The finalists for this year’s edition of the Gran Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG 2020) have been announced!
For those of you unfamiliar with this event, the Gran Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – GPHG was founded in 2001 and is one of the biggest events in the horological calendar. The principal aim of this Foundation is to promote and elevate the worldwide (not just Swiss!) watch industry through an annual competition which rewards the most exceptional watches made throughout the year.
Hundreds of brands take part in this competition: from the household names (such as Rolex and Patek Philippe) all the way to the smallest of independent watchmakers. The recipients of GPHG prizes are not only winning some of the most prestigious credentials in the entire industry, but are also receiving extensive media exposure and coverage as the event in itself is a very high profile vehicle to promote the traditions, mastery and the art of horology.
Finalists are separated by distinct categories, including ladies’ complications, icons, chronometers, etc. In today’s article, we’ll give a bit of context to each category and list those nominated. Which do you think will be the winners? Let us know in the comments below!
“Ladies First!” Here are the 6 nominees for the timepieces which elegantly donned the female wrists in 2020.
The “overall” best of 2020 watches were listed above, but this category instead is reserved for the most creative and mechanically marvellous female timepieces. We’re talking diamonds, peculiar geometries, and above all, exceptional engineering. Here they are:
Onto the male category: here are some of the most fascinating pieces which captured the hearts of many this year.
No prizes for guessing which is our favourite (hint: National Pride…!) for 2020.
Just like their female counterpart, this category is all about eccentric design and innovation: six watches, six different expressions of horological complication excellence.
The (over)use of the term “iconic” isn’t just reserved for resellers and the press (heck, we’re guilty of it too). All jokes aside, these six watches will battle it out to gain the “iconic” GPHG title.
What? Where are the pushers? And the subdials? Why don’t these look like the Daytona?
This is one of the biggerst misconceptions in the watch market. Don’t worry, though. After all, here at IWS one of our aims is to inform!
Indeed: the chonometer isn’t what you use when you’re running. ‘Round here, the term “chronometer” is associated with the most Precise and Reliable (yes, with captial letters) time-telling… and it’s not to be confused with “chronograph”.
So, it’s pretty obvious why these are grouped together in this category. We have to say, though, this is a really interesting selection!
Calendars and Astronomy
In this case, those who spoke Latin would say nomen omen. The Queen of Complications has her very own category! Have a look at those competing for her Crown:
When having not one, but two categories for rewarding engineering excellence still just isn’t enough. Here are the 6 most exceptional expressions of complications from 2020. This is one of those categories where having just one winner is in itself a defeat…
If there’s one complication that has defined the century so far, it’s the chronograph. We’ve seen all sorts of flavours, iterations, colourways – everything! Yet the market still can’t get enough. In our opinion, this category is a 50-50 split between “old” and new”, and that there are really only two possible winners… but we can only wait and see if the 2020 GPHG panel agrees.
Long gone are the days of taking off your watch when you’re going for a swim. Yet the romantics in us can’t help but get a bit sad when we reflect on when one couldn’t have their trusty watch by their side as they explored the Seven Seas. Enter this very category to the rescue! Thankfully (and we really mean it when we say it), this year’s shortlist doesn’t feature the usual suspects.
If “flashy” isn’t really your thing, you’d best scroll past this with your eyes closed. As well as the big names and brands, some relatively lesser-known jewellery designers have successfully managed to throw their hats into the ring for this category. Which one do you like the most? One thing’s for sure: it’ll be a “brilliant” podium! (Sorry, we had to)
For those who think that horology can’t be considered art, we respond with this very category. Why hang these on a wall when you can have it on your wrist?
“I want a fantastic watch, but I don’t want to break the bank”. How many times have you heard this or something similar?
Well, fear not, because we have (at least) 6 watches that fulfil this wish! Here are the finalists for the “Petite Aiguille” category… your pockets can thank us later.
If there’s one thing that literally everyone can agree on, it’s that 2020 has been a challenging year, and GPHG has taken this a step even further by having a category which includes some of the most beautiful and exceptional timepieces, for an even tighter budget than the previous category.
-Translated by Patrick R.