Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is the world’s best watch for 2019
Audemars Piguet emerged as the big winner at the 19th edition of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva last Friday. The annual awards ceremony is the most prestigious in the world of watches. Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin, which was hailed last year as the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar when launched last year, walked away with the `Aiguille d’Or’ or Golden Needle award, the biggest prize of the evening. The titanium watch, with a platinum bezel, is just 6.3 mm thick with a 2.88 mm thin movement, a feat achieved by merging the usual three layers of a perpetual calendar into just one.
The Swiss brand also scored in two other important categories. The Royal Oak `Jumbo’ Extra-Thin, the new version of the iconic 39 mm Royal Oak from 1972, won the Iconic Watch prize. While the Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie was declared the winner in the Men’s Complication Watch category. It is an unusual striking watch that stands out for its great acoustics achieved through an unconventional design where the sounding gongs are not attached to the mainplate, but to a new device acting as soundboard.
Bulgari was the other big winner of the evening. The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, which combines a second time zone function with a chronograph and at just 6.9 mm boasts of being the thinnest chronograph ever, won the Best Chronograph prize. The Best Jewelry Watch prize was awarded to Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi Romani, a near $2 million creation that is studded with 60 carats of diamonds and 35 carats of sapphires.
Finnish watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, who founded the boutique luxury watch company Voutilainen in Switzerland in 2002 also had a big night. The striking Voutilainen 28ti, a watch without a dial, won the best Men’s Watch Prize, while the colourful Voutilainen Starry Night Vine with its Japanese lacquer and cloisonné enamel dial won the Artistic Crafts prize.
Chanel’s J12 Caliber 12.1, the new 20th anniversary version of the popular iconic J12 dive watch launched in 1999, was declared the best Ladies Watch, while Legacy Machine FlyingT, a flying tourbillon which is the first dedicated ladies watch from the maverick watch maker MB& F, won the Ladies’ Complication Watch Prize.
Prospex LX Line, Seiko’s much admired new flagship sports watch won best Diver’s Watch prize, while Hermes’ impressive double moon-phase complication Arceau L’heure de la lune was the winner in the Calendar and Astronomy Watch category.
`Vacheron Constantin deservedly won the Innovations Prize for its Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, a watch that has been an object of much admiration this year for its ability at lossless timekeeping transition between high-frequency Active mode (5Hz) and low-frequency Standby mode (1.2Hz), which allows for a standby mode that extends the watch’s power reserve to as much as 65 days.