“AIGUILLE D’OR” GRAND PRIX
The highest distinction of the competition went to Piaget’s Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch, which was first unveiled in 2018 as a concept watch that no one believed could be put into production. Two years later and the world’s thinnest mechanical watch at 2mm (about the thickness of a 50-cent coin; achieved by integrating the Manufacture Piaget 900P mainplate and caseback into one component) is now available as a series-produced timepiece with high customisation options—a move that will see Piaget retain its lead position in ultra-thin movements for years to come.
JEWELLERY WATCH PRIZE
Van Cleef & Arpels’s Frivole Secrète watch proves that it’s not always size (or carats) that matter when it took home the award for exceptional jewellery and gemsetting mastery. Encircling the wrist like a gleaming corsage that sparkles with every move, this three-dimensional darling features blooms that pivot to reveal a diamond-cloaked dial. This was Van Cleef’s second win at the 2020 competition. The Maison’s Lady Arpels Soleil Féerique watch, whose multi-layered dial sets the stage for a host of métiers d’art, came up tops in the Artistic Crafts category.
CHALLENGE WATCH PRIZE
Awarded to the best under-CHF4,000 (about S$6,000) watch, this is the category you want to keep on your radar if you’re after a value-for-money wrist taker—which TUDOR’s Black Bay Fifty-Eight definitely is. Named for the year that saw TUDOR presenting its first 200m waterproof diving watch, this piece pays tribute to many of the brand’s heritage markers—with a light touch. For example, it bears a relatively conservative-sized 39mm case, in keeping with the proportions of the 1950s. A COSC-certified movement with a silicon balance spring and a 70-hour power reserve drives this watch.
LADIES’ WATCH PRIZE
Elegant looks aside, Bovet 1822’s Miss Audrey watch is a lesson in versatility and multi-functionality. Showcasing an intriguing green guilloché dial inspired by the lotus flower, this self-winding timepiece is housed in the brand’s AMADEO convertible case—which was first unveiled in 2010 after seven years of development—to allow it to transform effortlessly from a wristwatch into a table clock into a refined pendant watch complete with jade bead sautoir. A diamond-studded bezel and top bow (where the case’s transformation magic happens) put the finishing touches on this sophisticated number.
LADIES’ COMPLICATION WATCH PRIZE
A surprising turn of events saw Charles Girardier’s Tourbillon Signature Mystérieuse Fleur de Sel beat out more established competition. Even more surprising was the fact that the watch made it to the competition’s final nominations two months before the new independent Genevan brand officially launched in October. Bearing a double complication, the watch’s flying tourbillon is accompanied by an automaton (at the 12 o’clock position) that sees the brand’s C and G initials moving in opposite directions with each wrist movement, before settling back into their intended positions when the watch is tilted for time-reading.
One’s famed for antics such as crafting watches out of Swiss cheese to make a point and the other, for quintessential avant-garde watches of high-tech horology. Put the essence of both brands together and it’s no wonder that H. Moser & Cie’s Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser x MB&F would win for audacious creativity. Released in celebration of H. Moser & Cie and MB&F’s 15th anniversaries, this timepiece sees H. Moser & Cie marrying the sleek minimalism of its Endeavour collection with the architectural drama of MB&F’s FlyingT.
ICONIC WATCH PRIZE
When Bvlgari launched its Aluminium collection in 1998, it caused furore for presenting a luxury timepiece with such unexpected materials. Last year saw the Italian house revisit those heady days with re-editions that feature the original pairing of the hardy alloy with rubber—a combination that continues to prove itself a winner 22 years after its first introduction. Thanks to its timeless yet emblematic looks and innovative, contemporary spirit, Bvlgari’s Aluminium Chronograph took home a deserved win.
CALENDAR AND ASTRONOMY WATCH PRIZE
In 2016, Vacheron Constantin released its ultra-thin Overseas Perpetual Calender in white gold to much applause. Last year saw the watchmaker upping the ante and winning more hearts with its Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, presented in pink gold (much like the 2018 update), but with an entirely open-worked Calibre 1120 QPSQ/1 housed within its 41.5mm case that is only 8.1mm thin. For style versatility, it comes with additional alligator skin and rubber straps that you can easily swap, thanks to its quick-change system.
This article was originally published in Harpers Bazaar.
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