On 10 November, Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) will announce the winners of the 2022 GPHG awards at the Theâtre du Léman in Geneva. The annual competition honours the finest horological creations of the year and celebrates the stakeholders who breathe vitality and creativity into the watchmaking world. But how are the winners determined, and who gets a say? Here’s what you need to know about the GPHG Academy, the Jury, and the voting process.
In 2020, the GPHG undertook a major transformation in the establishment of the GPHG Academy. Representing a vast worldwide network of ambassadors of watchmaking passion, the Academy members are invited by GPHG to participate, and come from various sectors of the industry. From its 350 members in 2020, the Academy has grown to 650 members in 2022.
The GPHG Jury consists of 30 members: the President of the Jury, who is chosen from within the GPHG Academy by the GPHG Foundation Board, a representative (owner, president, or CEO) of the brand that won the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix in the previous year, 14 members drawn by lot from the Academy, and the remaining chosen by mutual agreement between the President of the Jury and the GPHG.
Nick Foulkes – President of the Jury, GPHG 2022
This year, the GPHG has selected Nick Foulkes as the President of the Jury. A historian, author, and journalist, his published titles include The Impossible Collection of Watches (2014), Patek Philippe: The Authorised Biography (2016), Time Tamed (2019), and Jaeger-LeCoultre: Reverso (2020).
“It is a tremendous honour to serve as President of the Jury of the GPHG. As in previous years, this Jury brings together a wide range of opinion and expertise, from across the watch industry as well as the wider cultural landscape. I believe that the GPHG is increasingly important as a focus for international attention on the watch industry, both within the borders of Switzerland and beyond, while reaffirming the Geneva’s position as the global capital of horology in the 21st century.” – Nick Foulkes, President of the Jury, GPHG 2022.
A Wide Representation of Personalities in the GPHG Jury
Reflective of the times, the GPHG 2022 Jury consists of personalities from various sectors of the watch industry, including watchmakers, brand representatives, journalists, and collectors. Here are some notable names in this year’s Jury.
Felix Baumgartner, Co-Founder of URWERK
Born in Schaffhausen in a family of watchmakers, Felix Baumgartner grew up surrounded by various exceptional and complicated timekeepers in his father’s restoration atelier. From this, he forged his horological career, becoming an independent watchmaker after graduating from the prestigious watchmaking school, Solothurn, in 1995. In 1997, he co-founded URWERK with a vision to design and craft haute horlogerie creations that blend watchmaking tradition with futuristic vision.
Jean-Claude Biver, Watch Collector
Jean-Claude Biver is an industry veteran, with a career in watches that has spanned over four decades, having helmed brands including Omega, Blancpain, Hublot, and TAG Heuer. He is widely recognised as one of the most influential people in the watchmaking industry, and this was celebrated by the GPHG in 2018 where he was awarded the Special Jury Prize for his exceptional contribution to horology.
Danièla Dufour, Watchmaker
Danièla Dufour made her first horological creation – a wall clock in the shape of a wristwatch – at the tender age of 12. Her passion for watchmaking having been inspired by her father, Philippe Dufour, Danièla has followed in his footsteps in pursuing a career in the same profession. Since graduating from the renowned Le Sentier school in watchmaking, she works alongside Philippe Dufour. The 20th Anniversary Simplicity is the first fruit of this new family partnership.
Aldis Hodge, Actor and Watch Designer
Better known for his roles in Black Adam, The Invisible Man, and City on a Hill, Aldis Hodge has had a long interest in horology. He is a self-taught watch designer and developed his first watch concepts at the age of 19. A trustee of the Horological Society of New York, Aldis is currently working on producing his own brand of independent watches.
Wei Koh, Founder of Revolution and The RAKE magazines
Having had an unusual career that spans mandatory military service in Singapore, working on a cattle ranch in Montana, as a factory hand processing frozen fish, and assistant to an Oscar-winning film director, Wei Koh went on to start his own venture, and founded the influential Revolution watch magazine in 2005. The magazine has grown to 16 international editions, from Switzerland, to USA, Mexico, China.
The GPHG process kicks off with Academy members proposing watches for the competition. Watch brands can choose confirm the participation of the watches proposed by the Academy, and may also enter other watches of their choice in the competition.
Once the entries are finalised, the Academy partake in the first round of voting, to determine the six shortlisted watches for each of the 15 award categories.
The second and final round of voting takes into account the votes of the GPHG Jury and the Academy. The Jury meet in person behind closed doors in Geneva to physically evaluate the nominated watches and clocks, then proceed to a secret ballot. Academy members vote digitally for watches (or clocks) in the 15 nominated categories. The total Academy votes count as 15 votes, which are added to the 30 votes of the Jury, giving a total of 45 votes.
In addition to the 15 nomination categories, the Jury members cast separate votes for the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix, the four discretionary prizes for watches – the Innovation Prize, the Audacity Prize, the “Horological Revelation” Prize, and the Chronometry Prize, and the Special Jury Prize to recognise the work of an individual or organisation in promoting high watchmaking. The votes are then counted by a notary in accordance with the GPHG rules, and the winners announced at the awards ceremony at the Theâtre du Léman on 10 November 2022.
The GPHG Awards Ceremony on 10 November 2022 will be broadcast live on the GPHG website. Don’t miss this highlight of the horological year!