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).
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton
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.
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.
Our showroom feature a wide assortment of A Lange and Sohne timepieces. In yellow gold, an 1815 Up/Down or Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase round out the collection.Marshall Pierce & Company is an authorized A. Lange & Sohne watch merchant. We’re a family owned and operated jewelry store that’s been in business since 1928. We proudly serve the Chicagoland area natives, along with guests, whether in town for business or pleasure. Our flagship jewelry shop along Chicago’s world famous Magnificent Mile is located at the corner of Oak St and Michigan Ave, just across from the Drake hotel.Feel free to reach out and schedule an appointment with our A. Lange & Sohne Watch pros. We know this is an important purchase, and as always, we would be pleased to give an appointment to ensure you pick the perfect A. Lange & Sohne timepiece. Marshall Pierce & Company is dedicated to a luxury watch and fine jewelry buying experience, and pride ourselves on being Chicago’s most trusted and experienced A. Lange & Sohne dealer.
Vacheron Constantin Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage
Watch the ceremony