Greatest timepieces honoured
Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève has announced the winners for 2009
Geneva has seen the conclusion of the annual Grand Prix d'Horlogerie for this year with the greatest watchmakers seeing their pieces honoured.
The winner of the Favourite Men's Watch category was Jules Audemars watch with AP Escapement from Audemars Piguet. Their Director General Philippe Merck, thanked his 'team of genius' who had created a watch which to him represented "the spirit of all antique chronographs".
A reversible bracelet wristwatch, Limelight Twice by Piaget won the Favourite Ladies' Watch award. The polishing of the watch parts makes for a particularly remarkable look.
The Design watch of the year was Opus 9 by Harry Winston. Design watches are not necessarily complex, but the Opus 9 is, with a pair of diamond chains sliding to represent the hours and minutes.
Hublot won the Jewellery Watch award with their One Million $ Black Caviar Bang which is an excellent example of watch-making blending with jewellery.
Richard Mille won the Favourite Sports Watch category with the RM 025 Diver's Watch, whilst the Favourite Watch with Complication award went to the Double Tourbillon Technique watch of Greubel Forsey.
A Tourbillon is a kind of carousel within a watch's mechanism to compensate for the effects of gravity in a watch.
The Public Prize went to Meccanico dG from de Grisogono, a watch which has the very unusual distinction of displaying time in both the classic, analogue way, and digitally.
Two people were also honoured: Best Watchmaker went to Anthony Randall and the Special Jury Prize to Dr Ludwig Oechslin.
The biggest winner of the night however was the watch winning L'Aiguille d'Or (Golden Hand) - the overall Grand Prize. That went to the Lange Zeitwerk watch from A. Lange & Söhne.
The groundbreaking design provided a clear winner, and it is the first occasion on which a non-Swiss watch has won. Its emphasis is on simplicity and clarity on the face, though the engineering is sufficiently subtle to justify patenting parts of it, notable a huge change in the way the winding mechanism functions to make it more efficient.
A great day for celebrating both traditional and groundbreaking watch design and engineering.
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Images: Audemars Piguet and A Lange & Söhne