The GPHG Aiguille d’Or is always one of the most difficult prizes to predict, not only because all the watches entered are free to be chosen from, but also because so many are so good. The watch needs to be exceptional to win and it might even be a clock. What does our panel choose?
About Elizabeth Doerr
I am the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Quill & Pad. Specialized in horological publishing since my first Basel Fair in 1991, I have contributed to magazines, newspapers and websites too numerous to recount here.
My primary focus remains on the technical side of high watchmaking where progress meets tradition, but I often also profile the colorful personalities and historical elements that make up this surprisingly diverse and compelling world of ticks and tocks.
Entries by Elizabeth Doerr
Finally! After years of discussion that clocks should have a place, and some instances of clocks being included in categories that made little sense in 2021, the GPHG has created a category just for mechanical clocks. And, boy, what a complete smorgasbord of mechanical ingenuity! But what to choose?
Watches under 3,500 Swiss francs . . . now it gets interesting. And the competition gets even fiercer. This is the first horological category in which every one of the finalists deserves a place here, and any of them could win. So what did our peanut gallery pick?
Two regulators, a chronograph, a Spring Drive classic, a new steel sports watch with a twist on the seconds, and a Nixie tube watch: this is what our peanut gallery must choose a winner from in the Petite Aiguille category, finding the best value under CHF 10,000. A tall order!
Halloween, a word contracted from “All Hallow’s Eve,” is a predominately American celebration whose traditions come from late nineteenth-century Celtic origins. And along comes a modern mechanical time-telling spider in celebration, the MB&F Arachnophobia: a realistic-looking arachnid made of metal and other materials traditionally used in watchmaking. Look upon it if you dare!
Elizabeth took a look back at the meaning of time in the early seasons of ‘The Walking Dead,’ where the show’s creators appear to take time and timepieces seriously. And don’t worry, there are no spoilers and no zombies, just a lot of fun.
The 2022 GPHG Artistic Crafts finalists include some unique pieces, some small series pieces, and one comparatively large-volume piece (of 100 examples) by a bigger producer. All are beautiful and rare in their decorations, which include guilloche, engraving, enamel work, miniature painting, wood marquetry, gem setting, and Japanese lacquer work. So how did our peanut gallery vote?
Bell & Ross’s unique BR 01 Instrument stole the spotlight at its launch in 2005 thanks to its unusual circle-in-a-square case, becoming an instant hit. The BR 01 was then used as a jumping-off point for a variety of designs, beginning in 2009 with the then-trendy skull motif – which in Elizabeth Doerr’s eyes was a perfect addition. How has the skull motif evolved at Bell & Ross? Find out here!
We finally arrive at the 2022 GPHG Jewellery category, which is often the most varied in opinion as there is such wide room for taste. Seen among the competing watches are a couple familiar faces, a few bold choices, and even a wild card that might have gotten lost while carrying a pouch full of diamonds through a particle accelerator. What does our peanut gallery think? It’s divided.
What a pleasure to find a majority of real diver’s watches in the GPHG shortlist this year. While they can be worn without any worries behind the desk, as they most likely will be in 99.99 percent of cases, they are also up for some serious diving. Here is what our peanut gallery had to say about the nominees.