Winners – 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève

The award ceremony of 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) just kicked off the biggest week in Geneva’s horological calendar.

Widely regarded as the all-encompassing awards of watchmaking, the GPHG is made up of fourteen prizes for individual categories, plus a special prize for the watch of there year. And here are the year’s winners.

Aiguille d’Or Grand

Recognised for its aesthetic and technical qualities – it is the thinnest perpetual calendar wristwatch ever – the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar took home the top prize of the event.


The winner certainly lives up to the name of the prize. The Louis Vuitton Tambour Carpe Diem is over the top but finely decorated in an artisanal manner, with an impressive movement that combines an automaton and minute repeater.


Deserving of its prize, the Bernhard Lederer Central Impulse Chronometer is one of the most technically impressive watches of 2021. And that’s because it’s kitted out with a double-wheel escapement powered by twin going trains, each equipped with a remontoir d’egalité constant force mechanism.

Men’s Watch

Grand Seiko’s Elegance SLGH005 “White Birch” is equipped with an impressive, latest-generation calibre, the cal. 9SA5. It was a worthy winner, though it has to be said that the competition was not especially strong this year.

Launched last year for Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary, the cal. 9SA5 is the brand’s highest-end mechanical movement to date. It’s high frequency with a longish 80 hour power reserve, though the real highlight is the Dual Impulse escapement and an overcoil hairspring with a unique curve.

Men’s Complication Watch

Created to mark the 10th anniversary of the Legacy Machine, the LMX combines features of the past LM models while incorporating several new ideas. It evokes the LM1 visually, but is equipped with a brand-new, triple-barrel movement that provides a weeklong power reserve.

Though not ultra-complicated, the LMX features complications such as the power reserve executed in an original manner, which can be said of few of the other nominees in this category.

Iconic Watch

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin is no doubt an iconic designs.

And it got even better with a platinum case and smoked, green dial. While the design is certainly not novel, it is extremely compelling.

Tourbillon Watch

The De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon is a inventive, complex, and two-faced watch that swivels on its floating, spring-loaded lugs. ‘Nuff said.

Chronograph Watch

The Zenith Chronomaster Sport boasts the brand’s latest-generation El Primero movement that previously installed only in limited editions.

The most notable feature of the El Primero 3600 movement inside is a lightning central seconds that makes one revolution every 10 seconds, allowing for recording of 1/10th of a second.

Petite Aiguille

Unsurprisingly, the Tudor Black Bay Ceramic claimed the Petite Aiguille, which is open to watches priced between 4,000 and 10,000 Swiss francs. As our founder put it, the Black Bay Ceramic is “strategic genius“, packed with features found only in more expensive, but intrinsically comparable, watches.

For the rest of the winners, visit


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Auction Watch: A Pair of Highly Important Pocket Watches

Tourbillon and grande sonnerie at Phillips.

Geneva auction week this year includes Only Watch, perhaps the headline event, but also a slew of other auctions.

Over at Phillips, the majority of its Geneva watch auction catalogue comprises wristwatches, but two standouts in the sale are pocket watches, one from an independent watchmaker and the other from an establishment brand. Different as they are, the two are are indeed an epic pair.

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV takes place on November 5 and 7, 2021.

Lot 183 – Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie Pocket Watch Ref. 768

There are a few reasons the Patek Philippe ref. 768 is intriguing, even though they might not be obvious at a glance.

For one, the ref. 798 is truly rare – Patek Philippe has only made a handful of grande sonnerie pocket watches in its history.

It incorporates the most challenging complication to execute, the grande et petite sonnerie, which means the watch chimes the time as it passes.

And it is a carillon, with three gongs instead of two, so that the quarter is sounded with three notes instead of the typical two.

Then there’s the fact that it’s a mid-20th century Patek Philippe, a guarantee of the  fine horological quality. The movement was made in 1898, but only cased up more than half a century later in 1953, and subsequently sold close to a decade after that.

This example is interesting because it has a single-lidded back that sports an extra-large, relief-engraved Calatrava cross on a frosted base. According to Phillips the oversized logo implies it might have been made for an exhibition.

While the movement is hidden it is no doubt finished to an exquisite level, putting it on par with the Philippe Dufour Grande Sonnerie pocket watch that’ll go under the hammer in the same sale.

The Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie Pocket Watch Ref. 768 is lot 183 – more details here.

Lot 193 – Urban Jürgensen Tourbillon Pocket Watch by Derek Pratt

Like the Patek Philippe ref. 768, the Urban Jürgensen tourbillon pocket watch is deceptively simple, with the complication hidden under the dial.

Tourbillon pocket watches were a big deal in the late 20th century, and those made by Derek Pratt were among the finest. They are restrained in aesthetics, but magnificent in quality – and mostly made by hand.

That, of course, has a lot to do with the movement

Derek Pratt made twenty or so tourbillon pocket watches for Urban Jürgensen, with each being slightly different. The biggest difference between examples is whether the movement incorporates Pratt’s signature constant-force mechanism.

The hands are crafted by hand and fired to achieve a deep blue finish

Like the dial, the movement is symmetrical in layout. The present example has twin barrels, which is given away by the barrel pivot jewels on the barrel bridge, and does without a remontoir.

It is elaborately finished in a traditional, low-key manner. One of its more attractive detail is the frosted top surface on the ends of the tourbillon bridge, which is flanked by thin, polished bevels and twin sharp exterior angles. This combination of finishes is more interesting than the black-polishing found in other examples of the same watch.

The balance is poised with a large number of screws, as is the case for vintage watches. Today, poising the balance can be easily done via laser-removal of extra mass from underneath the balance wheel

The present example has slightly angled stripes, while some other examples have U-shaped stripes that are even in angle on both ends

Both the regulator pin and the holder of the index are exquisitely shaped and black polished

The Urban Jürgensen Tourbillon Pocket Watch by Derek Pratt is lot 193. More details here.


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