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 Ladies category are: Delaneau’s Rondo 42 Peony, the in-house Ulysse Nardin Jade, Hublot’s Big Bang Broderie, the Piaget Limelight Gala, the all-new Audemars Piguet Millenary, and the wonderfully crafted and priced Hermès Arceau Petite Lune with diamonds.
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.
A lot is changing at Ulysse Nardin, but then again a lot isn’t changing. What remains a constant at Ulysse Nardin are innovative products that continue to surprise and delight, getting better and better as the brand progresses deeper into its modern era. But, for me a big news item is what could be called the semi-retirement of Pierre Gygax from Ulysse Nardin, effective as of July 1, 2015. You may be surprised to learn just how important Gygax’s role at Ulysse Nardin was.
Ulysse Nardin’s Stranger burst onto the scene in 2013, the first wristwatch with a visible music box mechanism. It plays 16 seconds of Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.” The latest is a Stranger for the 2015 Only Watch auction, which is a one-of-one unique example that plays “We are the Champions” by Queen.
“Whether collecting art or watches, when I fall in love with something, then I need to understand, I need to research deeply,” Mo Coppeletta explains. “You may have taste, but if that isn’t backed up with knowledge then it is superficial.” Coppoletta was wearing an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Skeleton. “It’s my summer watch,” he commented. What else does he own and how did he get into collecting watches?
On May 1, 2015, Hartmut Kraft took over as the brand-new president and CEO of Kering North America, a position that includes leading three very well established brands, Ulysse Nardin, JeanRichard, and Girard-Perregaux in the North American markets. With his unbroken enthusiasm for watches, he is not “just” another executive in the watch industry, but rather a true watch enthusiast with genuine respectful admiration for horology. Read on to hear what he has discovered in his first days at Kering.
Ulysse Nardin was expected to introduce the Ulysse Anchor Escapement in a production watch. And with the Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon, the brand did not disappoint. In fact, this constant-amplitude escapement is now housed within a one-minute tourbillon for an added pinch of technical virtuosity.
Ulysse Nardin founded his company on the precision required for marine chronometers. So supporting a challenger for the 35th America’s Cup as its official partner more than makes sense, and supporting Artemis Racing makes the most sense of all.
Here we present four quite different styles commemorating the 2015 Chinese Year of the Goat with beautifully decorated dials by Jaquet Droz, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, and Arnold & Son. Shhhh…if you listen carefully you might even hear them bleat!
The first timepiece Donzé Cadrans and Ulysse Nardin worked on together was in the early 1980s: the complicated jacquemart-outfitted Hourstriker San Marco with its vibrant blue, which was the first enamel dial of the modern incarnation of Ulysse Nardin and perhaps of the Mechanical Renaissance. Follow us on a visit to Donzé Cadrans and learn about the unique 300-year-old process this one-of-a-kind dial maker utilizes to make its aesthetic elements.