Last Friday, Girard-Perregaux’s Constant Escapement L.M. was awarded with the “Aiguille d’Or” at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). The most coveted distinction in the watch industry for an idea that arose during a train ride, while playing with a train ticket. Last year, when we first heard about this new escapement, and broke the story to a large audience, we were already convinced of the potential of this new kind of escapement. Today we’d like to congratulate Girard-Perregaux and the inventor Nicolas Déhon.
There can only be one to win the Aiguille d’Or (or Golden Hand in English), however there are quite a few sub categories and we’ll list all winners for you. Like last years, there’s a large percentage of independent watchmakers, taking home one of the prices. And while last year’s Special Jury Prize went to Vianney Halter, this year he is awarded with the Innovation Prize for his new watch, the Deep Space Tourbillon. Congratulations Vianney!
Going from one complicated timepiece (with a triple axis tourbillon) to the next timepiece without a tourbillon. The prize for the best Grande Complication Watch went to A. Lange & Söhne, who have created the very first ‘grande complication’, however this price went to their 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar. Congratulations to the A. Lange & Söhne team!
The Men’s Complications Watches Prize went to Romain Gautier for his Logical One, a brilliant chain-and-fusee style constant force system with ruby chain links, all visible on the dial. We did a comprehensive explanation about constant force escapements and the Logical One in particular, when we introduced the Logical One to you here. Well deserved, congratulations Romain!
Another person / watchmaker that I’m very happy to see win a prize is Kari Voutilainen. As a person and as a watchmaker he has been a category of his own, always a different league then the rest. His Vingt-8R is a further development of the ‘normal’ Vingt-8, which was Voutilainen’s first in-house developed movement. The Vingt-8R adds a power reserve, which is a rather useful addition on a manually wound watch. Congratulations Kari!
Habring2 won the Petite Aiguille for the Jumping Second Pilot, a clean and affordable watch with an in-house developed dead beat seconds complication. Congratulations to Austrian independent watchmaker Richard Habring and his wife Maria!
The Sports Watch Prize went to Zenith for the El Primero Stratos Flyback Stricking 10th, the one that was on Felix Baumgartner’s wrist when he jumped from a helium balloon in the stratosphere. With that daredevil project he set the altitude record for a manned balloon flight, parachute jump from the highest altitude, and greatest free fall velocity.
And there are more watch brand who won prizes. The Ladies’ Complications Watch Prize went to Van Cleef & Arpels for the Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée and the Lady’s Watch Prize went to DeLaneau for their Rondo Transluscent. Chopard was awarded with the Jewellery Watch Prize for their L’Heure du Diamant. The Artisan Craft’s Watch Prize went to Chanel for the Mademoiselle Privé Camélia Brodé.
Other prizes were awarded to Tudor for the Heritage Black Bay (one of our favorite watches of last year) in the (new?) category Revival Prize.
Another (new?) prize, the Horological Revelation Prize, went to Ressence for the Ressence Type 3. Congratulations Benoit!!
And again a Special Jury Prize this year, which goes to one of the most esteemed watchmakers of our time, mister Philippe Dufour. Well deserved and our sincerest congratulations!
If you’d like to learn how Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement L.M. works, you can read our full story that we published several weeks before the actual watch was presented (click here). Another option is to watch the following video that shows how the new escapement of the Constant Escapement L.M. works, in slow motion.
As you can see, two timepiece with a constant force device have been awarded this year. Constant force can still be considered the watchmaking’s holy grail.