All the winners of the GPHG Watchmaking Awards – Robb Report
Every year, at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Genève, watchmakers compete to win a medal for their engineering and expertise. This year, several brands won not one but two medals. MB&F, Hermès, Bulgari and Van Cleef & Arpels have all won the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Genève 2022.
The first prize, the Grand Prix de l’Aiguille d’or, was awarded to MB&F (Max Büsser & Friends) for the Legacy Machine Sequential Evo, a double chronograph with two complete chronographs that allow several timekeeping modes: split-seconds, independent , lap timer and even a “chess match” timing mode, a combination of functions never seen before in a chronograph. It features a patented “twinverter” binary switch, a world first, which simultaneously switches the start/stop state of the LM Sequential EVO’s double chronographs. each chronograph can be started, stopped and reset completely independently of the other, using the start/stop and reset pushers located on their respective sides of the case. The hand-wound movement, created by Belfast watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, which busser calls a “genius”, also incorporates a special amplitude regulation system that saves energy, even when the two chronographs are working.
MB&F also won the Challenge award, given to a watch priced under $3,500 (which now sells for up to $14,000 on the secondary market), for its MAD1 Red, designed for friends of MB&F and the “members of the tribe”. It features a luminous lateral time display along the side of the case and, on the dial side, an openworked triple-bladed winding rotor that rotates on a red background ring, with a touch of Super-Luminova to add drama.
The coveted Men’s Watch prize was won this year by renowned independent watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi for its brand Akrivia Chronomètre Contemporain II, a hand-wound hour/minute watch with deadbeat seconds. The piece combines a classic design and finish and a “piano black” grand feu enamel dial with a modern design that reinterprets the traditional sector dial of the 1930s and 1940s. hand covered with translucent gray enamel. Succeeding the first version of the Chronomètre Contemporain, this one is equipped with a redesigned caliber with a balance wheel that offers 60% more inertia compared to the previous edition, and a barrel spring that delivers 40% of torque in addition.
Bulgari won the jewelry award for its high jewelry Serpenti Misteriosi, a snake-patterned secret watch with bracelet links designed as overlapping snake scales. It is set with diamonds, turquoise and rubellite and powered by one of the smallest movements in the world, an in-house hand-wound micro-caliber bearing the charming name of “Piccolissimo”.
Bulgari also won the Audacity prize (awarded to a watch that demonstrates “an unconventional and quirky approach to watchmaking”) for its Octo Finissimo Ultra 10th Anniversary, the 1.80 mm thick watch which, at the time of its release , held the world record for the world’s thinnest watch (now eclipsed by Richard Mille’s RMUP-01 at 1.75mm). It was entered in the Mechanical Exception category, a prize that was finally awarded to Ferdinand Berthoud for his Chronomètre FB 2RSM.2-1, a tourbillon with fusee-chain transmission incorporating a stop-seconds mechanism and an independent deadbeat seconds. It was developed in collaboration with a young apprentice watchmaker who devoted his graduation project to it.
Hermès won two prizes for its Arceau Le Temps Voyageur, including the Ladies’ Complication prize for the 38mm platinum version and the Men’s Complication prize for the 41mm steel version. It differs from traditional world clocks on which the time is displayed simultaneously for the different cities of the time zone. With the Arceau Le Temps Voyageur, it is the satellite sub-dial that travels from town to town, changing the face of the watch according to local time. The movement, which took three years to develop, is based on the in-house Hermès H1837 caliber, integrated into a special 122-part universal time module created by Chronode.
Van Cleef & Arpels also won two prizes: one in the brand new Mechanical Clock category for its exceptionally creative Fontaine Aux Oiseaux automaton (also Robb Report Winner “Best of the Best” 2022), an amalgamation of the talents of automata, jewellers, setters, lacquerers, enamellers and lapidaries; and the Innovation Prize for its Cherry Floral Hours (other Robb Report Winner “Best of the Best” 2022), in which the hours are revealed by the opening and closing of flower petals on the dial.
Representing one of the best decisions of the year by the jury (and the members of the GPHG Academy, of which this writer is a part, who judged the preliminary rounds) is the ladies’ prize, which was awarded to Parmigiani Fleurier for his sleek and minimalist Tonda. Automatic PF. It’s a smaller (36mm) version of a great masculine design (which has come full circle to being considered a good thing), with an 18k rose gold case, knurled bezel, dial finely guilloché and, above all, only a subtle application of diamonds serving as hour markers.
Each year, the GPHG awards a Special Jury Prize not to a watch or a brand but to a personality, an institution or an initiative that has played a fundamental role in the promotion of quality watchmaking. This year’s recipient is François Junod, an automaton specialist who combines contemporary art with traditions of automaton making.
Here is the full list of GPHG 2022 winners: