I deliberately wrote the headline as “Why We Are In A Golden Age For Appreciating Superlative Hand-Finishing . . . ” because, the fact is that if many people do not appreciate superlative hand-finishing, then fewer will pay for superlative hand-finishing, so there is likely to be less superlative hand-finishing on offer. So what does any of this mean for the future of superlatively hand-finished timepieces?
Welcome to the 2015 edition of Quill & Pad’s early Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) predictions in which we pick our favorites and explain why. The six pre-selected finalists in the Men’s category are: MB&F’s anniversary HMX, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square, Kari Voutilainen’s beautifully finished Voutilainen GMR, the Louis Vuitton Escale Time Zone, and Piaget’s Altiplano 900P, currently the thinnest mechanical watch in the world.
The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) has just published the list of 2015’s pre-selected watches in the run-up to the big red carpet event in Geneva on October 29. The pre-selected watches will go on a world tour that includes stops in Hong Kong, Seoul, Dubai, Geneva, and London in October and November. But enough preamble, let’s have a look at the watches that are now in serious contention to take home big prizes this year.
You may be familiar with the old Christmas diddy “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Let me sing you the final verse of this song, including what my true love gave to me on the twelfth and final day, in horological terms…
Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, my starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. What have I learned since then?
In this final round table discussion, my Quill & Pad colleagues Ian, Joshua, Gary and I discuss the amazing night that was. I am glad to talk about this incredible event and provide a few behind-the-scenes insights. Being on the jury for the third time in a row this year, I knew what to expect and could relax enough to enjoy the discussions and preparations.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
Contendors in the Artistic Crafts category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are: Chanel’s Coromandel Twin Volute Enchantée, Precious Watch Attrape-Moi… Si Tu M’aimes by Chaumet, Greubel Forsey’s Art Piece 1, Arceau Millefiori by Hermès, Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute Relief Saisons and Hisui by Kari Voutilainen. Which of these exceptional works of art would you choose in this category if you were on the jury?
In the world of complicated watchmaking, that which might appear simple when seen from the dial may often be quite complicated when you turn a watch over and peer into its depths.
In Kari Voutilainen’s case, not only does his style comprise an uncommon sort of complicated simplicity, it is also riddled with the thing that eludes many watchmakers: near perfection.
Continuing our series on tourbillons from Baselworld 2014, here are a few from Breguet, Chopard, Ulysse Nardin, Grönefeld and Kari Voutilainen.