Continuing on with our coverage of the 2022 GPHG nominees. The next 5 categories are definitely a lot more difficult to pick a winner out of simply because the competition is so strong in each.
Tourbillon - Grand Seiko Kodo Constant Force Tourbillon
Grand Seiko certainly doesn’t do things by halves. For their first high complication movement they’ve come up with quite the doozy – a combination of constant force and tourbillon as one unit on a single axis. This is a first in the industry. You have two complications that both work towards offering a stable energy transmission and regulation that optimises the accuracy of the watch.
The movement itself is tested for a full 48 hours in each of the 6 positions and over 3 different temperatures. A total test length of 34 days is needed to ensure it passes the most stringent Grand Seiko standards. An individual certificate is provided with each watch.
The case design is very much Grand Seiko, but combined with a skeletonised style to show off the aesthetics of the complications. The case in a 44mm platinum and brilliant-hard titanium. This watch is limited to 20 pieces and priced at 382,000 CHF.
Calendar and Astronomy - H Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar
This is a bit of a strange category as it almost seems like you’re combining two categories in one because you couldn’t find enough contestants to fill two categories? This reminds me of the grammy award category of “Best New Age, Ambient or Chant album”. Granted, calendar is kinda related to astronomy, but I digress.
The Moser gets the nod as it plays up the minimalism that Moser is so well known for, and making a perpetual calendar that looks nothing like what you would expect from a perpetual calendar. I mean if you have this sort of complications you would want to show it off right? And yet… I mean… you could see a date and that’s kinda it… There is a tiny central month indicator if you squint hard enough, and a power reserve indicator which gives you a general idea of how much of the 168 hours you have left. And this is important, because the movement is manual, so if you don’t top up the power, it’ll stops and the perpetual calendar won’t be… perpetual.
The Streamliner and its very streamlined 42mm case is in stainless steel with steel bracelet, and priced at 49,900 CHF, which by all reasonable consideration, isn’t really that expensive for what you get.
Mechanical Exception - Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Ultra 10th Anniversary
This is like the “everything and the kitchen sink” category. What complication you submit is only limited by your imagination, (well, apart from tourbillons, calendars and astronomy as they have their own separate categories) and you could also think of this as the innovation prize. All six nominees are absolutely worthy winners, but the one chosen here is… well… was… the thinnest mechanical watch in the world when it was released. (And then Richard Mille went and spoilt the party – read our write up of the thinnest watches here)
It is however, still quite the achievement to make something so thin and the thinness itself is the complication. The whole watch is a mere 1.8mm thin, and you still need to make the watch reasonably reliable, sturdy and all those good things that’s expected from a watch. Oh, and able to tell the time accurately enough. I’m just not sure about that massive QR code, since that will date/age the watch quite rapidly. A limited edition of 10 pieces, it is priced at 427,000 CHF.
Chronograph - MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential EVO
This watch could’ve been in the “Mechanical Exception” category, but given its exceptional mechanism is that of the chronograph, here it is. Conceived by Stephen McDonnell, he completely defenestrates our established preconception of how a mechanical chronograph would work, and re-writes the complication completely.
There are two complete chronographs and each of these can be started, stopped and reset independently of each other or, combined together to allow split second timing, lap timing and even a cumulative “chess match” mode, something that has never been seen before in a wristwatch. I’m sure it tells the time as well… somewhere.
The 44mm case is in zirconium; lighter than steel and tougher than titanium, and water resistant to 80 metres, the watch is yours for 172,000 CHF.
Diver’s - Doxa Army Limited Edition
I did mention at the start that it was difficult to pick winners out of these categories and this one is difficult for a completely different reason. All the nominees presented are all so equally boring that the pick here is the least… bad. Oh, but Artya, you say. Just… no.
So the pick is Doxa Army. Because it’s the least boring and has the worst name for a diver’s watch. Yes I know the Swiss Army set up a special force of military divers in 1966, hence the name because it was a standard issue to the Swiss Army… But I still feel that if you’re in the army and you’re needing a diving watch, you’re not just in deep water. You’re also in deep… Plus I don’t know how the ceramic case will stack up against a rock or a hard place. Just saying. It’s a limited edition of 100 pieces, and priced at 4500 CHF.
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