FAMILIAR FACES

Hong Kong Tatler - - Watches -

of ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign, not to men­tion mu­sic, to al­low us to tap into their in­di­vid­ual view­points. The ex­pan­sion has made the jury meet­ing a much richer ex­pe­ri­ence, for we are able to take many dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives into ac­count; it has cer­tainly broad­ened my point of view and al­lowed me to see the par­tic­u­lar mer­its of each watch that was pre­sented.

While the gen­eral for­mat has re­mained the same, the cat­e­gories have been fur­ther re­fined, fo­cus­ing more on spe­cific com­pli­ca­tions rather than group­ing them, as was the prac­tice in the past. This has lev­elled the play­ing field, for it was felt that the generic term “com­pli­ca­tions” wasn’t spe­cific enough, and that it would be best to com­pare like with like, so that strik­ing watches and cal­en­dars could com­pete more evenly.

I be­lieve th­ese changes have been very well re­ceived through­out the in­dus­try, as we saw quite a num­ber of new and re­turn­ing brands en­ter­ing the 2014 edi­tion. It doesn’t make the jury se­lec­tion any eas­ier—on the con­trary—but it’s a wel­come chal­lenge. The jury dis­cus­sion this year was lively and al­ways cor­dial. We were all keen to han­dle the watches that were en­tered in the Grand Prix, and to ex­am­ine each of them closely.

For each cat­e­gory, each jury mem­ber’s votes are han­dled con­fi­den­tially and are im­me­di­ately tab­u­lated by a no­tary. Although we may have an idea of which watch will be the ul­ti­mate win­ner in each cat­e­gory, based on our dis­cus­sions, we are not in­formed of the re­sults un­til the event it­self, when we open the en­velopes, on stage, at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.

The en­ergy that evening is pal­pa­ble, as ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the jury mem­bers, tries to guess in ad­vance which watch will win its cat­e­gory—and which time­piece will take away the ul­ti­mate prize, the Aigu­ille d’or. Breguet’s Clas­sique Chronométrie 7727 took home the cov­eted prize in 2014 for its com­bi­na­tion of time­less, clas­si­cal de­sign and cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy.

One ques­tion I am in­evitably asked af­ter the prizes are handed out is why this or that watch—a watch that wasn’t put for­ward— didn’t get re­warded. The fact is, we rely en­tirely on the brands en­ter­ing their watches in the com­pe­ti­tion, and we can­not go be­yond the list of watches that we’re handed for our eval­u­a­tion. It’s a mes­sage I can­not em­pha­sise enough, not only to watch en­thu­si­asts, but also to the man­age­ment of the brands them­selves; un­til the watches are en­tered, we can­not take them into ac­count.

I hope those on the side­lines will see that the jury and the foun­da­tion have put ev­ery ef­fort into en­sur­ing that the GPHG re­mains the ul­ti­mate cel­e­bra­tion for the en­tire in­dus­try, and that they will be en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in the not-too-dis­tant fu­ture. In the mean­time, I’d like to per­son­ally congratulate each and ev­ery win­ner for 2014.

MORE THAN 1,500 PEO­PLE AT­TENDED THE EVENT; A. LANGE & SÖHNE’S WAL­TER LANGE WON THE SPE­CIAL JURY PRIZE AIGU­ILLE D’OR LADIES’ WATCH

BLANC­PAIN OFF- CEN­TRED HOUR TOUR­BIL­LON GRÖNEFELD PAR­AL­LAX TOUR­BIL­LON

BREGUET CLAS­SIQUE CHRONOMÉTRIE

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