Our Quill & Pad panelists discuss the virtual evening of the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève and what we thought of the big night’s winners. Plus we reveal how good (or poor) our predictions were.
The GPHG Aiguille d’Or rewards the best of the best. Which watch will be watch of the year? Our panelists think that there are three contenders, with two in particular most likely to take the prize. Which watch do you think deserves the accolade for best watch of 2020?
Watches entered into the Challenge category are offered for a retail price under 4,000 Swiss francs. This is perhaps the most popular category as it’s for watches that more people can afford, and the competition is tough. Which explains why our panel of five has three different picks for the winner.
The GPHG Petite Aiguille category is for watches with a retail price between 4,000 and 10,000 Swiss francs. This is a category that stands closer to the general public as it comprises watches that are far more affordable than the other categories except the Challenge category (under 4,000 Swiss francs).
Watches in the Artistic Crafts category demonstrate exceptional mastery of one or several artistic techniques such as enameling, lacquering, engraving, guilloche (engine turning), skeletonizing, and more. Which make comparisons between the different crafts extremely difficult. But our five panelists accept the challenge and come up with three predicted winners.
The GPHG foundation’s rules for the Jewellery category state that the watches must demonstrate exceptional mastery of the art of jewelry and gem setting. This is an especially difficult category to judge from still photos as you really need to touch and manipulate the jewelry and see the gems reflecting from different angles. Our panelists settle on two favorites as top contenders despite the fact that they haven’t had a chance to handle these treasures.
The GPHG Diver’s category contains watches linked to the field of diving, whose functions, materials, and design are suited to this activity. Diver’s watches are fairly straightforward and the most successful ones tend look very much alike. However most of our panelists selected a winner from the outfield that looked very different to the norm.
Is the universal attraction of a chronograph found in the ability to control part of the timekeeping yourself using the often-dynamic-looking extra dials and hands? For the GPHG, at any rate, this is an important category with, as usual, a very strong lineup. So how is our panel leaning when it comes to picking a winner? Find out here.
The Mechanical Exception category features men’s or ladies’ watches with a special mechanism such as an innovative or sophisticated display, an automaton, a belt-driven movement, a striking or other acoustic function, or any other original and/or exceptional horological concept. And we surely have an intriguing set of finalists in the Mechanical Exception category this year: everything from a tumbling triple-axis tourbillon to an electronically controlled hybrid timepiece to a paper-thin mechanical watch and an automaton minutely replicating a 16-cylinder engine. And even more!
The GPHG Calendar and Astronomy category emphasizes astronomical and/or calendar complications included in men’s watches. Sorry, ladies’ watches, you don’t seem to count here. The six nominated watches cover quite a wide gamut of styles, complications, and price categories. And our panelists’ picks for winner cover a rather wide gamut as well.