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Commentary: Musings on the GPHG 2017 official pre-selection

by Chelsey Chen on September 6, 2017

Created in 2001 and overseen since 2011 by a foundation recognised as a public interest organisation, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) is intended to highlight and annually reward the most remarkable watchmaking creations in order to contribute to enhancing the worldwide reputation of the watchmaking art.

Comprising of 28 multi-disciplinary experts of various nationalities and from diverse backgrounds the jury of the Foundation have completed the first round of voting for the GPHG 2017 nominees. They have chosen six watches for each of the 12 categories in which the watches can compete: Ladies’ – Ladies’ High-Mech – Men’s – Chronograph – Tourbillon and Escapement – Calendar – Travel Time – Mechanical Exception – “Petite Aiguille” – Sports – Jewellery – Artistic Crafts.

What does the Deployant Editorial Team think of the selection? We provide our commentary on each piece below.

LADIES’

1) Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Frosted Gold
Chester: My favorite of the 6, good design pedigree, long lasting relevance and the case, bracelet work is amazing.

Frank: The Royal Oak Frosted Gold is a prime example of how to add sparkle to a timepiece without diamonds. The hammered gold surface is resplendent and complements the usual fine finishing of the Royal Oak splendidly.

Peter: Great handwork on the case. The Royal Oak is not a tired old horse, but a revitalised one!

2) Chanel – Première Camélia Skeleton
Dan-Andrei: This watch embodies the essence of Chanel with the timeless case shape and the iconic Camelia flower. It is a creatively balanced mixture of haute joaillerie and haute horlogerie.

3) Chopard – Imperiale Moonphase
Ryan: Chopard have adopted a traditional take on a feminine watch, with plenty of jewels set into the case. The hollowed hands and double-coloured mother-of-pearl dial attract a great deal of attention, but the subtly executed moonphase is the star in this piece. This would indeed add to any lady’s jewelry/watch collection.

4) Fiona Krüger Timepieces – Petit Skull (Celebration) “Eternity”
Dan-Andrei: The colourful and playful Petit Skull breaks the “serious” rules of haute horlogerie with a fresh and creative approach. This could be the perfect accessory for any lady.

5) Parmigiani Fleurier – Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène Galaxy
Peter: Serious approach to watchmaking taken to the feminine aesthetic sensibilities. The combination of a complication in a ladies watch is nicely executed.

6) Urwerk – UR-106 Flower Power
Dan-Andrei: The ultimate eye catcher for any watch lover. The mechanical refinement combined with the femininity of the details fulfils any desire that high horlogerie passionate lady could have.

Our prediction and why:

Chester: AP. Instantly recognizable, and will make the men jealous.

Dan-Andrei: Fiona Krüger Petit Skull (Celebration) “Eternity” as a sign of appreciation and encouragement to realise more original and remarkable designs.

Frank: The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold is my pick. The application of gold hammering in watchmaking is rather novel, especially on a sports watch of the Royal Oak’s calibre.

Peter: My pick is for the AP. The handwork of the case is quite beautiful, giving each piece an almost unique look. This is the only ladies piece in the current AP RO collection to feature a mechanical movement.

Robin: AP. The frosted finishing is rather pretty, and it is an elegant piece that is versatile enough for almost any occasions.

Ryan: For me, the Chopard Imperiale Moonphase is a tribute to and embodiment of the delicate nature of ladies’ watches, hence it earns my vote.

 

LADIES’ HIGH-MECH

1) A. Lange & Söhne – Little Lange 1 Moonphase
Frank: The Little Lange 1 Moonphase may lack the new day/night indicator found in the men’s model but it makes up for it with a stunning moon phase display in white/gold and some mesmerising guillochage.

Peter: Ideal for a lady’s smaller wrist, the Little 1 has remained in the collection for a long time, since its debut probably in 1997. Now updated with a new movement, with instantaneously jumping date. And of course the gorgeous lunar display.

2) Chaumet – Creative Complication Colombes
Chelsey: Time on this piece is ingeniously presented by two doves with rings in their beaks, symbolizing peace and promise. Although the legibility is compromised, it must be such a wonderful scene to marvel at when the doves meet every hour, forming the symbol of “infinity”.

Dan-Andrei: Is an ode to the art of jewellery making and to the craft of Chaumet artisans. The time telling through a delightful combination of several dial manufacturing techniques makes this watch work of art.

3) Claude Meylan – Tortue “Petite Fleur”
Ryan: There is almost a zen-like spirit of nature and minimalism on display here. The exquisite design, not to mention technical ingenuity, will hardly be lost on anyone who beholds this seemingly simple yet stunning watch.

4) Girard-Perregaux – Cat’s Eye Celestial
Chelsey: The moonphase indicator is usually presented as a function that is done small-scale on the dial, but the Cat’s Eye Celestial has combined form and function and incorporated it into the design. It engages with the wearer on another dimension, allowing the wearer to enjoy both reading the time as well as the lunar cycle.

Peter: The Cat’s Eye is a classic from GP, and with the moonphase, it becomes even more romantic, especially the design with a huge moon disc covering half the dial.

5) Graff – Mastergraff Floral Tourbillon
Chelsey: The most dynamic and animated piece in the category, the Mastergraff Floral Tourbillon features slow, rotating enamel flowers that seem to stay perpetually alive and move when the gears do. Each petal is painstakingly cut by hand from white gold, then painted and put in place by master artisans.  

6) Van Cleef & Arpels – Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
Chester: Soft spot for Van Cleef & Arpels. I may be biased, but I’ve been a fan of their work since the release of the Poetic Complications. The enamelling is a close fight with Graff, but I prefer the former’s contrasting Cloisonné enamel with set jewels on the dial.

Dan-Andrei: As usual, the maison brings us a symphony of visual and technical beauty. As graceful and naturally perfect as a real butterfly, this high technical timepiece is designed to bring instant joy.

Our prediction and why:

Chester: The Van Cleef & Arpels for me. It’s a good representation of mechanical prowess beneath a beautifully finished exterior.

Dan-Andrei: Van Cleef & Arpels – Lady Arpels Papillon Automate for combining not only the best in haute horlogerie but the fun and joy of everyday life in a trully remarkable watch.

Frank: My pick is the A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moonphase. It manages to combine high-end traditional German watchmaking with watchmaking artistry in a way that is perfect for a lady who wants something feminine but with substance – the two need not be mutually exclusive.

Peter: The Little Lange 1 Moonphase gets my pick. Traditional Glashutte workmanship in a more petite case for the feminine wrist.

Robin: The Little Lange 1 Moonphase. A classic and timeless design that will definitely stand the test of time.

Ryan: The Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Celestial gets my vote for not sacrificing legibility for artistic design. The oval case and coyly shaped hour markers on the background of a moon is a winner for me.

 

MEN’S

1) A. Lange & Söhne – Lange 1 Moonphase
Frank: The new Lange 1 Moonphase includes a simple but smart improvement to the traditional moon phase display: a backdrop for the moon that doubles as a day/night indicator. This application of the day/night display disc is visually stunning and, oddly enough, completely novel.

Nick: The addition of the day/night indicator is a small tweak, but breathes new life into the watch and adds depth to the moonphase.

Peter: Like all Langes, the design and finishing is impeccable. The moonphase disc under the subsidiary seconds hand is not new for Lange, but the day/night indicator is a nice touch.

Read the full review on this watch here.

2) BVLGARI – Octo Finissimo Automatic
Dan-Andrei: a bold, powerful look. Pure masculinity expressed elegant. The retail price is impressive for the 5.15mm thin beast.
Read the full review on this watch here.

3) Grand Seiko – The re-creation of the first Grand Seiko
Peter: Coming out of sorts for the Grand Seiko which have hidden under parent Seiko branding till this year. And the re-introduction of the first Grand Seiko from 1960. The watch stays loyal to the original, but with an updated movement.
Read the full review on this watch here.

Read also:   SIHH 2017: Parmigiani Fleurier Overview: Basics Revisted

4) Greubel Forsey – Signature 1
Peter: An amazing piece. Superb aesthetics. Spectacular finishing. And the entry level to the Greubel Forsey world with the stainless steel mode. This watch is more than meets the eye. The attention to detail is amazing.
Read the full review on this watch here.

5) Hermès – Slim d’Hermès L’heure impatient
Chester: The dark horse. Those slim lugs, and needle hands work perfectly with the multi textured dial. But more importantly, the movement is one fine complication. Innovative update to the alarm complication, thoughtful and fun with some animation with a countdown. Although the movement’s look and finishing is still pretty bad.

Ryan: This is a throwback to simpler times where needle hands were the standard feature. Stenciled numerals set this apart from other variations of hour markers.

6) Voutilainen – 28ISO Enamel
Dan-Andrei: Among all super technical and marvellous finished timepieces, Kari’s piece stands out with a wonderful green enamel dial.

Our prediction and why:

Chester: Rooting for the Hermès, but the Grand Seiko is more likely to win. It’s hard to find flaws in the remake’s execution, although it maybe boring.

Dan-Andrei: Voutilainen – 28ISO Enamel bids not only fascinating finishes but also a dial colour rarely used.

Frank: The Lange 1 Moonphase is my pick. It features not only a new and improved movement but also a moonphase-day/night display hybrid that is not just stunning to look at but also novel.

Peter: GF Signature 1 is my choice. The finishing is immaculate, and a good place to start the ultra high end collection.

Robin: The Grand Seiko. I like the simple and discreet design, and the price point is definitely excellent for a timepiece of such quality.

Ryan: The Grand Seiko, chock full of history, takes my vote in this category. For all the complications and innovative ways of telling the time, there is something to be said about the humble three-hander done absolutely flawlessly.

 

CHRONOGRAPH

1) Fabergé – Visionnaire Chronograph Ceramic
Dan-Andrei: Has the advantage of the first shock wave (being the first watch with the new Agenhor movement). The balance of complexity and simplicity is a strong argument for this timepiece.
Read the full review on this watch here and view the photo essay here.

2) Longines – The Longines Avigation BigEye
Chelsey: As part of the Longines Heritage collection, the Avigation BigEye is an reissue based on an original design from the 1930s. Legibility on this pilot watch is not compromised by the subdials thanks to the modern SuperLuminova coated on the Arabic numerals and hands.

3) Montblanc – 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition 100
Chester: The Minerva movement is breathtaking but I’m not a fan of the cosmetic changes, color and case variation ploy.

Dan-Andrei: The truest vintage look inspired piece. Brings back a lovely design desired by many collectors.

Read the full review on this watch here.

4) Parmigiani Fleurier – Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

Dan-Andrei: Phenomenal in-house movement with marvellous finishes. The beautiful enamel dial help attains a nice contrast and separation between the time’s hands and the chronographs’.

Peter: Significant development in chronographs, and first foray in gold as the movement material for PF. Nicely finished to haute horlogerie atelier levels.

Read the full review on this watch here.

5) Singer Reimagined – Singer Track 1
Dan-Andrei: Original design in a vintage inspired case, the timepiece is well finished. The two discs system for time display and the 60 units’ chronograph scale is used for seconds, minutes and hours. Bold and unusual approach with excellent legibility.

Nick:  The design reminds me of the dials on the dash of a vintage race car from the 60’s and 70’s.

Peter: Essentially the same watch as the Fabergé also nominated, but with a different aesthetic. In the Singer, it has a more engineered styling, in line with the motorsport origins of the company.

Read the full review on this watch here.

6) TAG Heuer – Autavia
Chester: I like the watch, but it’s hardly innovative to say the least.

Ryan: This re-issue should tug at the heart-strings of collectors who yearned for but could not get their hands on the vintage original edition. This is a nod by Tag Heuer to its legion of fans, one they must be quite overjoyed to have.

Read the full review on this watch here.

Our prediction and why:

Chester: Surprisingly, my predilection is less conventional this time. I vote Agenhor’s AgenGraphe. 1) Innovative movement 2) Beautiful finishing 3) Excellent casework

Dan-Andrei: A fight between Agenhor powered pieces can be interesting. On the other hand, the vintage look of Montblanc or the marvel of Parmigiani are strong reasons for a first place.

Peter: Agenhor’s AgenGraphe sweeps the stakes here. My pick is to go with the Singer Reimagined as the sporty component is quite suited to the chronograph’s ability. And the visual aesthetics is stronger than on the more elegant Fabergé.

Robin: My choice would be the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph, as the vintage theme greatly appealed to me. And the Minerva movement is stunning as well.

Ryan: My choice is the Montblanc 1858 by a country mile. I cannot overstate how much the vintage appeal has tugged at my heart strings of my inner vintage fanboy, and so it gets my vote.

 

TOURBILLON AND ESCAPEMENT

1) Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph
Peter: The new openworked dial on the Offshort Tourbillon Chronograph is quite interesting in its sandblasted titanium case. The skeletonising is tastefully done, and does little to affect the legibility.

2) BVLGARI – Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton
Peter: The Octo series is special with its advances to push the limits of the ultra thin. This ultra thin tourbillon, now skeletonised is a treat to the fans of skeletonised watches.

3) D.Candaux – 1740 -The First 8
Dan-Andrei: 3 patents and 8 design registrations to achieve a purist independent watch. Excellent finishes and original approach.

Peter: Amazing new watch from an old hand. Attention to detail is amazing, from the tilted architecture of the dial and movement, to the special crown, and the angled tourbillon. Finishing is top class.

Read the full review on this watch here.

4) Haldimann – Central Balance Pure H12
Chester: First word that comes to mind is Breguet. Can’t help it.

Dan-Andrei: Perfection on every aspect. A watch for connoisseurs. For the price you get 100% handmade – words can hardly describe the purity and beauty of this timepiece.

Read the full review on this watch here.

5) Louis Moinet – Mobilis
Dan-Andrei: A watch for niche clientele with special needs on the term of visual finishes. Excellent interpretation of time measurement tool with spectacular tourbillion.

6) Ulysse Nardin – Marine Tourbillon
Frank: The Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon is perhaps the most value-for-money timepiece of the year.

Peter: Exceptional value for money by combining a grand feu enamel dial with an in-house manufactured tourbillon movement. And quite classical aesthetics.

Read the full review of this watch here.

Our prediction and why:

Chester: Bvlgari. The thin case is breathtaking. Possibly one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest tourbillon today. And all that thinness is further complicated with a skeletonized construction; something difficult to achieve for reasons related to the strength in cut-out parts.

Dan-Andrei: It’s time for a Haldimann piece to go on the podium. Perfection cannot be compared.

Frank: Tourbillons are overdone. What’s truly refreshing is how Ulysse Nardin has kept the price of the Marine Tourbillon, which comes with a tourbillon and a grand feu enamel dial, so competitive. The Marine Tourbillon gets my vote.

Peter: My nomination for the win is the the D. Candeux for the innovative thinking and attention to details.

Robin: The thin case, contemporary open-worked  dial, and the iconic Octo case makes the Bvlgari an interesting proposition. And similar to what Chester said, it is definitely an uphill task to reduce the thickness of the movement to make the Octo Finissimo as thin as possible.

Ryan: The Haldimann epitomises class – cool, confident, not needing to show off because it doesn’t need to prove anything. That sets it apart from the others in this category, and earns a nod from me.

 

CALENDAR

1) A. Lange & Söhne – 1815 Annual Calendar

Chester: I’m back to being traditional and here’s my favorite of the bunch. Hardly the most complicated timepiece, and some may say a masquerading annual calendar for a perpetual calendar. But from a collector’s point of view, it’s the only piece I’d pay for here.

Read also:   Press Release and Review - Montblanc 1858 Collection in Bronze

Dan-Andrei: Haute horlogerie in the purest form: clean balanced dial, exceptional finishes, traditional appearance.

Frank: The 1815 Annual Calendar pays tribute to the design and aesthetics of old Lange pocket watches. Equipped with a quick-adjust pusher for convenience, the watch is what every Lange enthusiast dreams of and more.

Read the full review on this watch here.

2) Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
Frank: Audemars Piguet takes an existing reference and modifies it in a way nobody saw coming. The ceramic case and bracelet on the new Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is testament of Audemar Piguet’s immense capabilities in manufacturing and finishing.
Read the full review on this watch here.

3) Delma – Klondike Moonphase
Robin: A surprising inclusion, considering that it is up against the big boys. A classic design, which will definitely appeal to collectors who wants something that is more traditional.

4) Greubel Forsey – QP à Équation

Dan-Andrei: symmetry in asymmetry: the complicated machine was designed 7 years to bring not only a superb a mechanical computer but also refinement.

Peter: Possibly the most expensive perpetual calendar in the market, but that misses the point of the QP à Équation. The use of a mechanical computer, which is programmable is an outstanding invention worthy of the prize. The perpetual calendar avoids the pitfalls of the classical QP designs with good ease of use.

Read more about the mechanical computer on this watch here.

5) Krayon – Everywhere – Universal Sunrise & Sunset

Dan-Andrei: interesting complication realised in an appealing design. A point for originality.

Ryan: A fun take on the traditional calendar complication packaged into a world-timer like layout. This is an easily appreciable watch.

Read the full review on this watch here.

6) Zenith – Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open
Chelsey: I’ve always got a soft spot for Zenith. This time the brand brings the “open heart” to a new level by using a sapphire dial to reveal the entire works. A highly affordable piece for what it is worth, the beauty of the EP movement coupled with the date and moonphase complication can be admired easily while worn on the wrist.
Read the full review on this watch here.

Our prediction and why:

Dan-Andrei: My favourites are the A. Lange & Söhne – 1815 Annual Calendar and the Greubel Forsey – QP à Équation. Beautiful, each in a different way, but both magnificent pieces.

Frank: The use of ceramic in watch cases and bracelets is nothing new but to see it machined, finished and assembled the way it is on the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is absolutely inspiring. The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar gets my vote.

Peter: Greubel Foresey. Top invention with many other applications in the future.

Robin: Greubel Forsey – for its cool-factor, its finishing, and the how it attempts to push itself to go up a notch against conventional watchmaking.

Ryan: The 1815 Annual Calendar and Greubel Forsey QP à Équation both take an equal piece of the cake: the 1815 because of how it is a shining example traditional watchmaking done right, and the QP à Équation for pushing the limits and definition of a calendar watch.

 

TRAVEL TIME

1) Czapek Genève – Tourbillon Suspendu “Ici et Ailleurs”
Peter: Superb marketing concept coupled with an enthusiast driven design and manufacture team to produce a magnificent piece worthy of a place in any high end collection. The first Czapek to incorporate a tourbillon, it extends the usability of the watch with the addition of a second timezone.
Read the full review on this watch here.

2) Frédérique Constant – Classic Worldtimer Manufacture
Dan-Andrei: A nice surprise. The affordable luxury with a warm but discreet design.

3) Hublot – Big Bang Unico GMT
Peter: A big time commercial success, the combination of the in-house movement and practical GMT function in the Big Bang case. All the signature characteristics of the big Hublot.

4) Louis Vuitton – Escale Time Zone Blue
Robin: A cool looking timepiece that tells everyone Louis Vuitton is not just any watch manufacturer than can be reckoned with. Very bold design, although it is certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

5) Manufacture Royale – ADN jumping disk
Dan-Andrei: the true independent time zone is useful in the day by day life. The “one crown to rule them all” strengthens the piece practicality. Impressive design and finishes.
Read the full review on this watch here.

6) Parmigiani Fleurier – Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde
Robin: I like how Parmigiani is trying to do something different, without being too radical. I like how different functions of the timepiece are separated on the dial, and particularly the retrograde date indicator is something that is uniquely designed and is yet aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

Our prediction and why:

Dan-Andrei: It’s a difficult category. I think there is a match between Czapek and Manufacture Royale, another between Hublot and Louis Vuitton and all fighting with Frédérique Constant affordability and Parmigiani’s beauty.

Peter: Czapek. For the innovative business model, as well as the magnificently build tourbillon with two timezone.

Robin: I rather quite like the Parmigiani. It is slightly different from the usual dress watches, but it still remains poised and elegant. Who says dress watches are necessarily boring?

 

MECHANICAL EXCEPTION

1) A. Lange & Söhne – Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite”
Dan-Andrei: Deserve a class of its own. Perpetual calendar and split seconds chrono with 1-minute tourbillon with the best finishes available.

Frank: A behemoth not just in complexity but also in size and character. The 2017 Lange showpiece is powered by a movement that is inconceivably sophisticated, with each and every one of its 1319 parts also immaculately finished.

Read the full review on this watch here.

2) Armin Strom – Mirrored Force Resonance
Peter: Exceptional concept in the simple, but yet previously unused concept of forced resonance to ensure that both balance wheels beat in unison. A very elegant solution worthy of the highest respect.
Read the full review on this watch here.

3) Audemars Piguet – Jules Audemars Minute Repeater Supersonnerie
Frank: The Supersonnerie movement in a more classical guise. The Jules Audemars Minute Repeater Supersonnerie remains one of the loudest and clearest minute repeaters in the market.

Peter: Superb new repeater movement with probably the best sound in the business. Loud, clear, clean strikes, beautiful harmonics, good decay. A reference standard among minute repeaters.

Read the full review of the same movement in the AP Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie here.

4) Chopard – L.U.C Full Strike
Frank: Chopard continues to impress with the L.U.C Full Strike, the brand’s first minute repeater. The chimes it produces possess remarkable volume, clarity and musicality, thanks in no small part to its unique sapphire crystal gongs.

Peter: First Minute Repeater from Chopard. The Full Strike is a traditionally designed, very classical take on striking watches.

Read the full review on this watch here.

5) Girard-Perregaux – Planetarium Tri-Axial
Robin: Girard-Perregaux is a rather underrated brand, but that doesn’t stop them from making exceptional pieces like the Planetarium Tri-Axial. I thought the 24 hour globe is quite cool, and the triple-axis tourbillion is something that is pretty amazing. And not to mention, it is a complication that is very rare, and certainly tedious to manufacture.
Read the full review on this watch here.

6) Vacheron Constantin – Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
Dan-Andrei: Superlative in watchmaking: not particularly the most appealing watch when talking about the look but definitively one of the most interesting technical wrist marvels.

Peter: Trickle down from the most complicated watch ever made, the VC Ref. 5760, this VC takes an elegant approach to the ultra complications game.

Read the full review on this watch here.

Our prediction and why:

Dan-Andrei: I consider Vacheron Constantin a magna cum laude winner. The most complicated wristwatch deserve the right recognition.

Frank: By no means is it the most complicated, but I genuinely believe the Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike deserves the award for its innovative and novel approach to improving sound quality in a minute repeater. The fact that it is also the brand’s first attempt at a repeater is the icing on the cake.

Peter: The VC, as it packs a punch with innovative and interesting astronomical complications in a watch which can be elegantly worn on the wrist.

Robin: The VC gets my vote. The amount of complication that it packs is mind-blowing, and yet it still manages to look so poised in its 45mm case (with a thickness of just a mere 13.6mm).

Read also:   SIHH 2016: A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase with pricing

 

“PETITE AIGUILLE”

1) BVLGARI – Octo Roma
Peter: Beautiful design. Amazing aesthetics with the proportion.

2) Habring² – Erwin
Dan-Andrei: Affordable jumping seconds beating bigger names with design purity. A second time winner just for a design variation is hard to believe.

Peter: Simple, plain, beautiful. classical aesthetics with a nice seconds morte design.

3) Hermès – Arceau TGM Manufacture
Robin: The Arceau TGM Manufacture is a simple and elegant timepiece, with an interesting dial finish. Pretty like its signature lugs design, which gives it an identity of its own.

4) Louis Vuitton – Tambour Moon GMT Black
Robin: A slightly toned down LV timepiece, but one that has some bold elements to it, nonetheless. The design is rather fashionable, with its bold and yet simple design.

5) Seiko – First Diver’s Re-creation Limited Edition
Peter: Another true to the original re-creation from Seiko, this one is the first diver watch ever made by the Japanese company. The design is rather faithful, with the only major update being the movement used.
Read the full review on this watch here.

6) Tudor – Black Bay Chrono
Peter: Long awaited addition to the Black Bay family.
Read the full review on this watch here.

Our prediction and why: 

Robin: The Habring² gets my vote. Simple design, with a great price point for a timepiece produced by an independent watchmaker.

 

SPORT

1) Grand Seiko – Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s
Peter: Magnificent professional diver watch, worthy of being compared to many dress watches in terms of finishing, but yet retaining the toughness and sturdiness required for saturation diving duties.
Read the full review here.

2) Hublot – Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph
Robin: Yet another contemporary timepiece by Hublot – very cool and striking with its bold design.

3) MB&F – Horological Machine n°7 Aquapod
Peter: Amazing design study, as usual from MB&F. Attention to detail and mastery of translating vision to product.
Read the full review on this watch here.

4) Montblanc – TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter Limited Edition 100
Robin: A mix-and-match between contemporary and classic design. The dial layout is rather traditional, which definitely appeals to someone who enjoys motor-racing and its heritage.
Read the full review on this watch here.

5) Tudor – Pelagos LHD
Chelsey: The Pelagos LHD is probably THE watch to “dive” for, now with its own in-house movement. With a depth rating of 500m complete with a helium escape valve and titanium bracelet, it is very affordable, and highly legible all the way from its ceramic bezel to the indexes and the oh-so-beautiful iconic snowflake hands.
Read the full review on this watch here.

6) Ulysse Nardin – Marine Regatta
Dan-Andrei: a powerful interpretation of the regatta chronograph with complementary colours themed dial. Beautiful watch.

Peter: Innovative use of the auto start for the chronograph at the end of the countdown is an example of the kind of thinking from UN.

Read the full review on this watch here.

Our prediction and why:

Peter: GS Professional Diver for the exceptional finish worthy of a haute horlogerie watch, but in a professional diving watch capable of saturation diving duties.

Robin: The GS gets my vote. A solid timepiece, with an excellent price point that is capable of beating the big boys at its own game.

 

JEWELLERY

1) Audemars Piguet – Diamond Outrage
Frank: As outrageous as it sounds, the Diamond Outrage manages to be angrier than its predecessor, the Diamond Fury, what with all those diamond-encrusted spikes – it is a work of art, simple as that.

Peter: Just plain beautiful and outrageous.

2) BVLGARI – Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewellery
Dan-Andrei: A dazzling reiteration of a classic design.

3) Chanel – Les Eternelles de Chanel Camélia Secret Watch
Chelsey: Adorned with the iconic Camélia in diamonds and further complemented with pearls for its bracelet, this is definitely a timepiece that I would see myself wearing.

4) Chaumet – Frise Divine
Chelsey: Metamorphosis is the theme of the Chaumet Frise Divine as inspired by nature, combining wildness and refinement. From the La Nature de Chaumet collection, the watch is also a bracelet, and in addition it comes with a brooch that can be detached from the main piece.

5) Chopard – Lotus Blanc Watch
Chelsey: More than just a timepiece, the Chopard Lotus Blanc represents the perpetual renewal of the lotus flower, from the time they go into slumber at dawn, to blooming again at sunrise. When worn on the wrist, the watch and the wearer connects by a sense of tactile experience.

6) Piaget – Hide & Seek Manchette
Chelsey: It may not look like it, but the Hide & Seek Manchette is an extremely comfortable piece to wear, thanks to its flexible and ergonomic mesh cuff bracelet. The lapis-lazuli stone dial in signature Piaget blue is a mellow, understated centre of attraction but it does not lack lustre in the presence of the 36 marquise-cut diamonds.

Our prediction and why:

Chelsey: The interactive Chanel Les Eternelles de Chanel Camélia Secret Watch has a “secret” dial that you can play peek-a-boo with is my favourite of the lot; it is well-presented in a balanced manner with good mix of precious stones and pearls, it has everything that a lady would love and cherish.

Frank: The Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage gets my vote for being the most expressive of the contenders.

ARTISTIC CRAFTS

1) Chopard – L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony
Chelsey: It is with no surprise that the Esprit de Fleurier Peony has been shortlisted. Made for the lady who appreciates both mechanical movements and artistic crafts in mind, the Esprit de Fleurier Peony brings the entire spring in blossom to the wrist through the art of Fleurisanne engraving from dial to caseback. A worthy contender indeed as it epitomizes the art of watch making from inside out.

2) Hermès – Slim d’Hermès Promenade de Longchamp
Chelsey: Made from entirely organic dyes and natural pigments, the Slim d’Hermès Promenade de Longchamp turns a familiar motif from a large scarf into a dial through the art of Persian miniature painting. Clearly, Hermès illustrates here that an esteemed piece of art can be worn anywhere.

3) Konstantin Chaykin – Joker
Chelsey: With the conspicuous Joker on the wrist, it is almost impossible to predict what sort of mischief it will bring to those who thrive in wit and jest. Although its movement and overall finishing can be improved on, the concept of Joker is fresh and daring, and it may just be that hero we need as a jolt (yes, jolt, not joke) in the world of horology.

4) Piaget – Altiplano Art & Excellence feather marquetry
Peter: Piaget brings their altiplano movement into a new metiers d’art with feather marquetry. Stunningly beautiful.

5) Vacheron Constantin – Métiers d’Art Copernicus celestial spheres 2460RT
Frank: Bring together astronomy, artistic crafts and fine watchmaking and you get the incredibly poetic Celestial Spheres. One of the highlights of SIHH 2017.

6) Voutilainen – Aki-No-Kure
Chelsey: The piece-unique Aki-No-Kure is one that can be admired from far, as well as when upclose. It embraces the harmony of “East meets West” in one watch. The dial, bridges and cover of the case back are decorated by the legendary Japanese lacquer studio Unryuan inspired by the magnificent late autumn scene. 

Our prediction and why:

Dan-Andrei: The most visual appealing category has some good looking pieces. I will vote for Hermès – Slim d’Hermès Promenade de Longchamp and Vacheron Constantin – Métiers d’Art Copernicus celestial spheres 2460RT, but my group favourite is Voutilainen – Aki-No-Kure as the one bringing artistic side not only on the dial side but also on the movement and finishes.

Frank: The Vacheron Constantin Celestial Spheres gets my vote not just for being the most aesthetically pleasing (in my humble opinion) but also for featuring a unique and clever astronomical display. That’s style AND substance.

Peter: VC for the exceptional use of glass in a Métiers d’Art fashion, but coupled with an advanced astronomical function.

Robin: I have a soft spot for Kari’s watches, and I think the Aki-No-Kure has an interesting dial that is executed rather nicely.

 

We invite you, our readers to tell us in the comments section below on which pieces you are rooting for, and if you agree with your predictions. 

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  • September 7, 2017 at 1:59 am

    My picks for each category:
    Urwerk – UR-106 Flower Power
    Claude Meylan – Tortue “Petite Fleur”
    Voutilainen – 28ISO Enamel
    Singer Reimagined – Singer Track 1
    D.Candaux – 1740 -The First 8
    Greubel Forsey – QP à Équation
    Czapek Genève – Tourbillon Suspendu “Ici et Ailleurs”
    Vacheron Constantin – Les Cabinotiers Celestia
    Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
    Hermès – Arceau TGM Manufacture
    Grand Seiko – Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s
    BVLGARI – Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewellery
    Vacheron Constantin – Métiers d’Art Copernicus celestial spheres 2460RT

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