Minutes & Seconds

Chopard wins top prize at watch Oscars

1. Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Arpels Papillon Automate 2. Zenith, Defy Lab 3. Vacheron Constantin, Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 4. Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo Automatic Football star David Beckham wears a Black Bay Chrono b
Football star David Beckham wears a Black Bay Chrono by Tudor.PHOTOS: BULGARI TUDORWATCH, VACHERON CONSTANTIN, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, ZENITH
Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Arpels Papillon AutomatePHOTOS: BULGARI TUDORWATCH, VACHERON CONSTANTIN, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, ZENITH
Zenith, Defy Lab
Zenith, Defy LabPHOTOS: BULGARI TUDORWATCH, VACHERON CONSTANTIN, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, ZENITH
Vacheron Constantin, Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
Vacheron Constantin, Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 PHOTOS: BULGARI TUDORWATCH, VACHERON CONSTANTIN, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, ZENITH
Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo Automatic
Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo AutomaticPHOTOS: BULGARI TUDORWATCH, VACHERON CONSTANTIN, VAN CLEEF & ARPELS, ZENITH

The watchmaker takes home the Aiguille d'Or at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve

Chopard struck a winning chord on Nov 8 when it walked away with the most coveted award at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve (GPHG) - the Oscars of the watchmaking industry - at the Grand Theatre de Geneve in Geneva.

The watchmaker bagged the Aiguille d'Or for its L.U.C. Full Strike watch at the 17th edition of the GPHG, founded in 2001 to honour the best in Swiss watchmaking traditions and the finest creations.

Released as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, Chopard's first minute repeater, the L.U.C Full Strike, took nearly six years to develop.

Boasting sapphire gongs, the timepiece chimes the hours, quarters and minutes on crystal gongs with crystal-clear clarity and comes with a slew of features to protect the watch against breakage if mishandled.

The watchmaker was also a winner in the Jewelry Watch Prize with its Lotus Blanc Watch, set with 25.66 carats of white diamond and boasting stunning petals and a flowing bracelet.

Other watchmakers awarded two prizes include Bvlgari for its Octo Finissimo Automatic (Men's Watch) and Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton (Tourbillon And Escapement), and Parmigiani.

The latter bagged awards for its Toric Hemispheres Retrograde (Travel Time Watch) and Tonda Chronor Anniversaire (Chronograph).

  • LIST OF WINNERS

  • Aiguille d'Or: Chopard, L.U.C. Full Strike

    Innovation: Zenith, Defy Lab

    Ladies' Watch: Chanel, Premiere Camelia Skeleton

    Ladies' High-Mech Watch: Van Cleef & Arpels, Lady Arpels Papillon Automate

    Men's Watch: Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo Automatic

    Chronograph Watch: Parmigiani Fleurier, Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

    Tourbillon and Escapement Watch: Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton

    Calendar Watch: Greubel Forsey, QP a Equation

    Travel Time Watch: Parmigiani Fleurier, Toric Hemispheres Retrograde

    Mechanical Exception Watch: Vacheron Constantin, Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

    Petite Aiguille Watch: Tudor, Black Bay Chrono

    Sports Watch: Ulysse Nardin, Marine Regatta

    Revival Watch: Longines Avigation BigEye

    Jewellery Watch: Chopard, Lotus Blanc Watch

    Artistic Crafts Watch: Voutilainen, Aki-No-Kure

    Special Jury Prize: Suzanne Rohr and Anita Porchet

In total, 72 entries competed for 16 awards. Other winning watchmakers included Chanel, Longines, Zenith, Tudor and Greubel Forsey.

Here are some of the victors:

Van Cleef & Arpels' Lady Arpels Papillon Automate

The winner of the Ladies' High-Mech Watch Prize, this number by Van Cleef & Arpels is a superb showcase of the artisanal skills of lapidaries, engravers, stone-setters and enamellers.

Staying true to its tradition of storytelling on its dial, the watch's butterfly flaps its wings one to four times in a row, depending on its power reserve.

The watch has a 40mm white gold case with a diamond-set bezel and crown, as well as a stunning dial crafted from, among other things, diamonds and sapphires as well as curved plique-a-jour enamel.

Zenith, Defy Lab

The Defy Lab's triumph in the Innovation category comes as no surprise because the brand new oscillator, which Zenith unveiled earlier this year, was truly groundbreaking.

The revolutionary movement ZO 342 does away with the coupled balance and hairspring ("sprung balance") system devised by the astronomer and physicist Christiaan Huygens in 1675, replacing it with a single element measuring just 0.5mm thick.

Dubbed the world's most accurate mechanical watch, it is also the first watch with a case made from Aeronith, the world's lightest aluminium composite material.

Tudor Black Bay Chronograph

Unveiled at this year's BaselWorld, the vintage inspired Tudor Black Bay Chronograph took home the Petite Aiguille prize.

Driving this handsome timepiece is a movement developed with Breitling.

Its other winning features include a silicon hairspring, automatic winding as well as three-day power reserve. The dial, taking a cue from Tudor's Black Bay model, has a fine, granular surface and also the same hour markers and snowflake hands.

Longines Avigation BigEye

Reissued from a chronograph from the 1930s, this winner in the Revival Watch category is a tribute to the golden age of aviation.

Nicely proportioned, it has a dapper-looking dial with classic Arabic numerals and faux patina for the indexes and hands to heighten the vintage vibe.

The Avigation BigEye is powered by the Longines proprietary movement, the Calibre L688, and has a power reserve of 54 hours.

Vacheron Constantin, Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

As expected, Vacheron Constatin's Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 took home the Mechanical Exception prize.

Combining astronomy and horology, it boasts 23 astronomical complications on the front and black dials and is the most complex timepiece the brand has created.

This unique watch took five years to develop and comes in a case which is 45mm in diameter and 13.6mm thick. It keeps time in three modes - civil, solar and sidereal - each with its own gear train.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2017, with the headline 'Chopard wins top prize at watch Oscars'. Print Edition | Subscribe