Among the many highlights of SalonQP 2015 was the “Inside a Second” exhibition of chronographs presented in partnership with the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie. The exhibition included the George Daniels co-axial four-minute tourbillon with Daniels’ compact chronograph mechanism. And that would have been enough chronograph for me all by itself, but there were many more highlights.
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 Sports category are the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, the Harry Winston Project Z9, Seiko’s Prospex Marinemaster Professional Diver’s 1000m Hi-Beat 36000, the Tudor Pelagos, and the Zenith El Primero Sport.
Seiko’s story is much more complicated than most people might think. This is a manufacturer that doesn’t follow trends, but has created a few of its own, capitalizing on various types of expertise and knowledge that were the mother of necessity for a manufacturer located so far away from the established centers of watchmaking in Europe. Grand Seiko is the most appealing line to connoisseurs of fine watchmaking, and we look at it in some depth here.
The Petite Aiguille category is for watches under 8,000 Swiss francs (approx $8,500). The contenders are Bell & Ross BR03-92 Ceramic Black Matte, Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono, Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Moonphase, Seiko Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT, TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Chronographe “Racing,” and the Zenith El Primero Synopsis.