Every product has to have their version of the Oscar’s and it’s no different for watchmakers. These are the winners of the 2021 GPHG.
The Grand Prix d’Horologie de Genève (GPHG) has been around since 2001 and, like the Oscar’s, some love it, some hate it, but at least there’s usually something to talk about. This year is no different.
There are 18 categories and for any of the entered watches to be eligible they had to be commercialised after May 2020 and by October 2021. We didn’t list all the awards, just most of them.
Not every watchmaker entered the awards as they do have to pay to be a part of the ceremony. So that means no Rolex (like they’d win anything anyway), no Patek Philippe, and not one brand from the Swatch Group.
Let’s get on with it then, shall we?
This is the big one, the Best Picture equivalent and it was taken home by Bulgari. Specifically, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. This is the first time an Italian brand has won the award. The Octo Finissimo has broken seven world records for thinness so it’s really no wonder why it won. It’s been popular for a while and now it’s getting even greater recognition. Congratulations!
The Ladies’ Prize
This went to the Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow. A few complaints have been made about a 70s throwback watch being the best of 2021, but it succeeds regardless of that. Is the only reason to win an award innovation, or is it the successful implementation of an idea?
The Ladies’ Complication Prize
The prize has gone, once again, to Van Cleef & Arpels and their Montre Lady Féerie. They’ve won this prize four out of the last nine years. Not bad at all. Is it good? It’s art! Just look at that mosaic style dial and tell me that this isn’t a piece of art. The fairy motif might not be for everyone aesthetically, but there’s no denying the extremely high level of craftsmanship on display here.
The Men’s Prize
The second GPHG to ever be awarded to Grand Seiko has been bestowed upon the SLGH005 Caliber 9SA5 Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours. It’s a beautiful watch. Totally deserved, not much else to say about it.
The Men’s Complication Prize
The award went to MB&F LMX Titane. This is an incredibly funky and experimental watch that absolutely deserves to be here. It’s a seriously impressive watch.
The Artistic Crafts Prize
The winner was MB&F again with their Legacy Machine Special Edition Eddy Jaquet “Le Tour du Monds en 80 Jours.” Just look at that dial. It speaks for itself.
Calendar & Astronomy Prize
The Christiaan Van Der Klaauw CVDK Planetarium Else Elsinga took this one home. The brand calls this the “smallest mechanical heliocentric planetarium in the world.” No idea if that’s true or not but it doesn’t really matter when it looks this good.
The Tourbillon Prize
And the award goes to… the De Bethune Kind of Two Tourbillon! It’s a fresh take on the dual watch and because you get two dials it feels like you’re getting great value for money. One side is a traditional three-hand display and the other has a time display with an aperture for the tourbillon.
The Chronograph Prize
The Zenith Chronomaster Sport has been praised for its fresh take on the El Primero from the 1960s. This award felt like a no brainer to many people.
This one went to the Chopard Flower Power. To me, this looks like a cheap bracelet that you would find in a small beach town shop that a 50+ year old would happily flaunt. I know it’s not any of those things, but yet…
The Diver Prize
This one went to the fashion brand Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue. The fact that this prize went to a fashion brand may ruffle a few feathers, but I have no problem with this.
The Challenge Prize
This one went to Chinese brand CIGA and their Design Planète Bleue. This is first time that a Chinese brand has won a GPHG award.
Petite Aiguille Prize
Tudor are here with their Black Bay Ceramic. There’s not a single person who should be shocked by this. Tudor are here to play, and I don’t know if this is a hot take or not, but Tudor are currently more interesting than Rolex.
The Audacity Prize
Louis Vuitton are back on the list once more with the Tambour Carpe Diem. I can see why they picked this – it’s certainly audacious.
This went to the Bernhard Lederer Central Impulse Chronometer. I don’t know much about this watch but I do like the two window view into the movement.
This prize is awarded to brands that are 10 years old or younger. This year it went to Furlan Marri Mr. Grey Ref. 1041-A. Considering that this brand launched just six months ago, this is an impressive feat.
This has been a contentious award for a few years now but it did go to Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak 15202PT “Jumbo”. It’s an iconic watch, enough said.