Every year the Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Genève, known as the Oscars of watchmaking, recognizes the best watches of the year in a dozen categories, culminating in the Aiguille d’Or, or Grand Prize. This year’s winner, chosen as a finalist by a panel of judges and then as a winner by a 29-member jury, was Audemars Piguet for its Code 11.59 Ultra-Complication Universelle RD#4. The watch, with 40 functions, including 23 complications and 17 technical devices, was seven years in development and comprises over 1,100 components. The 23 complications include all the big ones: grande sonnerie supersonnerie, petite sonnerie, minute repeater, perpetual calendar, split-seconds flyback chronograph, flying tourbillon and moon phase. The 17 technical devices refer to mechanisms incorporated into the movement that optimize functions.
The Ladies’ Watch prize, always a hotly contested category, went to Piaget for its Hidden Treasures entry, with a dial partially covered by the bracelet in a way that looks like the metal was randomly torn away, leaving an asymmetrical rough edge. It partially covers the dial, made of turquoise. The half bezel is set with sapphires.
Independent watchmaker Laurent Ferrier took the prize in the Tourbillon category for his Grand Sport Tourbillon Pursuit, a rarity with a steel case and a salmon dial that does not show the tourbillon carriage like most traditional tourbillons – it can be seen only through the sapphire caseback.
Not surprisingly, Bulgari took home the trophy for the best jewelry watch, with its Serpenti Cleopatra, an elaborate snake-themed cuff watch in pink gold set with diamonds, rubellites, topaz, tanzanite, and amethyst.
Another deserving winner was independent watchmaker Simon Brette, who won the Horological Revelation category for his Chronomètre Artisans, an exquisitely hand made and lavishly finished limited edition of 12 pieces, with dials engraved to resemble “dragon scales.”
Rolex sister brand Tudor took the prize for the sports watch category, with its Pelagos 39; Kari Voutilainen won the Men’s Complication category for his World Timer; and Ferdinand Berthoud took the Chronometry prize for its Chronomètre FB 3SPC. The full list of winners is available here.