The finalists for the Grand Prix Horologie De Genève are out. There are 14 categories with 12 watches per category. The official website has all the watches, complete with specifications and descriptions. Ain’t nobody got time for that. With the GPHG’s permission, we’re covering one category per day, highlighting three of the most interesting per category. Most likely to win? We shall see. Ladies first . . .
There are two sub-catagories for ladies’ watches: ladies and ladies’ complication. Here are three of the best XX chromosome-oriented “uncomplicated” timepieces with edited excerpts from the official description:
Twenty years after its creation, Arnaud Chastaingt, director of the CHANEL Watch Creation Studio gave the J12 a makeover without touching the very identity that built its legend and its success.
To increase the dial opening, the bezel was refined: the number of its notches increased from 30 to 40 and the typeface of its numerals and indexes were redesigned. In the same vein, the width of the crown was reduced by a third, like the ceramic cabochon that adorns it.
In the center of the dial, indicators have been added to the inner railway, which itself has also been re-worked with refinement. The original typeface of the numerals was also redesigned by the CHANEL Creation Studio to enhance and refine it. The numerals applied to the dial are now in ceramic.
The hours and minutes hands are now the same width with a dimensional adjustment of the luminescent areas in black Super-LumiNova on the black J12 and in white on the white J12, for a negative effect.
The thickness of the case was slightly increased while maintaining the J12’s fluid lines. By softening and rounding its profile, the case appears no thicker than before. The bassine case and the design of the new bracelet, subtly modified with extended links, accentuate this optical illusion and finesse. Finally, the original bi-material case with its steel bottom no longer exists.
The latest J12 now has a one-piece ceramic case equipped with a sapphire crystal so the new 12.1 caliber automatic movement, specially developed by the new Suisse Kenissi Manufacture in which CHANEL is a shareholder, can be seen to be admired. The oscillating weight has been totally redesigned in tungsten to produce its openwork while maintaining efficient rewinding power, as the CHANEL Creation Studio wanted a perfect circle, one of the graphic signatures of CHANEL Haute Horlogerie.
The caliber 12.1, a chronometer certified by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres), offers 70-hour power reserve.
OUR TAKE: If affordability sways the judges, the CHANEL takes it. It’s a wonderful elegant, understated yet commanding design for women who don’t want to buy into the “delicate jewelery” watch vibe that typifies the field.
Moritz Grossman Tefnut Arabian Nights Milanaise – 53’530 CHF ($54,428.06)
The TEFNUT 1001 Nights’ case and dial are set with a total of 122 diamonds. The dial is assembled elaborately by hand using the finest and precisely cut mother-of-pearl plates. Due to the varying colours of the mother-of-pearl, each image is a small unique specimen. 62 white brilliant-cut diamonds and a radiant, asymmetrical guilloche lend the dreamlike motif a sparkling frame.
The TEFNUT 1001 Nights’ elaborate Milanaise bracelet is made in white or rose gold to match the case and lends the watch its perfect elegance. The folding clasp can be variably adjusted and easily released.
The black Roman numerals and the unmistakable lance-shaped Grossmann hands stand out harmoniously against the delicate line structure of the dial. The white or rose gold case gently widens from the crown to the 9 o’clock side. The bezel is set with 60 white diamonds. Two freely suspended lugs fixed to one side of the case easily pick up on the exciting asymmetry of the design. Like the crown, the lugs are graced with blue cabochons.
The TEFNUT 1001 Nights features the characteristic movement elements of the calibre 102.0: cantilevered balance cock with the Grossmann micrometer screw, raised gold chatons, a separately removable winder module, and the mass-optimised Grossmann balance. The sapphire crystal back on the back of the watch reveals the radiant high-artistic finish of the movement.
OUR TAKE: As A. Lange & Sohne’s sales will attest, asymmetry is a thing, and the TEFNUT has it. The lack of numerals on the watch’s right side is a clever touch and the workmanship and watchmaking is insane. As it should be at $54k. It’s traditional yet adventurous. A strong contender.
BVLGARI Sepenti Seduttori Pink Gold and Diamonds – 27’100 CHF ($27,574.80)
This new collection features an unprecedented design that represents a bold new chapter for the world of Serpenti timepieces with its iconic drop-shaped watch head, a motif that comes from the Serpenti Tubogas watch.
Serpenti is known for its recognizable case shape and the new Seduttori is thinner than ever before; it has a flexible new bracelet inspired by the original Serpenti watches and is crowned in cabochon-cut gemstones in a nod to Bvlgari’s DNA as the Roman jeweler. The collection includes watches in rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and diamond pavé.
The new Serpenti Seduttori collection is the ultimate expression of that character. The drop-shaped case and stylized hexagonal bracelet links are perfectly integrated and emphasize a new interpretation of the theme, celebrating the eternal renewal of the icon that was “born to be gold.” Seduttori literally flows on the wrist and radiates an unmistakable aura of power and sensuality.
OUR TAKE: The description’s a bit florid, but they’re not wrong: this deeply sensual piece refines the as-yet-unawarded Serpenti collection by not wrapping the astounding bracelet around a buyer’s wrist like a coiled snake. If the judges feel the collection finally deserves the nod, nod they will.