Geneva, November 4, 2021 – the 2021 prize list of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) was unveiled on Thursday November 4 during a festive awards ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the GPHG.
Poetically hosted by Edouard Baer, the ceremony honoured contemporary watchmaking excellence and creativity by handing out 19 prizes to winners announced by the 30-member jury headed by Nick Foulkes.
The ultimate ‘best in show’ distinction, the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix, was awarded to Bulgari for the Octo Finissimo watch.
The Audemars Piguet, Bernhard Lederer, Chopard, Christiaan Van Der Klaauw, CIGA Design, De Bethune, Furlan Marri, Grand Seiko, Louis Vuitton, MB&F, Piaget, Tudor, Van Cleef & Arpels and Zenith brands were also saluted by the Jury and the GPHG Academy for the quality of their creations in various categories.
The Special Jury Prize, which rewards a personality or an influential institution on the watchmaking scene, was won this year by the Dubai Watch Week.
Relive the highlights and view pictures of the GPHG 2021 awards ceremony on our official website: gphg.org
The 2021 nominated watches, including the 18 award-winners, are on display at the Musée Rath in Geneva until November 14, 2021. On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the GPHG also invites you to discover – within the setting of this exceptional exhibition – the 20 watches that won the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix between 2001 and 2020. The 2021 award-winning watches will subsequently be presented during Dubai Watch Week, from November 24 to 28, and then in Paris from December 2 to 5.
“Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix: Bulgari, Octo Finissimo
Even if in the last years Bulgari has won several prizes, this year, the Roman brand scored the big one – the “Aiguille d’Or” award. While I was expecting Octo Finissimo to make a nice figure in other categories, I was happy to see this marvellous piece winning this award.
Being a fan of the Octo Finissimo line since the first models, I was trilled when the brand announced it at Watches and Wonders. And I considered that it must win something tonight, and it did. Congratulations!
Ladies’ Watch Prize: Piaget, Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow
An indisputable icon when it comes to ladies watches, the Limelight collection evolves continuously. It is admirable to notice the creativity with which Piaget is able to bring new pieces following the clear lines of the collection.
Mr Comar thanked and reminded the public about the immense contribution of Mrs Chabi Nouri – a pillar for Piaget.
Ladies’ Complication Watch Prize: Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Féerie Watch
I have to admit that I wished this watch to receive an award at GPHG, regardless… It is one of those watches that combine sweet and dreamy feminity with extremely complex and powerful mechanics.
Lady Féerie Watch is an exceptional piece that leaves mouths open. Women or men, equally impressed and wondered by this beauty.
Men’s Watch Prize: Grand Seiko, Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours Caliber 9SA5
Seiko becomes today again a strong presence at GPHG and receives the official recognition that the collectors claim since… forever. With a classic design and exceptional finishes, GS brings a piece of Japan (culture and values) to the wrist.
The recognition that GS started and continued at GPHG denotes the opening of the world to the world. Not very long ago, the GPHG had difficulties in opening to even the neighbouring countries, but now, the foundation recognizes the value and not the origin.
Men’s Complication Watch Prize: MB&F, LMX Titanium
Mr Büsser had an exceptional evening. LMX won an important prize and received the recognition that MB&F deserves.
As one of the most creative and original brands, MB&F also offers a transparency impossible to deny: once in design and, at the same time, in the who is who and does what approach.
Iconic Watch Prize: Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin
If one does not recognize the iconic RO, it must have had the head in the sand in the last 40 something years. Even non-horological interested people recognize it… So Mr Bennahmias ticked another one in the list of prizes for AP.
But François-Henry, you had a strong advantage, and this might still remain for another 40 something years a powerful and desired design.
Tourbillon Watch Prize: De Bethune, DB Kind of Two Tourbillon
De Bethune won this award for a design that makes Reverso envious. While the idea is not new, the implementation is breathtaking.
While visible emotional, Pierre realised that the De Bethune family is not just a few people of De Bethune and some very few collectors that get the chance to own a piece, but all of us that love the brand for its immense expertise, inventiveness and originality.
Calendar and Astronomy Watch Prize: Christiaan Van Der Klaauw, CVDK Planetarium Eise Eisinga
The Planetarium had finally got the recognition it deserves. This amazing piece brings the solar system to the wrist.
In a sweet and emotional speech, Maria and Daniël thanked each other for the trust and support invested. Even after the ceremony, they were ecstatic – Congratulations on the well-deserved prize.
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Piaget, Altiplano Ultimate Automatic
Piaget scored the second prize in the Mechanical Exception category. While Piaget is recognised for decades for the ultra-thin movements, the brand continues tirelessly to improve and innovate.
Mr Comar brought recognition to the amazing team that works in the development of the thinnest pieces ever.
Chronograph Watch Prize: Zenith, Chronomaster Sport
Another one the received the deserved recognition is the Chronomaster. This modern piece pays homage to the tradition and expertise of Zenith.
What Zenith pulled in the last years with Chronomaster and El Primero is a horological tour de force: constantly combining classic pieces with modern redesigns. The brand puts a strong accent on its historical heritage and importance, with extraordinary results.
Diver’s Watch Prize: Louis Vuitton, Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue
One of the surprises of the evening was the Diver’s category. While not contesting the technical capabilities of the watch, I was expecting one of the more traditional (let’s say) to win.
I must say that the Tambour diver strengthens the Louis Vuitton position in the high horology, bringing another evidence to the fact the brand is serious in producing respectable and collectable pieces (not just fashion-oriented).
Jewellery Watch Prize: Chopard, Flower Power
A superb piece with a strong floral design and lovely colour scheme. I was not very surprised to see it winning this category.
Mr Scheufele attributed this prize to its sister, unfortunately not present at the ceremony.
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: MB&F, LM SE Eddy Jaquet ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’
One of the most beautiful watches seen last year, it is part of an 8 pieces series. Depicting various scenes from the books of Jules Verne, the watches bring, besides the clear exceptional engravings on a super piece, a bit of magic and phantasy to the wrist.
A proud and emotional Max gave a nice speech – oh boy, this man knows how to talk and captivate, just like its creations.
“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Tudor, Black Bay Ceramic
This year Tudor played a strong game, bringing to the market a series of interesting and original pieces, keeping the style we all know.
A surprise for many, the Black Bay Ceramic winning this category is an important success for the brand.
Challenge Watch Prize: CIGA Design, Blue Planet
One of the biggest surprises of the evening, CIGA Design is the proud first-time Chinese winner at GPHG. While not sure what led to this choice of the jury, the watch brings at least an original design.
This winner shows that GPHG is not only prepared but also capable to bring recognition to any brand the presents the certain requirements as an Haute Horlogerie contestant.
Innovation Prize: Bernhard Lederer, Central Impulse Chronometer
I wished so much that Lederer win at GPHG. This elegant piece “hides” an exceptional technical complication that can inspire and maybe revolutionise the traditional escapements.
It is important to recognise the merits of those who innovate. And most importantly, to show Mr Lederer that his work is appreciated.
Audacity Prize: Louis Vuitton, Tambour Carpe Diem
Another surprise of the evening came from Louis Vuitton and its Carpe Diem. An original design and implementation convinced the jury to award this “memento mori” piece.
With a happiness hard to describe, Jean Arnauld can enjoy now his success as head of Marketing and Product Development Director. It is clearly that he does a good job.
Horological Revelation Prize: Furlan Marri, MR. Grey Ref. 1041-A
A fairly unknown brand, makes a strong debut with a classic looking chrono.
For the first time, I’ve heard thanks expressed in Arab, another sign that GPHG is widely open for passion and excellence.
Special Jury Prize: Dubai Watch Week
I have to admit, I am impressed and amazed about the raise and strength of the Dubai Watch Week. The Seddiqi family takes care of now one of the most important horology events of the year.
But my deepest and utmost respect comes from the family’s care and support given to the independent brands, helping them gain new collectors in that part of the world. A short look at the list of participating brands will reveal an impressive list of independents along with established brands.