A look back at the highlights of the watch world in 2022, particularly at the winners of the industry’s red carpet awards.
Every industry has its own celebrations that honor the finest brands, the most innovative solutions, or the most creative designs. The watch industry is no exception. Annually for the past 22 years, watch lovers have flocked to Geneva to the glamorous Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) award ceremony. Top brands, CEOs, master watchmakers, and collectors gather together at the Théâtre du Léman to see which timepieces unveiled during the year were the most celebrated.
Just as in the automotive world, entries are categorized and judged. In fact, the GPHG Academy consists of 650 key figures in the watch profession who vote on watches in more than a dozen different categories, including complications, astronomy, art, high-jeweled, mechanics, chronometry, and best in show. This year, that distinction went to independent watch brand MB&F for its Legacy Machine Sequential EVO watch, which we featured in our November watch guide.
Essentially, the brands that take the top spot in each category, and even the runners-up, represent the best and brightest in the industry. From small independent brands to big household names, the list of nominees and winners reads like a veritable who’s who. Here, we take a look at just a few of the winners.
M.A.D. Editions M.A.D. 1 Red
At a glance, anyone who knows the visionary mind of Maximilian Busser, founder of MB&F, can see his signature touches on the M.A.D. 1 Red watch, which took the top spot in the Challenge category (watches retailing for $3,500 or less). A secondary label for MB&F, whose wristwatches typically sell for well over $100,000, M.A.D. Editions creates more accessible time machines offered to MB&F “friends” via a raffle. The automatic mechanical watch is crafted in stainless steel and boasts a lateral time display on the case side — leaving the dial side totally free for the titanium and tungsten triple-blade winding rotor to take center stage. The blades constantly rotate with every move of the wrist, not just powering the watch, but offering a visually stunning attraction.
Ferdinand Berthoud FB 2RSM.2-1
Taking the winning position in the Mechanical Exception category, this Ferdinand Berthoud watch boasts a highly complex movement with a fusée-and-chain transmission tourbillon to compensate for errors in timekeeping due to the effects of gravity when the watch is in certain positions on the wrist, and with deadbeat seconds. The manual-wind mechanical movement is a COSC-certified chronometer. In this watch, the barrel and inverted fusée are suspended and patented. The regulator style dial displays hours at 2 o’clock, minutes at 12 o’clock, and offers a central seconds hand. Just 20 pieces of the 18-karat ethical 5N rose gold watch will be made.
Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur
Crafted in platinum and titanium, with a lacquer and galvanic engraved dial, the 41-millimeter Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur won the Men’s Complications category (and a 38-millimeter blue-dial steel version won the Women’s Complications prize). The watch houses a specially made self-winding mechanical movement that offers a new way to read the time in the cities around the world via a 122-part “traveling time” module that is integrated into the caliber. Essentially, the inner dial that showcases the hours and minutes moves around the dial, and the red arrow indicates the world time in pointer style. An aperture at 12 o’clock uses 24-hour time indication for day/night information.
This article appeared in our January 2023 issue.