourbillons.

The pieces which made an immediate impression on me were from Breguet and Christophe Claret.  In particular, in the ladies high-mechanical category it was Christophe Claret’s Margot with its mechanism for picking a daisy petal displaying various states of love. While the new Maxichrono from DeBethune was popular among the gentlemen.

Although we have to wait until 31 October to discover the overall winner of the Aiguille d’Or trophy, for watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs in India, every watch is a winner in its own way.

Pick your own winner in each of the 12 categories of the Grand Prix in our independent WorldTempus poll.