GPHG 2018: Who's InWritten by Alvin Wong
And who do you fancy?
It is the season of the horological Oscars once again, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2018. The watch elites will have their say. Champagne will be spilled. Not-so-humble brags will be uttered. Egos will be bruised. And maybe, just maybe, authentic creativity will win the day.
The big reveal will happen on 9 November in Geneva. Prior to that, several of the competing timepieces will be on a travelling exhibition starting end-September, a world tour that will take them to Venice, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Leading the pack with the most number of nominations this year is… Bulgari! A show of strength from the Italian marque, whose intentional evolution in high-end watchmaking hasn’t gone unnoticed, the brand is competing in major categories including Best Men’s and Ladies’ watches, Best Men’s and Ladies’ Complications, and Best Jewellery Watch.
Fifteen top prizes are up for grabs this year, including the ‘Aigulle d’Or’ Grand Prix, sort of like the Best Movie equivalent of the awards.
Bovet Amadéo Fleurier 39 Fan, nominee for 'Best Women's Watch'
There are also some changes to the categories. Dropped from the list are awards for the ‘Revival’, ‘Innovation’, ‘Tourbillon’ and ‘Calendar’ prizes.
Interestingly, there is a new ‘Challenge’ category, for watches priced under the 4,000 Swiss francs and – get this – the possibility to include smartwatches, though that hasn’t transpired just yet.
We are heartened to see a healthy representation of independents such as Ludovic Ballouard, Akrivia, Kari Voutilainen and newcomer Gorilla Watches, helmed by Audemars Piguet’s ex-artistic director Octavio Garcia. And in addition to these, more spotlight given to entry- and mid-luxury marques like Longines, Tudor and Seiko, with the ‘Petite Aigulle’ category for watches between the 4,000 and 10,000 Swiss francs price bracket, and the aforementioned ‘Challenge’ category.
Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision, nominee for 'Mechanical Exception' prize
For a full list of the pre-selected competiting watches, you can check out the GPHG website. In the meantime, watch this space for more updates!
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.