With the GPHG 2018 entries and jury member names already out, one can't help but notice a few changes in this year's ceremony. No, the changes are not as huge as the Swatch Group pulling out of Baselworld, but it's right there.
First thing first, there has been an astounding increase in the number of participating brands and watches. Where 2016 saw 86 watch brands taking part in the ceremony, 2018 will be seeing 105 watch brands participating – displaying a total of 195 timepieces. The number of jury members have also increased this year and includes industry veterans like Aurel Bacs as the President, watchmaker Philippe Dufour, tennis player Gaël Monfils, co-president of Chopard Karl-Friedrich Scheufele amongst many more.
Moving on, the Oscars of Watchmaking have also omitted and added many new prize categories, one of which is The Challenge category – which is said to have the maximum number of entries, i.e. 35. This category will cater to the watches falling below the 4000 CHF price mark, paving the way for a lot of new, independent, young watch brands. The Petite Aiguille category will now only include the watches priced between 4,000 CHF – 10,000 CHF. The entries also include smart watches like the TAG Heure Connected Modular 45 Full Diamond.
This year, the GPHG has done away with a few categories like the Innovation, Revival, Calendar, Travel-time, and Tourbillon and Escapement prize – although one can argue that the Tourbillon and Escapement prize has been replaced by the Chronometry category. Most of the entries include at least one tourbillon, however, the TAG Heuer Carrera Tourbillon Chronograph Tête De Vipère Chronometer is the only chronometer in the group of entries – making it an obvious winner for us (hopefully).
Lastly, although the GPHG has never seen the likes of Rolex and Patek Philippe participating in the ceremony, this year the entries seem to have missed quite a few big names like A. Lange & Sohne, Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Blancpain, Cartier, Chopard, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Omega as well. We wonder how the organisation will be catering to these watch brands in the coming years.
Until then, here's a comparison of what some of the 2017 winners presented last year versus what they entered this year. What do you think?
2017 winner – Chanel Premiere Camelia Skeleton
2018 entry – Chanel Boy-friend Skeleton
Ladies' High Mechanical
2017 winner: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
2018 entry: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planetarium
2017 winner: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
2018 entry: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted Steel
2017 winner: Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta
2018 entry: Ulysse Nardin Diver