Oscar…err, Golden Hand goes to the Breguet Classique Chronométrie. Last Friday evening it was Oscar-night. That is Oscar-night of the watch industry, which is called the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genéve. Winners in fifteen categories and one overall winner were announced during a gala event in Geneva. There were some remarkable winners; one of them was Grönefeld, who won the prize for Best Tourbillon Watch, and they are the very first winners from the Netherlands!
But first, all praise for Breguet’s Classique Chronométrie 7727, an understated dress watch that actually is quite outstanding. Its looks are classic, as we would expect from Breguet, however a denotation on the dial – it reads “10Hz” – already gives away that there’s something special about this watch. Breguet has used magnetism – normally every watch’ enemy – to improve the precision and the reliability. This means that Breguet’s watchmakers not only have mastered the negative effects of magnetism in a mechanical watch, but they also managed to use magnetism to improve the pivoting, rotation and stability of the balance-staff. And that makes this classic-looking Breguet into a spectacular hybrid that runs at 10 Hz or 72,000 vph!
Now without going into too much details here – something that we’ll do later this week when we publish an extensive hands-on report with full explanation – we can simply say that the Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727 is quite spectacular in every way. Its looks are simply beautiful and typical for Breguet: a fluted caseband, welded lugs, engine-turned dial, open-tipped Breguet hands. And its movement is absolutely mind-blowing and has more parallels with the engine of a Porsche 918 than with any other super car. In a follow-up article, that will be published later this week, we go over the nitty gritty details of the use of magnetism to improve precision and stability in a mechanical movement. Breguet created a dedicated micro-site about the Classique Chronométrie and the inventions that led to this 10Hz hybrid movement. Before we go on to the other GPHG prize winners, here’s a set of our handson photos of the Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727.
Here’s the full list of prize winners. Most (mens) watches have already been covered here and you can click on the links to read our hands-on reports about these watches.
2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneva – Prize winners:
“Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix: Breguet, Classique Chronométrie
Ladies’ Watch Prize: Blancpain Women Off-centred Hour
Ladies’ High-Mech Watch Prize: Christophe Claret Margot
Men’s Watch Prize: Urban Jürgensen & Sonner Central Second
Chronograph Watch Prize: De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon
Tourbillon Watch Prize: Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon
Calendar Watch Prize: A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna”
Striking Watch Prize: Hublot Classic Fusion Cathedral Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Urwerk EMC
“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Seiko Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT
Sports Watch Prize: Zenith El Primero Lightweight
Jewellery Watch Prize: Bulgari Diva High Jewellery Emeralds
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: Voutilainen Hisui
“Revival” Watch Prize: Omega Speedmaster “Dark Side Of The Moon”
Innovation Watch Prize: Urwerk EMC
Special Jury Prize: Walter Lange
This is a beautiful list of prize winners and we’d like to congratulate mr. Walter Lange for winning the special jury prize. As we already said last week, in our review of the Lange 1, we think that what mr. Lange and his business partners did is nothing short of spectacular. So in our opinion a very well deserved prize!
And of course congratulations to Bart and Tim Grönefeld, who are the first watchmakers from the Netherlands to win a prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Their Parallax Tourbillon, which we showed you earlier this year, had some fierce competition in the category of Tourbillon Watches. We do not know what the decisive feature was for the GPHG jury, however we totally agree with them. The Parallax’s tourbillon cage, entirely mirror-polished, and spectacular stainless steel bridges, are simply jaw-dropping. Congrats on a well deserved victory for these to passionate watchmakers from the Netherlands.
In general we’re surprised to see so many winners among the small and independent high-end watchmakers, and even a prize for the only non-European watch brand that competed, the Japanese watch brand Seiko. They won the “Petit Aiguille” (the small hand) for the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT, one of our favourites of Baselworld 2014. Of course we covered it with a hands-on report here.
Another one of our favourites is the DB29 Maxi Chrono. Like the Grönefeld Parallax it’s finished to a spectacular level and the entire chronograph mechanism, that is visible through the case-back, is one of the most exiting movements that we’ve ever seen.