Earlier this year, 24 people recognised for their exceptional contribution to the world of watchmaking, including the master-watchmaker and Swiss design genius, Phillipe Dufour, were chosen to be on the jury for the 14th edition of the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). The elite award was instituted in 2001 in Geneva with the aim to recognise the excellence of worldwide horological production. And each year sees the run-up to GPHG marked by a traveling show of the pre-selected watches from a number of leading brands all vying for the coveted award in a number of categories. This edition is special as for the first time the showcase will make an India stopover. Organised in association with Ethos, India’s largest retailer of luxury watches and the Swiss Embassy, the symposium to be held on September 27 at The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi, will showcase 72 of the year’s finest watches with a value estimated to be around US $ 5 million. “It’s indeed special as it’s rare to see a line-up of the best watches in the world at one time. The India presentation also speaks for the importance of this market for luxury watch makers,” says Yashovardhan Saboo, chairman, Ethos.
Aurel Bacs, former director of watch auction division at Christies and Sothebys and president of the GPHG jury will also be present.
Incidentally, the pre-selected collection is also open to a public vote on the GPHG website (www.gphg.org) and has timepieces by leading names in the watch industry like Blancpain, Breguet, Chopard, Omega, Montblanc, Jaquet Droz, Hublot and Tissot, to list a few. From jewellery to sport watches, chronographs to tourbillons, the categories present a varied selection. Among those that are bound to catch your attention is Midnight Planetarium by Van Cleef & Arpels, which provides a miniature representation of the movement of six planets around the sun. Another attraction is Surya by Frédéric Jouvenot. An ode to the sun, the watch has a flower display that shows the time with 12 jumping petals that change colour. Blending art with history is The Bird Repeater by Jaquet Droz while La Ferrari by Hublot holds a world record for a 50-day power reserve. The Soprano by Christophe Claret plays out the distinctive tune played by the Big Ben clock at the Palace of Westminster. From unique technical aspects to striking designs, this selection packs it all in.