The 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) is a yearly luxury watchmaker event that celebrates the best of the best of the year. Considered to be the Oscars of the watch world, the GPHG honours the watches that have taken the industry by storm. From men and women watches to complications, chronographs, and even petite augille (little needle), this year’s GPHG saw plenty of winners across the board.
With a total of 72 finalists from 12 different categories, the 2018 GPHG witnessed plenty of innovation from various makers. However, there were notable exceptions to this year’s awards, which include the likes of Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe who chose not to participate at all.
Be that as it may, the 2018 GPHG still had plenty to offer in terms of shock and awe. With the winners already picked, scroll below to check out some of the standout picks from the 12 winners.
Women – Chanel Boy-friend Skeleton
While not known for its haute horlogerie, the famed French haute couture fashion house proved itself to be a jack of all trades with the Chanel Boy-friend Skeleton. Its rectangular bezel is filled with diamonds while its face showcases the mechanics turning the clock on a skeletal body. While there aren’t any numeral indications, it isn’t hard to tell time with the Chanel Boy-friend Skeleton, making it a watch many women would adore.
However, the Bovet 1822 Amadéo Fleurier 39 Fan deserves special recognition due to its design alone. Adorned with diamonds around its circular bezel as well as on the hinges of the strap, what stands out most is its traditional floral fan design contrasting against a light blue background.
Women Complication – Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planetarium
A surefire winner for the womens’ complication category, it’s not hard to see why Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planetarium takes the gold here. Arguably one of the best watches to feature at the 2018 GPHG, this would be the first of two victories for the luxury French brand. While trying to tell time may take you some getting used to, it’s the boldness of the watch as well as its design that ensure no one else can even come close. The Lady Arpels Planetarium features a constellation of planets, the sun, and a star oscillating around the night sky in all its glory.
Men – Akrivia Chronométre Contemporain
Going into the 2018 GPHG, it came as no surprise when the Akrivia Chronométre Contemporain overtook the rest in the men’s category. Being the brainchild of 31-year old watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi with his small Geneva-based team, the Akrivia Chronométre Contemporain went through stiff competition against the likes of the Vacheron Constantin Historical Triple Calendar 1942. Ultimately, it won the hearts of the judges at the 2018 GPHG with its symmetry and its stop-second/zero-reset mechanism.
Men Complication – Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece
Boasting an annual calendar that is as contemporary as it is minimalistic, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece takes the gold. It came up against the likes of Bulgari, Vacheron Constantin, and Girard-Perregaux to name a few and was still able to hold its own. While it may not be the most complicated of designs on the list, the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece does the job, and does it well.
Chronometry – De Bethune DB25 Starry Varius Whirlwind Stopwatch
There was little to no doubt that De Bethune would walk away as the winner in the chronometry category with its DB25 Starry Varius Whirlwind Stopwatch. While De Bethune is known for its haute horology, it isn’t featured in this watch in place for pure beauty on your wrist. The Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon Limited Edition 58 deserves some recognition for its own Star Legacy creation, featuring a tourbillon with the same size as its clock, which is much smaller than usual.
Mechanical Exception – Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie
To be fair, there were only really two potential winners in this category. The Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie took home the spoils and the Bovet 1822 Récital 22 Grand Récital could only settle for second best. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Bovet 1822 left empty-handed. In its own right, the Greubel Forsey did deserve this award due to its ostentatious design and its many complications on its face. It also carries a tourbillon and a petite grande sonnerie.
“Aiguille d’Or Prize” Grand Prix – Bovet 1822 Récital 22 Grand Récital