The end of the year is the appropriate time to examine and evaluate the products that have been presented since January. The main event in November is certainly the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix ceremony. However, there is one more major event in Geneva that rewards the most successful products. It is The Watches Days exhibition, traditionally held during mid-November. The event takes place at Espace Hippomne with a free public admission. Each of the visitors can cast a vote for the top models, and in the end, these votes decide which the best models of the year are. The fact that there is no jury is the specific feature of the event. In fact, it is the only manifestation with this type of voting in Switzerland.
There are three categories in which the accolades, named Grand Prix Du Public are awarded. The prizes are given to the best male and female watch. Besides, there is the award for the best horological novelty. For 2011, the visitors of the exhibition picked Breguet Hora Mundi as the best men’s timepiece. The chosen wristwatch for ladies is Van Cleef & Arpels Butterfly Symphony, and the top New Watchmaking Award was given to MB&F Legacy Machine 1 Timepiece.
After the explanation of the nature of the way these awards are given, let us take a closer look at the models that received the prizes. For the second consecutive year, the best watch for gentlemen is the product by Breguet. The Grand Prix De Public 1ere Montre Homme Award was snatched by Breguet Classic Hora Mundi model, presented at this year’s edition of Baselword, as we previously reported. This amazing timepiece is the very first mechanical watch that enables instant jump between two previously selected time zones. It is constructed from valuable materials: two available options for 44 mm wide and 13.5 mm thick case are 950 platinum or rose gold.
The case of the model involves exclusive finishes with fluted sides in the middle. The quite admirable solid gold face of the watch is hand-engraved and available in three versions. Each of them depicts a part of the world (the Americas, Europe or Asia), as it is suitable for a watch with multiple time-zones. Besides, the dial includes a calendar and a breathtaking night and day indication. The sky in this display is represented with lapis lazuli, while the stars are depicted with the use of pyrite inclusions. The sun and the moon on this indication are constructed of solid gold.
The pick of the public in the category of ladies’ timepieces is the Butterfly Symphony Watch (the reference number VCARN 9VG00), a part of the Complications Poétiques Collection (Poetic Complications). This model is like the men’s winner made with an extremely captivating dial. This watch uses quite an interesting principle to tell the time. The dial includes two butterflies that move around the dial. One of them is the indication of hours, while the other displays minutes. This is possible due to the retrograde movement. The mechanism in question is hand-wound mechanical movement with the frequency of 21600 vph and the power reserve of 39 hours.
The New Watchmaking Award was given to Legacy Machine 1 timepiece by MB&F Watches. It is an extreme product that can be interpreted as both futuristic and classical. This amazing watch is quite a spectacle and includes unique features. Its face, protected with a highly domed sapphire crystal, is dominated with the oversized balance wheel that oscillates at 2.5 Hz, placed at the front and clearly visible. Likewise, you cannot miss two dials that display completely independent dual time zones. Another unique trait is the very first vertical power reserve indication. The special hand-wound movement developed exclusively for MB&F by Chronode has 23 jewels. It consists of 279 components and has a power reserve of 45 hours. The watch is fitted in an 18k rose or white gold case, with the diameter of 44 mm and the thickness of 16 mm. Available options for bracelets are black and brown hand-stitched straps with a tang buckle that matches the chosen case.