The Elections… for the Watch of the Year and the GPHG that is!

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Frank Geelen | ic_query_builder_black_24px 3 minute read |
Gronefeld 1941 Remontoire

While the race for presidency in the USA is going on until the last minute, we’ll of course focus… on watches! And in the world of watches, we also have elections. Just two weeks ago I attended the gala award ceremony for the election of the Watch of the Year, organised by our friends of Chronos24 in Poland. And this Thursday, when we finally know who’s going to be the new tenant of the White House, is the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève – a.k.a the 2016 Edition of the GPHG. While the first becomes a bit international due to several international jury members – including yours truly – the latter can best be compared to the Oscars in the world of movies.

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In Warsaw, Poland, the good folks of Chronos24 hosted the Watch of the Year 2016 gala event together with partners like Esquire Poland, Porsche, the Polish Business Roundtable Club, Manager MBA Magazine, and the Polish Watch and Clocks Collectors Club. In the months before the event, the jury, comprising of Elisabeth Doerr, Kristian Haagen, Jan Lidmansky, Miguel Seabra, Dariusz Chlastawa, Jakub Filip Szymaniak, Tomasz Jakubas, Tomasz Kiełtyka, Łukasz Doskocz and yours truly, casted our votes for the best watch in six categories and one of these winners was going to be awarded with the Grand Prix.

We will not do a full recap of the event here. If you want to read, or better see that you can better check out the event recap with lots of photos on the Chronos24.pl website here. However we will name some of the winners, like for instance the Seiko PADI SRPA21 Automatic Divers watch that won the prize of best affordable watch. The best sports watch prize was won by Vacheron Constantin for the stunning new Overseas Chronograph. A. Lange & Söhne won the prize for best complicated watch for their Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, and the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater won the prize for innovation in watchmaking. However the party really started when my fellow countrymen won not only the prize for best men’s watch, but also the special jury Grand Prix award. Tim and Bart Grönefeld, dubbed the Horological Brothers, won these prizes with the Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire.

Check the Chronos24.pl website here for a full report, and many more photos, of the Watch of the Year gala event. Now on to this week’s topic, as the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève will be held this Thursday. Due to other obligations (I’m now at approximately 10 kilometer height typing this, while I’m on my way to Los Angeles to see Montblanc’s novelties that will be presented in January at the SIHH 2017) I will not attend the GPHG, however our contributor Xavier Markl will be there and he will cover the event for you guys.

There are quite a few very nice pieces in the list of pre-selected watches, and some of them already won a prize in Warsaw (one even won two prizes). I won’t be surprised of some of the winners in Poland would win another prize, now in Geneva. Seiko could have a good chance to win the Petit Aiguille prize for their Presage 60th Anniversary Chronograph (a lot of watch for the money!) and in the Sports Watch category there are several great candidates! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my fellow countrymen can cheer as loud as they did in Warsaw, because I have never seen such a superb offering for such a price. It’s not cheap with a retail price of approx. € 50,000 euros, however considering what you get for that money, it’s a… (dare I say it) …bargain. And it ticks all boxes!

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