Bulgari walked away with the Aiguille d’Or Grand Prix at last night’s GPHG Awards, the equivalent of a Best Picture Oscar, for its Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar.
Bulgari’s watch was not the only super-slim complication to catch the judges’ eye.
Piaget was also honoured for its Altiplano Ultimate Automatic, which scooped the Mechanical Exception Watch Prize.
Richemont’s Piaget was among three brands to be presented with two gongs, bookending the Mechanical Exception Watch Prize trophy with the Ladies’ Watch Prize for its Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow.
MB&F also bagged a brace with victory in the Men’s Complication Watch Prize for its LMX Titanium and the Artistic Crafts Watch Prize for the LM SE Eddy Jaquet ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ watch.
And Louis Vuitton will be overjoyed at a double victory, scooping the Audacity Prize for its Tambour Carpe Diem and the Diver’s Watch Prize for the Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue.
Naturally, the GPHG prize list is dominated with Swiss watchmakers, but Japan’s Grand Seiko elbowed out the competition to secure the Men’s Watch Prize for its Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours Caliber 9SA5 with a dial crafted to look like the bark of a white birch tree.
The watch will be on show at WATCHPRO Salon from November 12 to 13 at The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square.
Walk-ups are welcome or you can buy tickets in advance by clicking here.
Although giants including Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe and Omega do not put forward watches for the GPHG, the judging process did honour a handful of commercial brands.
Along with Grand Seiko and Bulgari, Audemars Piguet won the Iconic Watch Prize for its green dialed Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin; Zenith bagged the Chronograph Watch Prize for its big launch for 2021, the Chronomaster Sport; Tudor was chosen in the “Petite Aiguille” Prize category for its Black Bay Ceramic.
A Special Jury Prize went to Dubai Watch Week, an exhibition and forum run by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons that will take place in the UAE later this month.
By GPHG tradition and design, the bulk of the winners were handmade high end complications and fine jewellery pieces from the likes of MB&F, De Bethune, Christiaan Van Der Klaauw, Van Cleef & Arpels, Furlan Marri and Chopard.
Full list of GPHG Prize Winners
Ladies’ Complication Watch Prize: Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Féerie Watch.
Men’s Watch Prize: Grand Seiko, Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours Caliber 9SA5.
Men’s Complication Watch Prize: MB&F, LMX Titanium.
Iconic Watch Prize: Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin.
Tourbillon Watch Prize: De Bethune, DB Kind of Two Tourbillon.
Calendar and Astronomy Watch Prize: Christiaan Van Der Klaauw, CVDK Planetarium Eise Eisinga.
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Piaget, Altiplano Ultimate Automatic.
Chronograph Watch Prize: Zenith, Chronomaster Sport.
Diver’s Watch Prize: Louis Vuitton, Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue.
Jewellery Watch Prize: Chopard, Flower Power.
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: MB&F, LM SE Eddy Jaquet ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’.
“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Tudor, Black Bay Ceramic.
Challenge Watch Prize: CIGA Design, Blue Planet.
Innovation Prize: Bernhard Lederer, Central Impulse Chronometer.
Audacity Prize: Louis Vuitton, Tambour Carpe Diem.
Special Jury Prize: Dubai Watch Week.