The results are in! If you’re a watch enthusiast, you marked this night on your calendar a long time ago. Yesterday, the Oscars of the watch industry were handed out at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) 2021. On a night that celebrates the best the watch industry has to offer, the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar took home the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix 2021 for the best watch at this year’s show. At an event that featured some of the best and most remarkable watches currently available, a total of 19 prizes were awarded in different categories. We were at the awards show to bring you the best watches of 2021.
Geneva is the center of the world’s watch industry, and every year, the spotlights turn to the Swiss city for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Since 2000, La Fondation du Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève has organized the GPHG. The winners are chosen by a jury that consists of a select group of 30 prominent people from the industry.
This year’s jury president was English historian, author, and journalist Nick Foulkes. Other jury members included writers, historians, retailers, and industry leaders from all over the world. GPHG 2021 took place at the Théâtre du Léman in Geneva, Switzerland. The theater is housed in the 5-star Grand Hotel Kempinski, overlooks Lake Geneva, and was the perfect setting for a night of celebration.
The “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix 2021
So, let’s check out some of the most popular categories and find out who took the first prize. It also gives us a chance to check whether Chrono24’s own Thomas Hendricks was right in last week’s article when he made his predictions for this year’s show. For a complete list of winners, scroll to the end of the article. The “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix 2021 is the evening’s grand prize for the best watch of the year. This time, it went to the brilliant Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar – a watch that brings a stunning mix of technical innovation and iconic looks, and is a deserved winner. It’s one of many groundbreaking Octo Finissimo models, so if you are a fan of ultra-thin design and record-breaking movements, check out the other watches in the Octo Finissimo line.
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calender is the watch of the year according to GPHG 2021.
Best Men’s Watch
The prize for the best Men’s watch was awarded to the much-talked-about Grand Seiko SLGH005 “White Birch.” Grand Seiko continued the tradition of creating some of the most amazing watch dials, as they had previously done for the Grand Seiko SBGA211G “Snowflake” or the Grand Seiko SBGA413 with its stunning rose blossom dial.
Best Men’s Complication
In the category Men’s Complication, the MB&F LMX Titanium took first place. Leave it up to the MB&F team to surprise us with every release. The LMX is part of the brand’s Legacy Machines collection, so if you like the LMX Titanium, be sure to also check out the other LMX and LM Perpetual models.
Best Iconic Watch
The Iconic watch category is always interesting. Can you really go wrong with any of them? They are called icons for a reason. This year, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Platinum with a “smoked green” dial took home the award for the best Iconic watch of 2021. It wasn’t a big surprise, as the Royal Oak is one of the most legendary luxury sports watches in the industry, alongside the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Vacheron Constantin Overseas. This platinum version is a great addition to the Royal Oak line-up, but if you aren’t on the market for a platinum timepiece, be sure to also look into the collection’s other Audemars Piguet Royal Oak models.
The chronograph is a tremendously popular watch type with watch fans all over the world. However, only one can come out on top, and this year, the Zenith Chronomaster Sport claimed victory as the best chronograph of 2021. It was one of the most talked-about releases of the year, and it was good to see Zenith win this prize. The Chronomaster Sport is in the same vein as some of the world’s most iconic sports chronographs like the Rolex Daytona and the Omega Speedmaster Racing and, thus, deserves a spot on the winners’ list.
Another category that many enthusiasts love is the best Diver. Diving watches are the most popular category of watches in the world, so it’s always interesting to see if the nominees go on to become future classics. The prize for best Diver 2021 went to the Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue. The brand’s diver features a remarkable design that is unique and striking. If you like the looks, definitely check out the other watches in Louis Vuitton’s Tambour collection.
Every year, the show also highlights some more affordable watches. The first of the two budget-friendly categories is the “Petite Aiguille” group, which contains watches in the 3,500-10,000 CHF ($3,800-$10,800) range. The Tudor Black Bay Ceramic took the “Petite Aiguille” award. Black ceramic watches have become popular quickly, with the Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M, the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic in black ceramic, and the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph “Tribute To 3705” in black Ceratanium® as other great examples.
The last award I want to touch upon is the Challenge category. It includes watches with a price tag of 3,500 CHF ($3,800) or less and, therefore, is a very relevant category for many watch enthusiasts. The winner for the best Challenge watch of 2021 was the CIGA Design Blue Planet. This unique timepiece reminds us that we have to take good care of our planet. Its design is unlike any other watch out there, making it a great winner for this category.
That concludes the list of the night’s most relevant categories. All in all, it was great to see so many watch enthusiasts come together and celebrate the most remarkable contemporary creations and promote watchmaking worldwide. See you next year!
The complete list of winners:
“Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix: Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar
Ladies’ Watch Prize: Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Rainbow
Ladies’ Complication Watch Prize: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Féerie Watch
Men’s Watch Prize: Grand Seiko SLGH005 “White Birch”
Men’s Complication Watch Prize: MB&F LMX Titanium
Iconic Watch Prize: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin Platinum with Smoked Green dial
Tourbillon Watch Prize: De Bethune DB Kind Of Two Tourbillon
Calendar and Astronomy Watch Prize: Christiaan Van Der Klaauw CVDK Planetarium Eise Eisinga
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic
Chronograph Watch Prize: Zenith Chronomaster Sport
Diver’s Watch Prize: Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver Skyline Blue
Jewellery Watch Prize: Chopard Flower Power
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: MB&F LM SE Eddy Jaquet ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’
“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Tudor Black Bay Ceramic
Challenge Watch Prize: CIGA Design Blue Planet
Innovation Prize: Bernhard Lederer Central Impulse Chronometer
Audacity Prize: Louis Vuitton Tambour Carpe Diem
“Horological Revelation” Prize: Furlan Marri MR. Grey Ref. 1041-A
Special Jury Prize: Dubai Watch Week