GPHG 2023: Nominations for the Mechanical Clock of the Year Award

From a Ferrari-shaped clock to a football-sized mechanical marvel, this year’s nominees for the GPHG clocks category boast breathtaking design
GPHG 2023: Nominations for the Mechanical Clock of the Year Award
September 29, 2023
GPHG 2023: Nominations for the Mechanical Clock of the Year Award

Wall clocks, desk clocks or tower clocks are admired not just for their artistry, but also for their historical significance. This year, the clocks that are nominated in the Mechanical Clock category of Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2023 (GPHG 2023) are instruments whose main function is accurate time measurement.

GMT India takes a closer look at these extraordinary clocks.

Alain Silberstein Travel Alarm Clock iZman

Alain Silberstein began producing travel alarm clocks in the late 80s, inspired by L’Épée’s officers' clocks. The iZMAN (Ref. iZman 2023) has adopted the shape of a mobile phone and has a fold-out leg for it to stand vertically in a 150-piece limited edition series. 

The 74 x 144 mm clock gets a titanium case with black DLC coating and a Côtes de Genève, grainage, satinage dial. The iZman features a tourbillon movement with eight days of power reserve and displays the day, date, and two time zones, not to mention alarm chime. The transparent back of the iZMAN reveals a movement with a rigorous architecture and meticulously decorated bridges and plates.

L'Epée 1839 Time Fast II Chrome

The calibre, displaying hours and minutes on the dual air filters feeding the V8’s two banks of carburetors, has an eight-day power reserve and a 2.5 Hz escapement that is visible under the driver’s helmet. The Time Fast II clock, shaped as a Ferrari, is inspired by the racing sports cars of the 1960s, a golden era of long-distance automotive competition. It is L’Epée 1839’s second car-inspired clock, which has two movements (one for time and another for the engine automate). A special mention-deserving feature of this machine is a functional manual gear stick that selects the actions of time movement winding.

Maison Alcée Persée Azur

The Persée table clock consists of 233 components, 169 of which must be carefully assembled by an apprentice clockmaker. Only the regulating organ is pre-assembled, providing a unique opportunity to bring each and every detail to life.

The straight graining, circular satin finishing, chamfering, polishing, and sandblasting reflect the House’s signature expert craftsmanship and attention to detail. This 100 x 161mm clock is made of stainless steel and comes with 300 hours of power reserve. 

Matthew Norman Diaphane

Matthew Norman makes a vibrant comeback with the latest addition to its Diaphane collection: Diaphane in blue. The Matthew Norman caliber 1754 SKII has been skeletonised to reveal the exquisite intricacy of its wheels and escapement within the mechanical movement. This compact eight-day mechanism pulsates gracefully, in harmony with the passage of time.

The clock comes in a 120 x 129 mm palladium-plated brass case. Diaphane’s design accentuates the presence of the 18 jewels nestled within the movement, creating a mesmerising ballet that delights the senses. The timepiece features two vibrant blue plates, adding a touch of modernity and verticality to its overall aesthetics.

The Unnamed Society: The Champion Macassar

The brand’s watchmaking roots are in full bloom in a 100% Swiss-Made Haute Horlogerie concept, entirely developed in-house to create a unique piece of interior art. The Champion is a desk clock with a twist — it is hidden in an elaborately crafted geodesic sphere, making up the official football size! The clock serves as a miniature football pitch with a goalpost at 12 o’clock. The time, told in jumping hours and trailing minutes, is read from two discs at 6 o’clock.

The clock, self-adjusting with a play compensation system, is manually set (on the right side of the goalpost, looking at the goalkeeper) and wound (on the left side of the goalpost, looking at the goalkeeper) with a square key winder. The power reserve stands at 155 hours. The 205-component mechanical manufacture movement has been imagined and designed entirely in-house. Throughout The Champion’s development, Caliber ONE has been continually refined in close concert with The Unnamed Society’s designers to achieve the effect of a mechanism levitating in space.

Van Cleef & Arpels Éveil du Cyclamen Automaton

This cherished theme of the Maison comes alive in one automaton, Éveil du Cyclamen, which combines the reading of time on the base with a spellbinding spectacle. The one-of-one stands at 215 x 270 mm and comes in yellow gold, white gold, pink gold, with 192 hours of power reserve.

About 30 cm tall, this object – created in partnership with the François Junod workshop – displays the opening of a flower on demand, revealing a butterfly inside. The butterfly then returns to its place at the centre of the flower, which simultaneously and gently closes all its petals. Crystalline music, specifically composed for this automaton, accompanies this scene during the opening and closing of the flower.

Image Credits: GPHG