Last night — as watch lovers know — the annual Grand Prix de Horlogerie de Geneve — GPHG — awards were held. The awards (which this year were given to 14 category watch winners and one Special Jury Prize) are often acclaimed by many in the industry as the watch world’s Red Carpet or Academy awards. Sorry, world, I beg to differ. At the risk of upsetting the organizers of the GPHG — a 15-year-long event thus far — and at the risk of being called out on the carpet (hope it’s a red one) for posting this opinion, the awards just are not far-sweeping or all-encompassing enough to be “Academy.” To begin with, there are fees involved in the submission of watches to each of the categories. I don’t think the stars at the real Academies pay a fee to be on the “Please consider me” list. Secondly, some of the world’s finest watch brands don’t submit their watches for consideration in any of the categories. In the past three years at least half a dozen of the top brands belonging to the Richemont Group never even entered a “participant” watch. So I question this simply: how can we have a grand selection of the finest watch brands in the world when many of the finest opt out?
This is not to diminish the beauty of the event, or the celebration of the winners. In fact, it is a grand state of affairs when more than 160 watches are entered into the “contest” for consideration. The winners deserve to be recognized and honored. I salute the winners of all of the categories this year and every other year. I also salute the participant brands and watches, because — let’s face it — I don’t always think the judging results are in line with reality. I think it would be interesting to see the runners up in each category — if not to have them recognized in an announcement on stage during the long evening, but to have them posted somewhere for those interested to peruse.
Meanwhile, let me congratulate all of this year’s winners in each category, which you can see by viewing the slideshow below.