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