A few days ago, the official website of GPHG (Geneva Haute Horlogerie Awards) just announced the list of 175 participating timepieces. According to the rules, the jury will select 6 finalists for each of the 12 award categories, and enter the final award competition. GPHG is known as the ‘Oscar’ in the watch industry. Since its establishment in 2001, it has been the sixteenth. Compared with previous sessions, this year’s selection not only has the regret of the absence of Swatch Group brands, but also the new category of awards and Chinese elements shortlisted.
‘Travel Time’ replaces ‘Striking’
Award-winning 2014 Hublot Classic Fusion Cathedral Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Compared to last year, the biggest change in the category of this GPHG award is to replace ‘Striking’ with ‘Travel Time’. In 2014, “Best Questionnaire” along with “Best Chronometer”, “Best Tourbillon” and “Best Perpetual Calendar” (the “Best Full Calendar” was selected in 2008) became the new GPHG award Category, so in fact only two sessions were selected. In 2014 and 2015, there were 6 models in the ‘Best Questionnaire’ award category. There was no need for a second round of screening, and they entered the final award competition directly. Hublot and Girard Perregaux won awards.
Award-winning 2015 Girard Perregaux Three Gold Bridge Tourbillon Minute Repeater
On the one hand, ‘Minute Repeater’ is one of the three complicated functions recognized by the watch industry (the other two are ‘Perpetual Calendar’ and ‘Tourbillon’), and there are not many brands that could master this technology; on the other hand , The brand needs a ‘three questions timepiece’ table to prove cutting-edge technology, but generally do not push new every year. Coupled with the downturn in the industry environment in the past two years, the importance that various brands attach to people-friendly watches exceeds the attention to advanced complex functions, so cancelling this award is also a helpless choice.
2016 ‘Best Travel Schedule’ Candidate Timepiece
‘Travel timetable’ means a mechanical timepiece that can display time in multiple time zones, including world time, dual time zones, and other types of watches. This feature setting is not new and is common in early pocket watches. Today, many watchmaking brands have sufficient technical capabilities to integrate the ‘travel time’ function in smaller watch cases. The rise of the retro wave has brought this feature back into sight; the world is becoming increasingly connected, and global transportation is becoming more and more convenient, and the ‘Travel Time’ watch has become a loyal companion for travellers around the world, so it is natural to add this award. Choice.
GPHG 2016, Chinese elements are here
Participating in the ‘Best Tourbillon Watch’ selection
China is the country with the strongest watch consumption in the world and one of the countries that have the most influence on the watch industry. For the whole year of 2015, China exported about 14.88 million mechanical watches, imported about 2.27 million mechanical watches, exported about 6.91 million mechanical watches, and imported about 10.3 million. However, on the supreme stage of global watch selection, the delay in seeing Chinese elements is really beyond relief. Finally, the 16th GPHG in 2016, Wanxiquan in the ‘Best Tourbillon Watch’ category, and Wanxiquan and covered bridges in the ‘Best Craft Watch’ category have taken a key step for Chinese watchmaking brands.
Participating in the selection of ‘best craftsmanship’ Wanxiquan engraving series Guanyin watch
Vance Fountain and Covered Bridge are not the first Asian elements to appear in GPHG. In fact, as early as 2006, Seiko won the sixth GPHG ‘Best Electronic Watch’ award for its first-generation ‘electronic ink’ watch (this is the first and only GPHG selection for this award). Since then, Seiko The watch has participated in multiple elections and won awards. It is undeniable that no matter the core technology or reputation, we are still a long way from Switzerland and Japan. But Chinese watchmaking brands have been working hard, and this shortlisting is a phase achievement.
Participated in the selection of ‘best craftsmanship’ watch ‘Mi Changhong Time Art-Straw Mosaic-Admiral Fenghou’ watch
It’s too early to talk about whether three watches can win, and successful entry is victory. The three watches, especially the two that participated in the selection of the ‘best craftsmanship watch’, all have distinctive Chinese elements. This finalist is an excellent opportunity to show the image of Chinese watchmaking to the world. I also hope that it will inspire more Chinese watchmaking brands are working hard to make the finalist GPHG selection truly a normal one. It is worth mentioning that Ding Zhixiang, editor-in-chief of Chronos Watches Magazine and Chang Wei, editor-in-chief of Perfect Time Watches Magazine from China are also members of the GPHG international jury this year.
Is Swatch Group absent from GPHG selection still persuasive
GPHG 2014 Breguet Classique Chronométrie with ‘Golden Hand Award’
Watch friends who have read the list of 175 timepieces announced by GPHG may wonder why they haven’t seen brands such as Breguet, Blancpain and Harry Winston? In fact, none of the Swatch Group’s watchmaking brands participated in this year’s GPHG selection. Historically, brands under the Swatch Group, such as Breguet, Blancpain, Harry Winston, Jacques Droghe, Omega and Longines, have been regular GPHG visitors and have won awards many times. In 2014, the Breguet Classique Chronométrie watch was included in the highest honor ‘Golden Hand Award’. So, is Swatch Group absent, is the GPHG selection still convincing?
GPHG awarded Blancpain Women Off-centred Hour watch with ‘Best Women’s Watch’ in 2014
The absence of the Swatch Group is indeed regrettable. After all, Breguet, Blancpain and Omega have given us too many superb timepieces. They are also very competitive candidates in the awards over the years. Back in history, from 2008 to 2010, the Swatch Group brands were not included in the award list. Why absent? Or economic factors, or fascination, or leave the opportunity to other group brands? It is reasonable to guess, but it is difficult to understand the original intention. In the absence of the Swatch Group, the GPHG selection was inherently regrettable, but still wonderful. The watchmaking industry will not lose its unique charm due to the short absence of a group or a brand.
2014 GPHG Receives ‘Renaissance Award’ Omega Speedmaster ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Watch
In addition, we know that the panel of judges of GPHG is mainly composed of museum directors, historians, and professional media professionals with rich knowledge, spanning different nationalities, different nationalities, and different industries. This year’s 29 industry experts include Oriel Bucks, chairperson, watch expert and former curator of the La Saude Feng International Clock and Watch Museum, Ludwig Oklin, and Cooper founder Robert Cooper & Stephen Futh and famous watchmaker Philip Dufour, etc., the professionalism and fairness of the selection can not be doubted.
On November 10th, local time, the 2016 GPHG Awards Ceremony will be held at the Léman Theatre in Geneva. It remains to be seen whether Chinese watchmaking brands will make a breakthrough again, and who will win the 12 categories of awards and who will win the highest honor ‘Golden Pointer Award’.