The annual GPHG nominees has been announced for 2022. GPHG (Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Geneve) is almost like an Oscars for watches, where watches are nominated for one of 15 categories and a committee picks the winner for each. You have to be in it to win it, so to speak. The entry fee is 700 CHF per watch and if your watch is nominated, then the fee is 6000 CHF per watch.
There are 650 members of the Academy who represent various sectors of the industry, selected 90 watches out of 254 pieces entered this year, including 84 watches and 6 clocks. The 6 clocks are competing in a new category this year of “Mechanical Clock”.
The nominated watches will go on a travelling exhibition, which takes in a few different cities each year. This year the watches will hit New Delhi, followed by Casablanca, then Geneva. The actual ceremony will be held on the 10th of November 2022, at Theatre du Leman. After which they will travel to Zurich for a private presentation, then a final stop in New York for the first time, in December.
Given there are 6 nominees per category and 15 categories in all, there are too many watches to cover off, so what we will do is split the coverage over 3 parts. We will pick what we think is/are the most interesting watch/es in each category, but you can see all the nominations here.
These choices are purely subjective and by no means reflects the Jury’s selection. More often than not we disagree anyway, so this is just our ten pieces… (get it??)
Ladies’ Category - Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon Eclipse I
Combining an aventurine dial with crystals, diamonds, mother-of-pearl fragments as well as blue and pink sapphire, it’s a symphony of jewels, showcasing two amazingly large moons covered in ruthenium crystals. The constellations are hand painted, and the watch is powered by a brand new manually wound movement, which is also the smallest in the collection at 30mm, but still able to produce 90 hours of power reserve.
The 38mm diameter case is only 10.44mm thick, and this is a limited edition of 18 pieces, priced at 77,900 CHF.
Ladies’ Complication - Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier
This is such an amazing piece and takes time-telling to a whole new level. As in, do you even tell time? Apart from the mind blowing mechanics involved, you’ll also need really good eyesight and the ability to count up to 12. Basically each open flower indicates the hours, and the minutes are shown on the side of the case. The simple image of the watch tells you nothing. This is a watch that needs to be seen in real life to be truly appreciated.
A 38mm case, thickness of 14.64mm (which is ridiculously thin given the complications involved), and a power reserve of 38 hours. Priced at 247,000 CHF
Men’s Category - Trilobe Une Folle Journée Black Edition
This is a tough category to choose a winner from, as I would happily wear all 6 of the nominees. This has always been a very strong category, so I don’t envy the judges here. My pick of the 6 is purely based on value you receive for the amount of complications involved in simply telling you the hours, minutes and seconds only. The off-set time indication has been a staple for Trilobe but this takes it to many levels, literally.
Considering how young the brand is (2018) and how far they’ve come in such time, it’s definitely one to keep an eye on. The three rings gives you the hours, minutes and seconds, obviously, and “floating” under a sapphire dome, with a 40.5 case diameter. It’s a lot of watch for the 21,500 CHF asking.
Men’s Complications - Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante
Despite what the name of the watch might allude to, this isn’t a chronograph. It does however, use the complication of the rattrapante in the form of a GMT. In keeping the minimalistic theme of the Tonda PF, the watch will display hours and minutes, unless you’re travelling. Then by pressing the pusher at 8:00, it’ll move the hour hand and gives you the second time zone. Once you’re back at home press the pusher on the crown and it “rattrapante” back to a simple 2-hander. An ingenious application of the reset button.
Case size is 40mm with a thickness of 10.7mm, powered by an in-house micro-rotor movement and priced at 26,000 CHF.
Iconic Category - Zenith Defy Revival A3642
The Iconic category was introduced back in 2019, and is open to “watches from an emblematic collection that has been exercising a lasting influence on watchmaking history and the watch market for more than 20 years.” OR as I would like to call it, the Porsche 911 category. It’s pretty much a category for “Retros” and “Re-editions” and “Revivals” and watches produced today by digging up the past.
If this were sneakers, one of the Air Jordan Retros would win it every year. My pick of the Zenith is simply because it’s the most “accurate” re-edition of the lot. But if we go with “lasting influence for more than 20 years” it’s kinda the Monaco isn’t it? Since 1969?
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