The winners are in! The Oscars of the watch industry were handed out at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) 2022. On a night that celebrates the very best that the watch industry has to offer, the MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential Evo took home the top prize, the Aiguille d’Or, for the best watch at this year’s show. The event featured some of the most remarkable watches currently available, and 21 prizes were awarded in different categories. We were on the ground at the award show and are bringing you the greatest watches of 2022.
Geneva is the center of the world’s watch industry, and every year, the spotlight is on the Swiss city for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Since 2000, the organization La Fondation du Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève has coordinated the GPHG. The winners are selected by a jury of 30 prominent individuals from the sector.
This year’s jury president was English historian, author, and journalist Nick Foulkes. Other jury members included writers, historians, retailers, and industry leaders from all over the world. The show took place at the Théâtre du Léman, which is housed in the 5-star Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva overlooking Lake Geneva. It was the perfect setting for a night of celebration.
GPHG 2022: “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix
Let’s check out some of the most popular categories and find out who took home the top prizes. To see the full list of winners, just scroll down to the end of this article. The Aiguille d’Or is the grand prize awarded to the show’s top overall watch. This year, it was given to the brilliant MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential Evo. The timepiece offers a great mix of technical innovation and stunning looks, and is a deserved winner of this year’s main award. It is the brand’s first-ever watch with a chronograph function, but is a far cry from a standard chronograph. The single movement features two independent chronograph mechanisms; both are operated using the start/stop and reset push-pieces on its respective side of the case. This marks a bold new step for the brand and elevates the Legacy Machines collection to new levels of haute horlogerie.
GPHG 2022: Best Men’s Watch
The prize for best men’s watch was awarded to the Atelier Akrivia Chronomètre Contemporain II. The watch beat popular contenders like the Zenith Calibre 135 Observatoire and the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Steel. The winning timepiece is the brainchild of master watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi and is a unique work of art that is exceptional in its materials, finishing, and technical mastery. The watch features a dead-beat small seconds mechanism that ticks in one-second increments at 6 o’clock. It is a fantastic successor to the former Chronomètre Contemporain and is yet further proof of Rexhep Rexhepi’s brilliance.
GPHG 2022: Best Men’s Complication
The Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur won the men’s complication category. This watch is a beautiful follow-up to some of the most amazing pieces in the Arceau collection. It features a unique “traveling time” mechanism that was developed exclusively for Hermès, and drives a display of 24 time zones via a circular disc and mobile counter. Be sure to check out the Hermès L’Heure Arceau de la Lune, the Arceau Grande Lune, and the Arceau 78 as well. All of these timepieces perfectly showcase the magnificence of the series. With this watch, Hermès joins the ranks of other great world time watches like the Breguet Marine Hora Mundi 5557, Patek Philippe ref. 5231, and Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time.
GPHG 2022: Most Iconic Watch
Most iconic watch always proves to be an interesting category. Can you really go wrong with any of these models? They are all considered icons for a reason. This year, the TAG Heuer Monaco X Gulf took home the award. It’s not really a big surprise, seeing as the Monaco is one of the most iconic luxury sports watches in the industry. The watch was made famous by Steve McQueen when he wore it in the film Le Mans. The winning timepiece is a new take on the original, further building on other classic Monaco models that you should definitely check out if you like the Monaco’s bold aesthetic.
GPHG 2022: Best Chronograph
A tremendously popular category of timepieces with watch fans the world over is the chronograph, but only one watch can come out on top, and this year it was the Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf Tantalum. The Grönefeld brothers just so happen to be from the same town as me, so I am very proud to see them win this category with their very first take on a chronograph – and what a first take it is! The watch features a tantalum case, a movement consisting of 408 parts, and incorporates a soft reset mechanism. The Grönefeld brothers have created something truly special with this watch, allowing them to hold their own with other boundary-pushing chronographs like tonight’s overall winner, the MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential Evo, and the A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split Chronograph.
GPHG 2022: Best Diver
Another category that many enthusiasts love to follow is the best diver. Diving watches are the most popular category of watches in the world, so it’s always interesting to see if any of the nominees will become future classics. This year, the prize for best diver was awarded to the Tudor Pelagos FXD. Tudor’s brilliant Pelagos FXD was created as a nod to the brand’s history with the French Navy. If you like the FXD, you should also check out the Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue which is slightly smaller, or the slightly larger 42-mm Pelagos in blue. Another watch that comes to mind when viewing the winning timepiece is obviously the Rolex Submariner. Each of these watches is a reminder of the impressive diving watch legacy shared by Rolex and Tudor.
GPHG 2022: “Petite Aiguille”
Every year, the show also highlights some slightly more affordable luxury watches. The first of the two budget-friendly categories is the Petite Aiguille group, which contains watches in the 3,500-10,000 CHF ($3,800-$10,800) price range. The stunning Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Dune Edition received the Petite Aiguille award. This unique timepiece consists of four parts, three of which are permanently moving. These include a large outer ring for the hours, the minute wheel in a window on the dial, and the snailed second wheel. This timepiece is reminiscent of other great minimalist watches like those from Ressence, or even the Hermès Arceau collection I mentioned earlier.
GPHG 2022: Challenge
The final category I want to mention is the challenge. This category includes watches with price tags of 3,500 CHF ($3,800) or under and, therefore, features very relevant nominees for many watch enthusiasts. The 2022 winner was the M.A.D. Editions M.A.D.1 Red. M.A.D. Editions is actually an initiative from Max Büsser, the founder of MB&F, which won the biggest prize of the night. With the more affordable M.A.D.1 Red, Büsser developed a watch that displays nothing but the hours and minutes, but in a unique way. The timepiece features a lateral time display with two revolving cylinders for the hours and minutes. There are simply no other watches out there quite like this, and it’s another deserved prize for Max Büsser.
That concludes our list of the most relevant categories of the night. All in all, it was great to see so many watch enthusiasts come together to celebrate the industry’s most remarkable contemporary creations and promote the art of watchmaking worldwide. See you next year!
Complete list of winners:
“Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix: MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential Evo
Ladies’: Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Automatic
Ladies’ Complication: Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur
Men’s: Atelier AKRIVIA Chronomètre Contemporain II
Men’s Complication: Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur
Iconic: TAG Heuer Monaco X Gulf
Tourbillon: H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton
Calendar and Astronomy: Krayon Anywhere
Mechanical Exception: Ferdinand Berthoud FB 2RSM.2-1
Chronograph: Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf Tantalum
Diver’s: Tudor Pelagos FXD
Jewelry: Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi High Jewelry
Artistic Crafts: Voutilainen Ji-Ku
Petite Aiguille: Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Dune Edition
Challenge: M.A.D. Editions M.A.D.1 Red
Mechanical Clock: Van Cleef & Arpels Fontaine Aux Oiseaux Automaton
Chronometry: Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon
Innovation: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier
Audacity: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra 10th Anniversary
Horological Revelation: Sylvain Pinaud Origine
Special Jury Prize: François Junod