Conspicuously absent from recent editions, Swatch Group brands took four distinctions at this year‘s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, with Breguet claiming the most prestigious award. Independent watchmakers were also out in force, while Seiko took the honours in one category.
Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann had some home truths for the audience gathered at the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). “It would be impossible to imagine Switzerland’s industrial fabric without watchmaking,” he declared, “Just as we could not imagine our modern world without time measurement, the only truly universal measure. It is behind our market economy and, transposed to Replica Breitling Watches for Men , Switzerland’s finest ambassador.”
One that would be certain to agree is Breguet, recipient of the Grand Prix de l’Aiguille d’Or, the highest distinction of the evening, for its Classique Chronométrie. In recent years, Swatch Group had left the ceremony empty-handed; this year marked a return worthy of the prodigal son. In addition to the Aiguille d’Or, Breguet also took the Public Prize for its Classique Dame. Omega swept the board in the Revival Watch category with its Speedmaster “Dark Side Of The Moon”, a tribute to the brand’s role in the conquest of space. As for Blancpain, also in the multinational’s portfolio, its Women Off-Centred Hour came first in the Ladies’ Replica Watches category.
This turned out to be a memorable evening overall for the industry’s major groups, particularly as the number of awards continues to creep upwards. This year, seventeen prizes were presented at a ceremony that likes to bill itself as the horological equivalent of the Oscars. Lining up for the photo were A. Lange & Söhne (Richemont) in the Calendar Watches category, joined by Hublot, Zenith and Bulgari (LVMH) in the Striking, Sports and Jewellery Watch categories respectively. Another of the sector’s leading names to take its place on the winner’s rostrum, after a long journey, was Seiko. Its Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT was singled out for the Petite Aiguille, a distinction reserved for Offical Replica Watches UK under CHF 8,000. A full-fledged manufacture with numerous major innovations to its credit, the Japanese firm was clearly delighted to earn the recognition of its Swiss peers. “This is the greatest possible encouragement to continue in our chosen direction,” the company’s Vice President declared.
Seiko wasn’t the only winner from beyond Swiss borders. Luxembourg’s Helmut Crott, who owns Danish brand Urban Jürgensen & Sonner, took home the Men’s Watch Prize; Dutch brothers Bart and Tim Grönefeld scooped the Tourbillon Watch Prize; Finnish watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, who is based in Môtier, won in the Artistic Crafts Watch category for Hisui, a stunning creation featuring lacquerwork by one of the most prestigious Japanese studios that took over a thousand hours to achieve. Completing this line-up of independent brands were Christophe Claret, winner of the Ladies’ High Mech Watch Prize, De Béthune in the Chronograph category, and Urwerk whose EMC took both the Innovation Prize and the Mechanical Exception Prize. The last word goes to Walter Lange, the man who engineered the revival of A. Lange & Söhne and winner of the Special Jury Prize: “Watches are a passion!”.