De Bethune took the supreme award at the eleventh Grand Prix d’horlogerie de Genève, for its stunning DB28 model. Boucheron’s Crazy Jungle Hathi won the Ladies’ Watch of the Year prize. The Men’s Watch trophy went to Hermes. Tag Heuer received another great honor for its revolutionary Mikrotimer Flying 1000 Chronograph. This prestigious event, organized in the city’s Grand Théâtre hosted more than 1,500 people.
Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix is the major event for the entire watchmaking industry that highlights the greatest achievements in terms of technology, design and inventiveness. This November, for the first time, it was organized by the Foundation of the Grand Prix d’horlogerie de Genève, consisting of five members (Republic and Canton of Geneva, City of Geneva, International Watch Museum of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Timelab and the Edipresse Group), which took the event on an even higher level.
De Bethune’s trio, David Zanetta, Denis Flageollet and Pierre Jacques received the major prize, “Aiguille d’or”, for its DB28 model, an ultra-light titanium watch with an over-sized dial which beauty reveals both, the heart of the movement, and the platinum and blued-steel spherical moon phase, rotating on its own axis. Its in-house DB2115 automatic movement is built of 276 components, including a self regulating twin-barrel and a slick silicon and platinum balance wheel. The price of this masterpiece is around 80,000 Swiss Francs (around 87,600 US dollars).
The jury of the eleventh Grand Prix d’horlogerie de Genève decided to award Boucheron with the Ladies’ Watch Prize, for Crazy Jungle Hathi watch. This extra- luxury timepiece, available either in white or rose gold, presents an amazing shimmering design that takes a breath away. Directly inspired with India, the country that had strong links with the luxury watchmaker in the past, the Crazy Jungle Hathi displays a ceremonial elephant of the royalty, paved with shining white diamonds, blue or yellow sapphires and green tsavorites. The amazing luxury of hundreds sparkling stones, striking design and a colorful story are not all that this watch offers. Its GP4000 Caliber automatic movement with an additional “Crazy Seconds” module, displayed through delicate gold, tear drop shaped apertures, is another proof that the prize went to the best. It is available for around 72,000 US dollars.
Another ladies’ timepiece that won the prize at the Geneva 2011 Watchmaking Grand Prix is Van Cleef & Arpels Polar Landscape Seal Deco – Best Jewel and Arts & Crafts Watch. The Men’s Watch of the Year is Hermès Temps Suspendu (read my review of Hermes Only Watch Arceau Time Suspended Watch), while the Urwerk’s UR-110 took the honor for the best design.
Just 2 months after it won the SIAR “Best Concept of the Year” in Mexico City, the world’s fastest mechanical chronograph, Tag Heuer Mikrotimer Flying 1000 was honored again, taking the prize in the Best Sports Watch category. The prize for the best grand complication went to Zenith for its Academy Christophe Colomb Equation of Time watch.
Thanks to the public votes, Audemars Piguet’s Millenary 4101 went to the top. The Star Worldtime GMT Automatic watch brought Montblanc among the best, wining the “Petite Aiguille”, while the Special Jury Prize honored the Patek Philippe Museum, which retraces more than 500 years of watchmaking history.
At the end, we should mention that Vianney Halter received the prestigious award as the best watch designer, while Benjamin Gacond was honored for being the best student at the Geneva School of Watchmaking.