News Calling all Watch Brands: the Oscars of the Watch World are Gearing Up for the GPHG 2019

Registration for the 19th edition of the GPHG is open.
calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Rebecca Doulton | ic_query_builder_black_24px 3 minute read

The Grand Prix d’Horologerie de Genève (GPHG 2019) is gearing up for its 19th edition and is now accepting entries from all aspiring watch candidates. With new jury members and new categories, the GPHG welcomes entries until June 21st, 2019. Often compared to the Oscars of the watchmaking industry – see our 2018 report here – the GPHG takes place in November in a glittering event staged in the Théâtre du Léman, Geneva. The first edition took place in 2001 and, year after year, the event has gained traction as the most prestigious award ceremony in the watch industry. As a partner of the event since 2017, MONOCHROME will be broadcasting the ceremony live and providing ample coverage of the event in all its phases.

New categories

The GPHG 2019 edition introduces two new categories to the prize list. The “Iconic Watch Prize” and the “Diver’s Watch Prize” are both new additions and will flesh out the prize list to a total of 19 categories. The “Iconic Watch Prize” will go to the best watch from an emblematic collection that has been exercising a lasting influence on watchmaking history and the watch market for more than 25 years. The highest accolade is the “Aiguille d’Or”, which rewards the best overall watch among all categories. Last year, the “Aiguille d’Or” prize went to Bovet for its masterpiece, the Récital 22 Grand Récital watch.

Among the 19 categories, prizes are awarded for chronometry, complications, calendar and astronomy watches, jewellery watches, artistic crafts, etc… However, the GPHG is not just for bigwigs and established brands. The Audacity Prize, for example, celebrates the work of the most non-conformist and offbeat watchmakers, while the Horological Revelation prize shines a light on young brands/young talents that have less than ten years of existence.

New jury members

The panel of jury members is composed of representatives from the watch industry (journalists, collectors, experts, etc.) and roughly a quarter of its members are renewed each year. An interesting clause in the Rules Section of the GPHG states that the “brand that wins the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix is automatically ineligible for the competition the following year, and its founder or CEO is invited to sit on the jury for one year”. This explains why Pascal Raffy of Bovet is a juror this year. New faces include Jasem Al Zeraei (a Kuwaiti influencer and collector), Aldis Hodge (actor, watch designer / USA), Pierre Salanitro (CEO of Salanitro / Switzerland), Jiaxian Su (collector and founder of SJXwatches.com / Singapore) and Jessica Yu (founder of Hantang Culture / China).

Key dates

The GPHG 2019 welcomes submissions from all watch brands, be they Swiss or international. Entries must be submitted by 21st June and the list of pre-selected watches by the jury will be announced on 2nd September. As in previous years, the pre-selected watches will be taken on tour to different destinations around the world. Please consult the official GPHG page to find the latest information on the pit stops of the itinerant exhibition.

The list of prize winners will be revealed on the night of 7th November 2019 during the GPHG Awards Ceremony held at the Théâtre du Leman in Geneva – which will be broadcasted live here. Stay tuned for more information on MONOCHROME.

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