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Jewellery Technology

All the winning watches from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve 2018

HighLifeChannel January 9, 2019

The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie, the annual awards celebrating the finest and most innovative watchmaking in the world, took place on November 9 in Geneva. As always, some of the most famous names in horlogery were vying for this year’s top spots, while a number of newcomers also proved strong contenders in categories including Metiers d’Art, Innovation, and Fine Jewwllery. Read on to discover the top watches in the world right now…

Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix: Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital

The evening’s most prestigious prize, the Aiguille d’Or went to Bovet’s highly complicated Récital 22 Grand Récital timepiece. This stunning astronomical watch features a Tellerium-Orrery in which the sun is represented by a flying tourbillon, a hemispherical earth rotates on its own axis through a 24-hour cycle and a moon orbits the earth at precisely 29.53 days.

Case: Red gold, 46.3mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Manual winding mechanical
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 60

Ladies’ prize: Chanel Boy-Friend Skeleton

The most luxurious and technical of Chanel’s popular Boy-Friend mechanical watch collection for women, this elegant black-tie timepiece features an intricate skeleton movement surrounded by gold and diamonds.

Case: Pink gold, 28.6x37mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre 3 Boy-Friend manual-winding
Waterproof: 30 metres

Ladies complication prize: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium

Part of Van Cleef & Arpels’ exquisite Poetic Complications line, the Lady Arpels Planétarium is another timepiece which sets itself apart with a depiction of the heavens. Set against a deep blue Aventurine dial are a pink gold sun, white gold shooting star, pink mother-of-pearl Mercury, green enamel Venus, turquoise Earth and diamond moon.

Case: White gold, 38mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Valfleurier Q020 automatic
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: Numbered edition

Men’s prize: Akrivia Rexhep Rexhepi Chronomètre Contemporain

The latest line from more under-the-radar Genevan watchmaker Akrivia bears the name Rexhep Rexhepi in homage to the talented young watchmaker who brought this new elegant Art Deco-inspired design into being. A departure for the brand which specialises in highly contemporary pieces, the Chronomètre Contemporain is both stylish and technically excellent.

Case: Pink gold, 38mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre RR-01 manual-winding
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 25

Men’s complication prize: Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole

Debuted at SIHH 2018, the Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole impressed by showcasing both a new movement for the house and a new complication in Laurent Ferrier’s first annual calendar timepiece. Understated in design, emphasis has also been put on functionality and readability, making this one of the finest everyday watches on the market.

Case: Steel, 40mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre LF126.01 hand-wound
Waterproof: 30 metres

Chronograph prize: Singer Reimagined Track1 Hong Kong Edition

Motor sport inspired watches  are having quite a moment but, good looks aside, it is what’s under the bonnet that sets the Singer Reimagined Track1 Hong Kong Edition apart. A decade in the making, the watch’s AgenGraphite movement allows all the chronograph functions to sit in the centre of the watch, thus eliminating the need for subdials and increasing readability and ease of use.

Case: Ceramic-aluminium, 43×49.2mm
Strap: Canvas
Movement: AgenGraphite self-winding
Waterproof: 100 metres
Limited edition: 50

Chronometry prize: De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Chronomètre Tourbillon

A beautiful watch built to withstand the elements, the chronometer movement hidden beneath the blue dial of De Bethune’s Starry Varius has been optimised to remain highly accurate despite temperature changes and air penetration while a unique balance spring maintains a perfect centre of gravity at all times.

Case: Titanium, 42mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: DB2109V4 manual-winding
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 20

Mechanical exception prize: Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie

The product of 11 years of development and containing 935 parts, Greubel Forsey’s Grand Sonnerie timepiece is an excellent example of what is widely considered to be one of the greatest watchmaking complications. Alongside its crisp cathedral gongs, the watch also boasts indicators for power reserve, sonnerie reserve, mode and small seconds.

Case: Titanium, 43.5mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Grande Sonnerie manual-winding
Waterproof: 30 metres

Sports prize: Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Re-Creation

As the name suggests, this thoroughly modern 2018 sports watch is, in fact, a re-creation of both Seiko and Japan’s first diver’s watch which was debuted in 1965. While the watch is similar in looks, with its flat case and retro dial, the movement has been upgraded to equip the watch for saturation diving with 300 metre water resistance.

Case: Steel, 44.8mm
Strap: Rubber
Movement: Calibre 8L55
Waterproof: 300 metres
Limited edition: 1,500

Long famed for its mastery with stones and jewellery setting, Van Cleef & Arpels Secret de Coccinelle secret watch is further evidence of the house’s excellence. A ruby and diamond ladybird sits on a wraparound leaf of yellow gold and emerald and slides to reveal a delicate and simple watch face.

Case: Yellow gold, 8x21mm
Strap: Yellow gold
Movement: Manual-winding mechanical
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 1

Artistic Crafts prize: Hermes Arceau Robe du Soir

Metiers d’Art pieces are the most prized in any aesthete’s collection thanks to the simple fact that they are as beautiful on the outside as they are complicated on the inside. Hermes’ stand-out 2018 piece draws on the house’s equestrian heritage with a horse, based on Florence Manlik’s scarf design for the brand, picked out in over 2,200 tiny leather mosaic squares.

Case: Pink gold, 41mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Manual-wound mechanical
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 12

Petite Aiguille prize: Habring2 Doppel-Felix

Awarded to watches costing less than CHF10,000, the Petite Aiguille category attracts a diverse and impressive selection of entrants. This year’s winner, from lesser-known brand Habring2, features a new and unusual movement which allows a date function to sit around the edge of the dial.

Case: Steel, 42mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre A11RD manual-winding
Waterproof: 50 metres

Challenge prize: Nomos Tangente Neomatik 41 Update

If you’re after for a great entry level watch  then the Challenge category is the place to look as it is only open to watches costing less than CHF4,000. Featuring a sleek minimalist face, as well as additional complications such as a small seconds subdial and date indicator, Nomos’ Tangente Neomatik Update is a worthy winner.

Case: Steel, 40.5mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre DUW 6101 automatic
Waterproof: 50 metres

Revival prize: Vacheron Constantin Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942

This niche category recognises watches that have been entered into one of the previous categories but which is also a re-edition or reinterpretation of an historic timepiece. Few fit these parameters better than Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques Triple Calendrier 1942 which offers a modern take on the brand’s calendar watches from the 1940s.

Case: Steel, 40mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre 4400 QC
Waterproof: 30 metres

Audacity prize: Konstantin Chaykin Clown

Celebrating the unusual and out-of-the-box, the self-explanatory Audacity prize was this year presented to the love-it-or-hate it Clown by Konstantin Chaykin. Inspired by Stephen King’s It, don’t let the watch’s light-hearted looks deceive, beneath is a powerful movement with the time told by two subdials (the eyes) and the mouth acting as a moonphase indicator.

Case: Steel, 42mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre K07-0 self-winding
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 27

Innovation prize: Krayon Everywhere Horizon

Not one for those new to the world of high-horology, Krayon’s Everywhere Horizon looks extremely complicated because, well, it is. Capable of calculating the time of sunrise and sunset anywhere on earth using a universal mechanical calculator, the day and night sectors of the dial will tilt so that these can be read on the outer dial. This can be changed to reflect your current position using the latitude and longitude indicator while the date can be seen on a subdial and time is told using a 24-scale.

Case: White gold, 43mm
Strap: Leather
Movement: Calibre USS automatic
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 1


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