By Zahra Al-Kateb
The 14th Edition of the Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Geneve is under way, and this year no less than 72 pre selected watches will be running to win the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix.
With this year’s GPHG attracting record participation, all major watch groups are being represented, along with a number of independent companies.
Vote for your favorite amongst the following pre-selected watches and automatically participate in the drawing to win a Girard – Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL Petite Seconde, worth $11372.29.
Here are the six finalists in the Sports category. Tomorrow we will be revealing the Jewelry category.
BELL & ROSS, BR126 VINTAGE SPORT HERITAGE GMT FLYBACK
The BR 126 GMT Flyback aviation chronograph is fitted with a Flyback making it possible to instantly restart the measurement of time and a GMT function displaying a second time zone in 24-hour format.
BLANCPAIN, FIFTY FATHOMS BATHYSCAPHE CHRONOGRAPHE FLYBACK
Born in the late 1950s from a desire to offer a diver’s watch in a size suited to daily wear, the Bathyscaphe was reinterpreted by Blancpain in 2013. This year, the timepiece that is equally at home under water and in chic urban settings takes on board a new self-winding F385 movement featuring a flyback chronograph function.
This new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe model houses a new 13-lignes Manufacture Blancpain movement beating at a rate of 36,000 vibrations/hour. It is equipped with a column-wheel chronograph mechanism and a vertical clutch. It also offers a flyback function enabling the wearer to reset and instantly restart the chronograph simply by pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock. This device proves extremely useful in taking fast measurements of successive times. Moreover, the water-resistant chronograph pushers also enable user underwater to depths of 300 metres without any risk of damaging the watch. The presence of a sapphire case-back on this diver’s watch is made possible by the use of a balance-spring made in silicon – a material endowed with anti-magnetic properties that enable the watch to dispense with the inner Faraday cage. This transparent back reveals the 18-carat gold oscillating weight clad in NAC (a platinum alloy) and featuring a sculpted Blancpain logo.
While maintaining all the key technical characteristics of the Fifty Fathoms collection, the aesthetic of the Bathyscaphe picks up the signature codes of the original model. The domed black dial is free of any numerals, punctuated only by lines and dots serving as hour-markers, while the date appears in a window at 4 o’clock. The sunburst finish on the dial and the snailed chronograph counters add a sense of depth to the overall effect. The rectangular hands are reminiscent of those featured on the 1950s Bathyscaphe models. The ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel bears hour-markers filled with LiquidMetal®, a patented metal alloy with an amorphous structure that also enables perfect bonding with the ceramic bezel, thereby accentuating its scratch-resistance. Finally, the presence of Superluminova on the key elements guarantees perfect readability when diving.
This new 43 mm-diameter Bathyscaphe is available in a brushed black ceramic version with a black dial, or in brushed steel with a meteor grey dial. All models are fitted with a NATO fabric or sail canvas strap – two extremely sturdy materials ideally suited to aquatic use. The steel version also comes on a metal bracelet, a first for this line.
HUBLOT, AEROFUSION CHRONOGRAPH PELÉ
The watch is a Classic Fusion Aero Chronograph limited to just 500 pieces, with 45 mm polished/satin-finished ceramic case, and an automatic mechanical Aero Hublot chronograph movement. The sapphire dial has faceted and polished indices and transfers in silver powder and yellow. Pelé’s famous signature is found on the watch’s case back.
TISSOT, T-TOUCH EXPERT SOLAR
Tissot’s pioneering spirit is what led to the creation of tactile watches in 1999. Today, it is the first to present a touch-screen watch powered by solar energy, confirming its position as leader in tactile technology in watchmaking. The rays of light on the dial not only allow the Super-LumiNova® indices and hands to glow in the dark but to recharge the watch. It is a very powerful watch in every aspect, offering essential functions for everyday use such as a perpetual calendar with indication of day and week number to keep track of busy schedules, two alarms; one for the week, the other for the weekend, two time zones for holiday trips, weather forecast with relative pressure, altimeter with difference meter, chronograph lap and split with logbook, compass, timer, azimuth, regatta function and backlight. With these you will be geared up for anything that comes your way.
In touch with the technology it bears, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar’s design is truly modern and dynamic with strong lines, whether straight or angular. The push buttons are given an ergonomic aspect, while the milling provides the strap with further modernity and a better grip to the bezel on which it also features. You will still find the iconic features of the classic T-Touch Expert such as the lugs, shaped in a triangular shape, which detach from the case and are unique to that collection.
TUDOR, HERITAGE RANGER
Inspired by a historic model, also named Ranger, which the brand produced in the late 1960s, this new model embodies the unique creative approach developed by TUDOR to showcase its heritage in 2010 with the launch of its Heritage Chrono. Far from being a mere re-edition, it is a distinct reinterpretation, a true temporal and stylistic encounter of past, present and future. The aesthetic codes that contributed to the renown of the historic models are preserved and injected with modern touches to update the iconic spirit of the models.
As on the brand’s historic models, the lugs of the TUDOR Heritage Ranger are drilled through to accommodate the strap bars. Its matt black dial bearing the TUDOR Rose logo is domed, as is the crystal – typical features of the 1950s and 1960s TUDOR models – which give it a unique retro chic look. The 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock hour markers on the dial are not appliques as on the other models in the Heritage line, but painted with a coloured luminous substance for a warm and appealing antique effect. Its distinctive pear-shaped hands are directly inspired by the historic TUDOR Ranger models.
A more contemporary size than its source of inspiration, the case of the TUDOR Heritage Ranger measures 41 mm in diameter and is entirely satin-finished. This finish was chosen to express the functionality, technical prowess and robustness of an object that could have been standard equipment in the packs of sled-dog mushers readying themselves to face the most extreme conditions in the far North. The large, satin-finished crown of the TUDOR Heritage Ranger, similar to that of the TUDOR Heritage Black Bay, is engraved with the historic TUDOR Rose logo. It screws onto a protruding satin-finished tube, which further accentuates the technical sophistication of the watch.
Four superbly crafted bracelets have been designed by TUDOR’s Style Workshop for the TUDOR Heritage Ranger. Each displaying its own strong personality, they contribute to underscoring this new model’s seamless blend into its environment. The first is a bund strap with satin-finished rivets. Cut from light brown leather, in spirit it subtly evokes the raw leather and the equipment used by adventurers of the far North. Its steel folding clasp is also entirely satin-finished and heightens the technical aura of the strap. The second is an adjustable and particularly comfortable fabric strap with a camouflage motif woven in green tones, chosen as an allusion to the vast forest-covered regions travelled by sled-dog teams. The third is made of tobacco coloured leather reminiscent of sled harnesses. It is also equipped with the TUDOR folding clasp in its satin-finished version. The fourth and last version, featuring the same clasp, is a bracelet entirely made of machined satin-finished steel. Its distinctive shape is a nod to the bracelets with tube-type attachments used by the brand in the 1950s, a period that witnessed numerous expeditions to the world’s most remote territories. Like the other models in the brand’s Heritage line, each TUDOR Heritage Ranger comes with a fabric strap as well as a second bracelet that may be chosen from among the three other available options.
ZENITH, EL PRIMERO LIGHTWEIGHT
Zenith looks resolutely to the future in developing this sporty avant-garde version of its legendary El Primero chronograph. The keynote of the specifications was the focus on shearing off any excess weight, along with ensuring performance and originality. These demands naturally called for the use of high-tech materials.
Known for their ability to combine technological innovation with creative daring, the engineers and watchmakers of the Manufacture were entrusted with the mission of developing a light watch with a sporty design, while making no compromises on precision, sturdiness and reliability – just as one optimises an engine intended for competition. The sizeable feat began with the movement. Drawing upon its latest research on new materials, Zenith selected titanium – a light and sturdy material widely used in aeronautics – to build the movement bridges.
The Manufacture also opted to use silicon, with the lever and escapewheel made from this high-tech, anti-magnetic material that is three and a half times lighter than classic alloys, harder than steel and a guarantee of excellent efficiency. The carbon and aluminium case with titanium pushpieces and crown reveal the extreme nature of this ultra-sporty chronograph.
Zenith focuses on lightness, daring and innovation in an avant-garde version of its El Primero lightweight chronograph featuring high-tech materials.
This El Primero lightweight chronograph combines a titanium and silicon movement with an ultra-sporty carbon case. It marks the dawn of a new era in the extremely rich history of the El Primero calibre.
The new El Primero Lightweight is distinguished by its carbon case featuring an original and complex construction. It combines flowing dynamics and lightness while displaying exceptional power, very much like the most appealing automotive bodywork. Its sapphire crystal reveals the exceptional ‘engine’ inside: El Primero Calibre 400B Titanium, roaring at a speed of 36,000 vibrations per hour. Based on its latest research in the domain of new materials, Zenith chose titanium – a light and highly resistant metal widely used in aeronautics – to make the main parts of the movements which are the heaviest when they are made in brass: namely the mainplate and five bridges (barrel bridge, balance bridge, lever-bridge, lever-wheel bridge and chronograph bridge). The result is a 25% lighter weight. The openworked dial provides another bird’s eye view of this legendary movement, a dynamic reinterpretation of the collection’s classic design characteristics. The transparency of the central part makes it even lighter and provides a clear view of the skeleton-worked El Primero calibre. The disc-type date display is also both light and efficient thanks to cut-out stencil-style numerals standing out against a red dot at 6 o’clock. The generously hollowed-out facetted hour-markers bear a luminescent coating, while the light grey, blue and anthracite counters pick up the three emblematic colours of the 1969 El Primero chronograph that have become one of the collection’s key signature features. The blue central sweep-seconds chronograph hand with its small Zenith star is accurate to the nearest tenth of a second. Sporty, contemporary and decidedly masculine, the new El Primero Lightweight gives a new breath of life to the Zenith collection, while confirming the innovative capacities andcreative daring of the Manufacture.
The designers of the Manufacture Zenith are keenly aware that the devil is in the details. Attentive to the slightest line, to the feel of the materials, to the functionality of each element, they have redesigned the El Primero lightweight chronograph by focusing firmly on dynamism and performance. The choice of carbon reinforces the technical and sporty look. The internal structure of the case is in ceramised aluminium, a cutting-edge material blending lightness, resistance and hardness. Titanium was chosen for the pushpieces and the crown.