The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, which is considered as the Oscar of Swiss Watchmaking Industry despite its young age, is about to announce the prize winning models of 2016. Let’s take a look at this year’s prominent contestants at the Haute Joaillere category.
The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix) is the name of an annual watchmaking prize as well as the organization that awards it.
Awarded in November of each year since 2001, the GPHG includes prizes in important categories, including men’s/women’s, sport watch, technical innovation, and complication. There is also a prize for the best watch maker and a special jury prize. Originally given by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), the GPHG became a registered public interest organization in 2011.
The organization consists of:
-The Republic and Canton of Geneva
-The City of Geneva
-The Musée International de l’Horlogerie/International Museum of Horology (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds
-The Geneva Laboratory of Horology and Microengineering (Timelab)
-The Edipresse group
With the exception of a special audience prize, only a selected jury of watch professionals are allowed to vote, and price is one consideration. Although still very young, GPHG has become one of the most important prizes in the world of watches. One can compare it with the Academy Awards ("Oscars") of the U.S. film industry. An Asian Edition is also held.
The way to the winner of the Aiguille d’Or (Golden Pointer) automatically gets a seat in the jury in the following year.
Having Switzerland Clock Museum (MIH), which has been operating since 1974, and TimeLab among its five co-founders, Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève keeps honoring the prize worthy timepieces of the year since 2001 with its jury members consisting of leading personalities of the industry. We are looking forward to see this year’s women’s watches candidates in the jewelry category where participants are being evaluated under 12 different categories
It’s pretty easy for us to start judging our life style and values upon taking a look at the “ haute joailliere “ collections of the brands as the value of the 2015 GPHS winner Diamond Punk, which had 1400 hours of labor spent during production, is not in the price tag only but also it’s in the feeling of “ owning “ it. We will be safe to call that watch “ a piece of art “ with its 8000 pieces of diamonds handcrafted over 18K white gold.
Let’s leave the Diamond Punk in 2015 and take a look at this year’s candidates. While last year’s Best Woman Watch prize winner Hublot Big Bang Broderie afraid us to look at it for a long time, we are hopeful for the “jewelry watch” category as all contestants are quite impressive.
While we were asking to ourselves “ What could possibly surpass the Diamond Punk..? “, we are simply dazzled with the new model Diamond Fury. We believe this year’s winner will be Audemars Piguet unless the jury makes a surprising decision but, we are also confused with the impeccable elegance of Serpenti Incantati by Bulgari. The Italian origin brand participates with a far more elegant model this year than its 2014 Haute Joillere prize winner Diva High Jewellery Emeralds.
It is impossible not to be affected by the craftsmanship and classiness of Chanel Signature Grenat. The orange sapphires splattered over the diamond squares with 18K white gold housing deeply presents the Couture spirit of Chanel. While we try hard to think that the flipping cover is attached to protect the dial, we cannot avoid the reality. The flipping cover fully blocks the dial. We appreciate this function as the model’s name Secret Watch tells us that this trick is the prominent feature of the watch. While this model could be our favorite as a bracelet, we are estranged from it due to this feature which takes away the “watch” identity. We will see what the jury will think about that one.
Precious Chopard literally sparkles with its form and color but we cannot find the color harmony we had with the 2013 prize winning model L’Heure du Diamant. Though we appreciate the feeling that the model trying to create and the diamonds worked by superior craftsmanship, we cannot stop thinking that they look pretty eye-straining when they are all got together.
While the craftsmanship on Graff’s Princess Butterfly deserves admiration, we believe the that watch feature is lost within the glamour.
Piaget on the other hand is quite an elegant piece but, it is not a watch.
The grace of Chamuet’s Josephine Aigrette, which took over 150 hours to be completed, is indisputable. We witness the absolute harmony of the French jewelry and Swiss watchmaking on this timepiece which is inspired by Josephine Bonaparte. The model, which successfully represents its inspiration Josephine who had left her mark in her era, also reminds us the famous Spoonmaker’s Diamond with its characteristic shape.
Our other favorites after Diamond Fury are the Voutilainen Scintillante and Hublot Big Bang models.
We may say that “elegance” is the mutual feature of all the contestants. All models, which emphasize women’s ingenuous and unattainable side, bear magnificent jewellery details. Horologically speaking, Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon makes a difference among others. While it features a quite different design, Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon takes the time a few centuries ahead just like the Diamond Fury. Well, Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon is not an elegant watch but it’s different and way beyond standard.
All the contestant watches can be found here: