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GPHG - Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève
GPHG - Men’s watches: yours for over 10k sir…

GPHG Men’s watches: yours for over 10k sir…

We take a look at the six finalists in the Men’s category at this year’s GPHG.

If you want to buy a men’s watch, it looks like the minimum budget that the industry suggests is 10,000 Swiss francs. That is, at least, if you go by the entrants in the men’s watch category in the GPHG 2017. Admittedly, this is not an exhaustive selection of what is available on the market, but among the 29 watches entered in this category (the most entered in any category this year), only a handful were below this psychologically important barrier. The jury has whittled this down to just six finalists – all from the finest names in Swiss and Japanese mechanical watches and all with irreproachable levels of quality – but if you want to actually buy one, then the minimum investment is one quarter of the average annual household income in the USA (12,900 Swiss francs for the Bulgari Octo Finissimo), rising to twice this for the Voutilainen 28ISO Enamel (98,000 Swiss francs) and nearly four times for the Greubel Forsey Signature One (190,000 Swiss francs). Given that the average income in the USA is the second-highest in the world at purchasing power parity (sandwiched by the tiny country of Luxembourg in first place and Switzerland in third in the latest OECD statistics), we can safely deduce that these watches are above average in terms of price.

Men’s watches: yours for over 10k sir…

But does the above-average price automatically guarantee an above-average watch overall? In the case of the finalists in this category, I think we can answer in the affirmative. Each of the six watches retained by the jury is singular in its own way. The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Moonphase, for example, has a moonphase display with a solid-gold moon that is accurate to a staggering 122.6 years. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic is nothing less than the world’s thinnest self-winding watch at just 5.15mm and, unusually for ultra-thin timepieces, has a matching titanium bracelet. Grand Seiko’s recreation of its first-ever watch from 1960 has been issued to mark brand’s full independence from Seiko this year and the limited edition in yellow-gold is sure to become a collector’s piece. The Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente houses a unique module that counts down the last 60 minutes to a chosen time, sounding a single chime as a reminder of the important event. 

Men’s watches: yours for over 10k sir…  

The inevitable question of a favourite leads me for once to make a decision that is emotional, rather than rational. Among the many worthy contenders I cannot help but have a preference for the Voutilainen 28ISO because of its quirky display. It’s a watch that you need to wear to understand, because it was inspired by one of my favourite books, “Thinking: Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman and is designed to help you develop a more intimate relationship with time.

Men’s watches: yours for over 10k sir…

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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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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“La Montre Hermès” has adopted an epicurean philosophy that values the creation of sober, contemporary timepieces.

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The history of Seiko is a more than 130 year story of innovation. From the very start, Kintaro Hattori was determined to be at the forefront of the industry and his oft-repeated credo was that...

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