The Aiguille d’Or celebrates the best watch of the year, all categories included. This year, the GPHG 2019 gives full credit to a mechanically impressive watch, the commercial version of the RD#2 Concept, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin. This piece, with its 2.89mm thick movement and 6.3mm thick case, is the thinnest perpetual calendar ever created by the watch industry. This was made possible by extensive work on the movement, by removing some of the usual layers of a QP, shaving millimetres everywhere in the movement and the case. And with its classic Royal Oak look and titanium case, it is one surprisingly wearable piece.
The innovation prize rewards the best watch, presented in one of the fourteen categories, that offers an innovative vision of time measurement (in terms of technique, design, materials, etc.) and opens up new development pathways for the art of watchmaking.
The award went to Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, a watch with a perpetual calendar function that features not one but two regulating organs, which can be switched by simply pressing a button on the side of the case. This way, it can store up to 65 days of power reserve almost eliminating the need to adjust the QP function.
At GPHG 2019, Bulgari was awarded the chronograph watch prize of the year for Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, an impressive new chronograph complication in its series of ultra-thin watches, the Octo Finissimo. Being the thinnest chronograph movement and watch ever created, and in addition to that with automatic winding and a GMT complication, it is a massive achievement for the brand.
The iconic watch prize went to Audemars Piguet for its iconic Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-thin, especially the white gold version of the 15202 with a striking pink gold coloured dial. The launch of this particular model was 25 years ago.
Audemars Piguet also took the Men’s Complication watch for its Code 11.59. This category celebrates men’s watches that are remarkable in terms of their mechanical creativity and complexity. The watch is an upgraded minute repeater with several innovative solutions to improve both the quality and the volume of the sound produced. In addition to that, the Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie features a superb gradient blue enamel dial.
This year with the men’s watch prize category, the GPHG 2019 once again rewards the work of independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen and his 28TI model, a watch with an inverted movement that allows you to contemplate the beauty of the hand finishing.
The Chronometry prize concerns mechanical watches comprising at least one tourbillon and/or a special escapement and/or another development improving chronometry (precision timekeeping). After winning the GPHG in 2016, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud is back in the game with a new prize.
In the mechanical of watches comprising at least one calendar and/or astronomical complication (e.g. date, annual calendar, perpetual calendar, equation of time, complex moon phases display, etc.), the GPHG 2019 awards the Hermès Arceau L’heure de la lune – and rightfully so, as this watch not only has an elegant and poetical design but also a rather fascinating display where the indications rotate around the dial to indicate the moon phases.
The horological revelation prize rewards a watch, created by a young brand (less than ten years of existence since its first model was commercialised) and entered in one of the fourteen categories. As such, MING watches is a great example of a newcomer in the watch industry that managed to create its own style, with great-looking watches.
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