The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève is an annual award ceremony dedicated to acknowledging “excellence and creativity” in watchmaking.
The awards have been dubbed the “Watchmaking’s Oscars” by Forbes magazine, so it’s a big deal within the industry. Every year the creations get more creative, crazy, and luxurious – and the 2015 class was no different.
Here are L4P’s top five picks from the awards show:
5. “Villeret Cadran Shakudō” by Blancpain. From 150,000 Swiss Francs (£98,500, $152,200).
Winner of the ‘Artistic Crafts’ watch prize, and for good reason. The watch employs Shakudō as its primary material, a unique combination of copper and gold native to Japan. It’s very rare to see in watch making, but it’s executed to perfection to depict Ganesh, the Hindu god.
The judges said: “Each timepiece will be exclusive as it will reflect the individual handcrafts of the artisan and his or her style of engraving. The different resulting nuances in depth render each work truly unique.”
4. “The Charming Bird” by Jaquet Droz. $500,000 (£323,400).
The Charming Bird took home the Mechanical Exception Watch award thanks to the miniature song bird within a bubble on the clock’s face. It’s quite the time-sinking, engineering feat, which is maybe why only 28 have been produced to date.
The judges said: “This miniaturization process (for which a patent has been filed) creates tiny pistons that pump the air, store it and produce the sound. The exact sound it makes is dependent on the speed of the piston and the shape of the bellows opening.”
3. “Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges” by Girard-Perregaux. $395,000 (£255,500).
If you thought the Charming Bird and its run of 28 was exclusive, there’re less than half of that number in Girard-Perregaux’s Minute Repeater Tourbillions production run. Only 10 have been made to date.
This one won the Striking Watch prize which doesn’t apply to how the watch looks, but how it works. The Tourbillion makes a sound at regular intervals, just like Big Ben.
2. “Voutilainen GMR” by Voutilainen. From 50,000 Swiss francs (£32,800, $50,700).
If this annual convention is really the Oscars of Watchmaking, the Voutilainen GMR is the winner of ‘Best Actor’. The sleek watch took home the Men’s Watch prize, heralded as this year’s choice timepiece for men.
The judges said: “Crafted in German silver, this mechanical topflight consists of no less than 250 components and 28 jewels. Ingeniously, it allows you to adjust the second time zone by the crown, which then advances by jumping an hour each time rather than rotate freely, thus avoiding any loss of accuracy compared to local time.”
1. “Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision” by Greubel Forsey. From €290,000 (£207,000, $319,800).
The third creation by watchmakers Greubel and Forsey, Only 24 of these watches have been produced. They feature a domed sapphire back that allows you to see the inner workings of the watch.