Scheduled for November 9 in Geneva, the 2023 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) will feature a total of 90 timepieces, including 84 watches and six clocks, vying for recognition across 15 distinct categories. Among these, the most coveted accolade, the "Aiguille d'Or" Grand Prix, awaits one exceptional timepiece. The GPHG, which transitioned into a public interest foundation in 2001, employs a meticulous selection process that involves active participation of the GPHG academy, consisting of several hundred members, who play a pivotal role in the nomination process. Furthermore, a panel of 30 experts will personally assess the final nominations before the prestigious GPHG awards ceremony at Théâtre du Léman in Geneva.
The evaluation criteria for the category of Iconic timepieces are not only based on design, but also on the rich heritage of a watch's lineage. This category, defined by such regulations as being confined to "watches stemming from an emblematic collection or model that has been exercising a lasting influence on watchmaking history and the watch market for more than 20 years”, certainly deserves special attention. Let's check out the remarkable nominees in the Iconic category:
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph
This is the inaugural Royal Oak Offshore, featuring a ceramic case and bracelet, the push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock as well as the screw-locked crown at 3 o’clock. The only elements contrasting with this ceramic ensemble are the eight white gold screws, securing the bezel and the eight luminescent hour markers on the dial. It is powered by the Calibre 4404, Audemars Piguet’s integrated chronograph movement with a flyback function. Worth noting, Audemars Piguet achieved Iconic category recognition in both 2021 and 2019.
Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41
In 1952, Willy Breitling introduced the Navitimer, a wrist-worn chronograph with a circular slide rule for aviation calculations. Two years later, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) endorsed the watch as its official timepiece. This iconic pilot's watch has been cherished by aviators and celebrities like Miles Davis, and has even ventured into space with astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1962. Now, the Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41 retains its classic charm with modern enhancements. A slimmer slide rule and domed crystal offer a sleeker profile while alternating polished and brushed metal elements provide a refined finish. The return of the AOPA wings to the 12 o'clock position is a nostalgic touch. Beneath the sapphire crystal caseback lies the Breitling Manufacture 01, a self-winding mechanical calibre with a remarkable 70-hour power reserve. Luminescent hands ensure readability in the dark and the ice-blue dial adds a contemporary touch to this legendary timepiece.
Chopard L.U.C 1860
Chopard's L.U.C collection draws inspiration from its inaugural timepiece of 1997. It combines a guilloché dial in salmon-coloured solid gold, a 36.5 mm Lucent Steel™ alloy case, and a finely crafted chronometer-certified movement, L.U.C Calibre 96.40-L. This movement features a gold micro-rotor and Chopard Twin technology with two barrels. The Lucent Steel™ alloy, known for its luminous brilliance, resistance, and purity, is made of 80% recycled steel. Chopard is committed to reaching 90% recycled steel in Lucent Steel™ by 2025, aligning with their sustainable luxury vision.
IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automatic 40
The Ingenieur Automatic 40 pays homage to Gérald Genta's iconic Ingenieur SL from the 1970s. It retains Genta's bold aesthetic while enhancing ergonomics, finishing, and technology. The 40 mm stainless steel case, bezel, and H-link bracelet boast polished and satin-finished surfaces. The IWC-manufactured 32111 calibre offers a 120-hour power reserve and protection from magnetic fields. This versatile luxury sports watch combines vintage charm with modern engineering.
TAG HEUER CARRERA CHRONOGRAPH
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the iconic Carrera timepiece, TAG Heuer presented a collector-favourite 'glassbox' design. This timeless and functional design has been refined for its seventh decade of service. The stainless steel case, measuring 39 mm, ensures universal appeal and comfort on wrists. The sapphire crystal mimics the vintage hesalite crystals of the 1970s Carrera models. The flange, the indexes, and the pushers are also carefully curved for enhanced aesthetics and functionality. This watch pays homage to the Carrera classics of the 1960s and comes with a black perforated calfskin leather strap.
Ulysse Nardin Freak ONE
The Freak collection represents modern horological art and groundbreaking mechanical expertise. The Freak ONE, the direct descendant of the original Freak 2001, features no dial, no hands, and no crown. It showcases the essence of Freak's 22-year history with an orbital flying one-hour carousel. The watch's movement allows time-setting through the bezel and winding through the caseback. It is powered by a silicon oscillator and hairspring, with DIAMonSIL escapement treatment for durability. The Grinder® winding system captures energy efficiently and the integrated rubber strap is made of 30% recycled production waste, emphasising Ulysse Nardin's commitment to sustainability.