The annual event to celebrate the best of watchmaking is back, with the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2023 awards ceremony at Theâtre du Léman happening on 9 November. GPHG honours the finest horological creations of the year and celebrates the people who have contributed to the progress of watchmaking. Here’s what you won’t want to miss in this year’s edition.
GPHG 2023 World Tour
Each year, a series of exhibitions brings the together the nominated watches for a world tour, prior to the awards ceremony in Geneva.
This year’s world tour has already kicked off, with the nominated watches exhibited in Macau and Hong Kong for their first stops. The Hour Glass is proud to host the travelling exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, the first time GPHG makes a stop in Malaysia. To mark the occasion, a series of interactive events are planned for the exhibition at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Centre Court.
The Categories and Awards
Watches (and clocks) are nominated in one of fifteen categories, and automatically compete for the best-in-show award, the Aguille d’Or.
TUDOR Black Bay
This latest technical and aesthetic evolution of TUDOR’s emblematic diving watch represents the latest in Black Bay. With evolved design elements, this Black Bay has the proportions of the original, with a 41mm case in stainless steel, and a 60-minute unidirectional burgundy bezel.
The aesthetic details don’t stop at case dimensions and bezel. The seconds hand recalls the look of the early diving watches of the brand with a lollipop design while the satin black dial is subtly radial-brushed for a very subtle shine under direct light. Ergonomics have evolved as well, with a redesigned crown, reminiscent of the curves found on the crowns of the brand’s historical technical watches, set flush to the middle case band so that its tube is not visible.
The Manufacture Calibre MT5602-U powers the new Black Bay. It offers the general look and feel of TUDOR Manufacture Calibres with dedicated sun laser design and bears the Master Chronometer mention on its bridges, emphasising its distinctive performance. Its build is designed to ensure robustness and precision. To do this, the variable inertia balance wheel is maintained by a sturdy traversing bridge with two-point anchoring. This system together with its non-magnetic silicon hairspring, means the Manufacture Calibre MT5602-U can function within a tolerance range of 5 seconds (0/+5) tested on a fully assembled watch. The movement is certified for 70 hours power reserve by METAS.
Ulysse Nardin Freak ONE
Two decades since the release of the first Freak, it remains an example of the most advanced contemporary watchmaking and continues to challenge in its concept. The Freak ONE is a new watch inspired by its pedigree and features the three signature Freak characteristics: no dial, no hands, and no crown.
Its orbital flying carrousel tourbillon carries the entire gear train and an oversized silicon oscillator, indicating the minutes by completing the full rotation in 60 minutes. The hour hand is replaced by a V-shaped pointer fixed to the black sunray-engraved barrel cover, which completes a rotation every 12 hours. The design of the movement allows the time to be set directly through the bezel, and the watch can be wound through a mechanism in the case back.
De Bethune DB28xs Starry Seas
The DB28xs Starry Seas is a watch that will go down in the history of De Bethune, as it is a further step in the initiation story that Denis Flageollet, Master Watchmaker and Founder of the Manufacture De Bethune, has been telling for the past 20 years.
Inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, the DB28xs Starry Seas features the world’s first random guilloché dial. With its random guilloché and blued titanium wave reflecting a starry sky, this model offers us the beauty of imperfection. With its small size and the sobriety of its silver-toned chapter-ring and movement, the watch is animated by the beauty of modest and simple things. The result is a different, singular watch embodying the beauty of atypical things.
Inside, the Calibre DB2005 has been adapted to this miniaturisation without losing its chronometric quality. The increased lightness of the watch endows it with better efficiency in case of impacts and acceleration. The manual-winding mechanism features a silicium escapement that reduces the impact of magnetism and boasts a 144-hour power reserve.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF
Encapsulating the spirit of the eagle, a symbol of freedom and strength, it is Chopard’s homage to its Alpine roots. Inspired by a historic Chopard model reinterpreted by three generations of the Scheufele family, the Alpine Eagle collection is constantly enriched with new achievements.
High frequency improves chronometry, a theme particularly dear to Chopard’s Co-President, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. Since 2012, Chopard has pioneered an entire series of watches with a chronometer-certified high-frequency movement. The manufacture’s high-frequency movement evolved in 2021, with the Calibre 01.12-C, a mechanical self-winding movement with a central rotor. Using the properties of monocrystalline silicon to make the most of this 8 Hertz frequency, this light and self-lubricating material is used for the components that are subject to high friction, guaranteeing the movement’s longevity. The lightness of silicon enabled Chopard to develop a high-frequency escapement without resulting in increased energy consumption. This remarkable feat comes in the form of a 60-hour power reserve, backed by several patents and technologies. Its precision is certified by the COSC.
Petermann Bédat Chronograph Rattrapante
The latest creation from the watchmaking duo Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat comes in the form of a monopusher split-seconds chronograph with a jumping minute counter. This monument to fine mechanics bridges classical watchmaking with a young contemporary spirit.
The Reference 2941 Chronograph Rattrapante has a level of complexity that reaches beyond the design of a traditional chronograph. The jumping minute counter is a rare occurrence in watchmaking, particularly in chronograph complications. The Calibre 202 movement has a 42 hour power reserve and comprises of 339 components and 43 jewels, with German silver main plate and bridges, with all parts carefully decorated by hand.
The winners of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2023 will be announced at awards ceremony at Theâtre du Léman on 9 November, which will be broadcast live on the GPHG website. Stay tuned as The Hour Glass brings you the latest GPHG news!