With the jury’s pre-selection for this year’s Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix announced today, 168 timepieces will instantly see their “smiling” 10.07 faces turn to a disappointed 8.20 as only six watches in each category go through to the final deliberations when the jury has to pick a winner in each of the twelve categories, as well as the overall winner of the prestigious “Aiguille d’Or” (Golden Hand) trophy. Out of 88 brands that entered the competition, 37 are represented among the 72 watches in the final selection, which shows a fair level of diversity.
Already at this stage, however, there are some clear winners. One of the biggest is undoubtedly the Swatch Group, whose strategic decision to enter the competition in force this year (Glashütte Original is the only brand in the group’s prestige and luxury segment that did not submit a watch) has clearly paid off. Breguet is represented in the final selection in six out of the twelve categories, while Blancpain and Jaquet Droz are found in three, Omega in two and Tissot in the sports category.
It is, however, not just the Swatch Group but the big watchmaking groups in general that seem to have done well this year, perhaps at the expense of some of the smaller independent brands. The big names from the LVMH group, in particular Bulgari, also fared well. Bulgari is represented in the final six in four of the six categories in which it fielded timepieces, while Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith have each made it through to the final round in three categories, in Zenith’s case with three different versions of the El Primero – a great illustration of the power of an iconic model.
So much for the statistics. Emotions now start to play a part as well, since the jury members face the daunting task of picking a single model in each category and, ultimately, just one model that will rise above all others to be crowned with the most prestigious trophy in watchmaking. How will the jury’s decision compare with your personal preferences? Take part in our independent prediction competition to see what the most popular watches among Worldtempus readers are. Click on your favourite watch and see instantly how it is performing against its competitors. And don’t forget to click through from the page of your ultimate favourite to vote for it in the Public Prize category.