This is how Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) honours the art of watchmaking

La crème de la crème


By Benedict Unang

Featured images courtesy of GPHG
This is how Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) honours the art of watchmaking

The business of watchmaking, like every other industry, continues to evolve to the present day. From antique pocket timekeepers to avant-garde timepieces, the world has witnessed it all. Today, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) exists to recognise both legacy and the craftsmanship that goes along with it. 

GPHG was established in 2001 with a vision to highlight some of the most outstanding creations and advance the sector on a global scale. Dubbed the industry’s “Oscars,” the event takes place annually and features hundreds of timepieces marketed throughout the year. Each year, around twenty trophies are awarded at the award ceremony in November. 

The shortlisted timepieces will first be displayed at a travelling exhibition that the committee will stage in major cities across the world. Each of these installations offers visitors the opportunity to discover and admire some of the year’s most stunning watches. Kuala Lumpur has been selected as one of its stops this year, following Macau and Hong Kong. In partnership with The Hour Glass, the exhibition was hosted at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur’s Centre Court from October 5 to October 8, 2023. 

A series of workshops have been organised during the show, which includes a workshop on watch photography, a DIY mechanical clock workshop, and a colouring session with Hublot. The exhibition will include stops in New York, Geneva, and Dubai before concluding in Zurich in early December. 

‘’By selecting Kuala Lumpur, it is an affirmation of this city’s growing importance in the watchmaking world.’’ - Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass.

So, how do these watches enter the competition? In short, watch brands send in their set of entries through an online platform from mid-May to the end of June. Entry fees are CHF 800 per candidate watch and only watches marketed after May 2022 and no later than the end of October 2023 are eligible. 

Now comes the voting part—in 2020, the GPHG formed the Academy of the GPHG, which acts as the body in charge of casting votes and selecting winners. The organisation comprises over a hundred members who are not just experienced but also significant stakeholders in the key watchmaking-related sectors.

To determine which timepiece will be in the running for the award, the Academy members are required to participate in the first voting, where they nominate six watches in each category. This year, 84 watches and 6 clocks have been shortlisted in 15 categories.


When it comes to selecting the recipient, 30 Academy members are chosen and each of them physically evaluates each nominated timepiece in the company of two notaries. The rest of the Academy’s members will still vote, but they will perform it via a secure portal. 

Following the final vote, the 23rd GPHG awards ceremony will be staged at the Théâtre du Léman in Geneva on Thursday, November 9, 2023. The GPHG Academy Awards will present prizes for each category with the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix as the highlight of the event. This prestigious award honours the best overall watch across all categories and represents the watch industry as a whole. There’s also a Special Jury Prize, which recognises a personality, institution, or initiative that has made a significant contribution to the development of exceptional watchmaking. 



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