Welcome to the 2020 version of Quill & Pad’s early Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève predictions wherein the staff picks favorites and explains why.
The panelists are:
Elizabeth Doerr (ED), co-founder and editor-in-chief
Ian Skellern (IS), co-founder and technical director
Joshua Munchow (JM), resident nerd author
GaryG (GG), resident collector
Martin Inexperienced (MG), resident gentleman
The Iconic category emphasizes males’s or girls’s watches from a model’s emblematic assortment, which means one which has had a long-lasting affect on watchmaking and its historical past in addition to having been in the marketplace for greater than 20 years.
GG: I proceed to understand the number of deserving watches within the classes we’ve lined to date, together with on this Iconic set, a bunch of watches that in my opinion do characterize the continuation of longstanding traces and which were essential to their respective makers.
For the 2019 GPHG, it was pretty clear from the start that the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was the icon amongst icons; this 12 months, I feel the sector is a bit nearer as there are a selection of entries which may not be universally recognized amongst lovers however that may arouse the passions of followers of every model.
ED: Every of those six watches has good motive to be nominated right here as the newest entries in longstanding collections by well-known watch manufacturers. I like all of those fashionable incarnations. However for me, one stands out has having developed simply sufficient to offer it an edge over the others.
MG: Truthfully, I’m not too keen on this class: how do you evaluate icons? Significantly as a result of this 12 months all six nominated fashions have earned the title. Every has rather a lot going for it, however it typically turns into one thing of apples and oranges to match them.
IS: I simply don’t perceive the purpose of the GPHG Iconic class and vote for its elimination. Watch manufacturers definitely want no encouragement to revisit their previous collections and, if one among their remakes is an distinctive watch, it ought to compete by itself deserves in whichever class it matches. It appears to me that the GPHG might merely award a prize annually in flip to the entire iconic watches if the goal was simply to reward longevity and timeless classics.
So far as I’m involved, we might as effectively toss cash to pick a winner right here out of the highest three. The GPHG Iconic class guidelines present no pointers for what to search for in a winner besides that the primary mannequin needed to be launched no less than 20 years in the past. Are we on the lookout for the most effective watch right here, the one which has had probably the most lasting affect on watchmaking historical past, or the one that’s the finest remake of its unique? Assist!
JM: As soon as once more we return to the Iconic class, the one class the place it appears a bit presumptuous to enter your personal timepiece and the minimal necessities for longevity means the watch may very well be from this century, hardly what I’d normally categorize as Iconic. Now there are the uncommon events the place a contemporary watch turns into iconic in a short time (the Ulysse Nardin Freak involves thoughts), however in my thoughts it takes some time.
Regardless, this class is a bit like promenade king: it’s a recognition contest based mostly on how effectively appreciated a watch has been on common and the way effectively it has bought. Consistency is sweet in merchandise, and longevity positively exhibits that it was a really strong design, however like previous classes such because the Revival prize, it additionally sends the message that it’s finest to not change an excessive amount of. As tastes evolve over the a long time good product designers will evolve with the tastes. I like evolution and innovation, so it is a powerful class for me to be fully goal about.
Breitling Chronomat B01 42
ED: That rouleaux bracelet! Regardless that I’ve not tried this watch on, I’ve been very admiring of that new bracelet since this watch appeared.
MG: The Chronomat made a robust comeback in its newest version, and credit score for this additionally goes to the redesigned rouleaux bracelet. Truthfully, I’ve by no means been a fan of the way it regarded, however it provides a touch of character. I feel Breitling makes a robust case with the brand new Chronomat, however so sturdy that it’ll most probably solely enchantment to people who find themselves already into the model.
GG: I had an opportunity to photograph and review the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 on these pages not too long ago, and it’s a weighty and spectacular piece – and with its onion crown, distinctive bracelet hyperlinks, and tabbed bezel, it’s simply recognizable as a direct descendant of the unique Chronomats. It’s my third-place selection, however I might think about swapping it up into the runner-up spot I awarded to the Seiko.
JM: Many would possibly already guess that Breitling has by no means been excessive on my private checklist of favorites, principally for causes much like Rolex in that it has been so broadly plagiarized by very low-quality watches that I now affiliate that aesthetic not with high-end timepieces however with kiosks in buying malls.
Sadly for Breitling, its success inadvertently led me to not notably respect the device/aviator watch type. However this additionally implies that Breitling and a watch just like the Chronomat are positively among the many extra iconic designs of the final 40 years. Alas, I can’t select it as my winner, and given the variety of classes Breitling has entered I’m pretty assured one thing else will choose up this win.
IS: All of us owe a debt of due to Breitling, who, with just some others, helped alongside the reemergence of the Swiss mechanical watch business in 1984 when the model launched the mechanical Chronomat chronograph at a time when quartz dominated. I just like the look of the Chronomat B01 42, particularly that salmon-colored dial; at 42 mm it’s sensibly sized for a person’s chronograph; the in-house motion is a plus; and the comfy rouleaux bracelet is a giant bonus.
Fast Details Breitling Chronomat B01 42
Case: 42 x 15.1 mm, stainless-steel
Motion: automated Breitling Caliber 01; 70-hour energy reserve; 28,800 vph/four Hz frequency
Capabilities: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds; date; chronograph
Worth: $eight,100 / CHF 7,950
Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph
GG: The Bulgari Aluminium appears a trustworthy recreation of the unique from the model, however I don’t assume it’s almost the icon by way of broad recognition piece just like the IWC Portugieser is.
MG: Of all six watches within the class, that is most likely the least iconic of them as this watch did outline a decade for this model, however a comparatively younger one. I feel that it captures Bulgari’s dynamic as a model very effectively, they usually did an excellent job of bringing it again. It additionally exhibits the model’s versatility as this watch is simply as a lot Bulgari because the Octo Finissimo, and on this planet of watches that in itself is pure gold.
JM: The Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph is a watch that feels acquainted but in addition not particular sufficient to be simply recalled or remembered. The brand’d bezel might be probably the most iconic facet of the Aluminium Chronograph, however in my head it’s related to trend and never a selected watch. I’m not saying my reminiscences are the most effective indicator of iconic standing, but when the primary picture in my mind isn’t this watch, then it stands to motive I might not be the one one.
ED: Sure, I’d agree with you, Joshua. The closely logo-plagued bezel is at all times what has caught out to me about this line, and justifiably strongly calls to thoughts the Bulgari Bulgari jewellery and watch traces, which have traditionally been geared towards the style enviornment (although that is not solely the case). Throughout a chat we had with Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin at Geneva Watch Days, he mentioned that the brand new Aluminium watches had been particularly aimed toward attracting a brand new, youthful clientele. It’s arduous to reconcile that with a class referred to as “Iconic.”
IS: Except for the distinctive look of the Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph, the large attraction for me of this 40 mm aluminum-cased chronograph is its consolation on the wrist, due to each its mild weight and intelligent linked-rubber bracelet. And at four,000 Swiss francs, it’s very competitively priced in comparison with the others right here. however I simply don’t really feel that the mannequin is “iconic” sufficient.
Additional studying: New Bulgari Aluminium Watches For 2020: The Past As A Roadmap To The Future
Fast Details Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph
Case: 40 x 11.1 mm, aluminum with black PVD-coated titanium case again and rubber bezel
Motion: automated Caliber B130 (ETA 2894 base), 42-hour energy reserve, four Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Capabilities: hours, minutes; date, chronograph
Worth: €four,250 / CHF four,000
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Infinity Version 42 mm
ED: What a implausible variation of the Laureato with a brand new onyx dial. I’m smitten. In distinction to the fashionable Laureato variations which have come out since 2017 sporting variations of the tapisserie type of dial that Audemars Piguet made well-known with its Royal Oak, these have actual charisma. I discovered the tapisserie dials actually made the Laureato fashions appear to be Royal Oaks – far, far too related for my style.
GG: The Girard-Perregaux Laureato is certainly a transparent descendant of the unique watches of that title, however as I’m on the report as having characterised the unique Laureato as spinoff of the Royal Oak I’m arduous pressed to offer this model a high spot as an icon.
ED: Loud and clear, Gary! Nevertheless, I imagine that this onyx-dialed model lastly breaks it out of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak mildew for me. A lot in order that I wish to make it my winner on this class.
JM: The Laureato assortment and Girard-Perregaux have suffered over the a long time as a model that was doing numerous attention-grabbing issues however nonetheless tried to play it protected simply sufficient that the design of the Laureato isn’t the primary to come back to thoughts for a metal sports activities watch. The daring danger taking didn’t appear to be there from the start and so the Laureato isn’t normally introduced up except somebody refers to it because the “poor man’s Royal Oak” (which I don’t). That is too dangerous as a result of it’s arguably an superior watch with a singular (if restrained) design with a great deal of pedigree behind it. However for the explanations acknowledged it has struggled to realize iconic standing by itself, and solely in relation to different watches. This Infinity Version with black onyx dial is tremendous cool, however I simply don’t know if it’s the most iconic of the bunch.
IS: I don’t perceive why the Girard-Perregaux Laureato isn’t extra fashionable with collectors as its design has stood the check of time for almost 50 years. The Infinity Version is an ideal look ahead to each formal and informal put on, and the matching dial and date wheel earn bonus factors from me. Nevertheless, whereas not talked about within the class guidelines, I’ve at all times felt that to have any which means in any respect this class is for brand new reeditions of iconic previous fashions, and I can’t assist however really feel that the Infinity Version is extra a (welcome) continuation of the Laureato assortment reasonably than a brand new search for an iconic previous mannequin.
MG: What a robust comeback for the Laureato! I’ve at all times had a gentle spot for this watch however seeing it throughout Geneva Watch Days within the metallic made me fall for it once more. The onyx dial proves a stroke of brilliance because it underscores the design’s purity. For that matter, I’d have cherished it much more if Girard-Perregaux had stored the textual content on the dial to an absolute minimal, however I do really feel that the model is lastly heading in the right direction once more with this assortment.
Fast Details Girard-Perregaux Laureato Infinity Version 42 mm
Case: 42 x 10.7 mm, stainless-steel
Motion: automated Caliber GP01800-1404 with one-minute flying triple-axis tourbillon, energy reserve 54 hours; four Hz/28,800 vph frequency, skeletonized
Capabilities: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Limitation: 188 items
Worth: €12,900 / $13,200 / £9,800 / CHF 12,260
IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph
MG: Can a watch be an icon inside an iconic assortment? I feel the Portugieser Chronograph proves that certainly that is doable! Whereas the unique Portugiesers had been time solely, it has been the chronograph through the years that has grow to be the poster baby for the gathering. To such an extent that I feel when you ask individuals in regards to the Portugieser, that is the watch that pops up of their minds. Whereas the Portugieser began its profession powered by a Valjoux 7750, it’s now a manufacture caliber. I’m an absolute sucker for this dial colour, solely wanting it on a brown strap. For me, absolutely the winner on this class.
GG: For me, the piece that rises to the highest can also be the IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph, Martin. It’s a watch that’s immediately recognizable to the overwhelming majority of watch lovers and that’s very trustworthy to the aesthetic cues which have characterised this line since its origin. That is an attention-grabbing class in that, no less than for me, the judging commonplace is extra closely weighted towards continuity and heritage than towards straight-up analysis of the timepieces on their very own deserves. I feel that the IWC is a transparent winner on the previous and does simply positive on the latter.
JM: The IWC Portugieser is a reasonably well-known and fashionable mannequin for IWC and is just second for the model after THE mannequin, the Pilot’s Watch. It’s clear that it’s recognizable and customarily coveted as a chunk to get from IWC, particularly the chronograph. It has developed over time, and so the small print are usually not completely constant through the years, however they’re fairly near the fashions of the 1980s and 1990s. Nevertheless, I don’t know if the Portugieser Chronograph has sufficient of a fame to assert to be probably the most iconic of the bunch, so I’m inserting it third on my checklist. But when the ultimate jury members are followers of IWC particularly it might climb the ranks.
IS: I like IWC’s Portugieser however am not a fan of the brilliant inexperienced dial of this chronograph. And just like the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Infinity Version, this Portugieser Chronograph appears to be like too much like the Portugieser Chronographs that come out each few years reasonably than being a brand new tackle an previous stalwart. Nevertheless, the IWC Portugieser is head and shoulders probably the most important iconic mannequin right here for me, and that’s ok to earn it my nomination because the winner of this class.
ED: I really like the purity of the Portugiesers, however I’m not a specific fan of it within the chronograph variation. Nevertheless, I need to agree with Gary on the character of its ubiquitous means to be acknowledged, due to this fact it’s my runner up.
Additional studying: New IWC Portugieser Chronographs Now With In-House Automatic Movements
Fast Details IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Case: 41 x 13.1 mm, stainless-steel
Motion: automated manufacture Caliber 69355, four Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 46-hour energy reserve
Capabilities: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds; chronograph
Worth: €7,850 / $7,950 / CHF eight,200
Piaget Altiplano Origin Automated
MG: As a giant Piaget fan, I’m at all times very strict with this model. Whereas the Altiplano is to me probably the most iconic gown watches of all time, this specific model will not be slicing it. If you happen to name the mannequin “Origin,” followers anticipate one thing intently associated to the very first Altiplano fashions. In essence, meaning two arms, not three.
GG: The Piaget Altiplano may be the most effective watch on this group with its ultra-thin development. The ultra-thin Piagets we’ve seen through the years are definitely icons, however this one strays a bit farther from the design cues of the earliest Piaget ultra-thins than do a number of the different watches on this class from their forebears, and that pushed it down the ranks for me.
MG: Whereas I can recover from the date, Gary, as again within the day Piaget made additionally an beautiful model of the 12P named Caliber 12PC that includes a date operate, I can’t recover from the subsidiary seconds. Additionally, whereas the unique fashions of the 9P and 12P-powered watches had been very pure, this one is borderline boring. Am I too strict with Piaget? Maybe. However I do know what this model is able to, so the expectations are excessive.
ED: It additionally strays too removed from the everyday Piaget search for me as effectively, regardless that I very a lot respect its devilish thinness and magnificence.
IS: I’m a fan of ultra-thins and assume that the Piaget Altiplano Origin Automated is a stupendous males’s gown watch, which makes me marvel why it wasn’t entered within the Males’s class. I really like the clear styling dial aspect and sensational motion from the show again. However once more, Piaget, you enter one of many world’s finest ultra-thins within the GPHG however don’t provide a photograph of it in profile highlighting simply how slim it’s. The Piaget Altiplano Origin Automated is a possible class winner in my eyes, however sadly, not on this class.
JM: The Piaget Altiplano is as iconic as you will get on the subject of ultra-thin gown watches, just about defining the aesthetic of your complete class. That mentioned, ultra-thin gown watches get a lot much less consideration than massive stainless-steel sport watches, diving watches, and pilot’s watches. I feel the Altiplano has a strong likelihood of successful the class, however I feel it relies upon closely on the jury. They might downplay an ultra-thin gown watch and play up others. For that motive, I’m placing it down as a second-place end, however I cannot be shocked if it squeaks out the win.
Fast Details Piaget Origin Automated
Case: 40 x 6.36 mm, white gold
Motion: automated ultra-thin Caliber 1205P with micro rotor, three mm in peak, 44-hour energy reserve, three Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Capabilities: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Worth: 24,800 Swiss francs
Seiko Prospex Skilled Diver’s 1000M “Tuna”
ED: Ah, the “Tuna.” There’s hardly a extra iconic diver’s watch, is there? A watch line that made its debut in 1975, this 12 months’s model is up to date in that it has the flexibility to dive to 1,000 meters, making it a real instrument. Nonetheless, its essentially massive dimension (53.four x 17.four) turns me proper off. As a real diver’s watch nice – for anything, hmmmm.
MG: That is the one watch of the six that has a nickname – or to be extra exact, its case type has a nickname. I like the way in which that Seiko made this specific model of the “Tuna” with a Japanese eye for element and a really attention-grabbing mixture of supplies. Deep in my coronary heart is that this maybe the watch that I need to win, as the whole lot mixed it’s such a robust proposition.
IS: Like so many different nominated watches right here, I scratched my head as to why the Seiko Skilled Diver’s 1000M is on this class. And it additional will increase my marvel as to why the Iconic class exists in any respect. Sure, I perceive that this new Prospex is a reinterpretation of an iconic mannequin, however it’s an unabashed dive watch and could be a robust contender to win the Diver’s class. However Iconic it’s and the sheer recognition of the Seiko Prospex earns it my vote for runner up right here.
GG: I’m probably not a Seiko man, however the model appears fairly the recent factor lately, particularly amongst youthful collectors, and the Skilled Diver’s 1000M “Tuna” is a hanging model of the Tuna line’s basic design that’s each up to date trying with its use of recent supplies and pure Tuna with its protecting shroud, marker and hand shapes, and crown location. It’s my second selection on this 12 months’s Iconic race.
JM: The Seiko Skilled Diver, aka the Prospex “Tuna,” is simply the proper mixture of quirky and fashionable to win this class. Whereas all the opposite watches are nice trying and fashionable for quite a lot of causes, it is a watch that grew to become very talked-about not simply with divers (as a result of it was an amazing dive watch) however with watch followers as a consequence of its barely wacky design. For that motive by itself, the Tuna is a really well-known dive watch to collectors, and for each new “Tuna” mannequin that comes out Seiko followers are there to purchase it up as quick as they’ll. I feel this watch might win it, although just like the Piaget Altiplano it will depend on the jury. However the recognition of the Seiko Skilled Diver offers it the sting in my ebook and is the watch I predict to take the prize on this class.
Fast Details Seiko Prospex Skilled Diver’s 1000M “Tuna”
Case: 52.four x 17.four mm, titanium
Motion: automated Caliber 8L35, 50-hour energy reserve, four Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Capabilities: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Worth: four,350 Swiss francs
Elizabeth: Girard-Perregaux Laureato Infinity Version 42 mm
Ian: IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Joshua: Seiko Prospex Skilled Diver’s 1000M “Tuna”
Gary: IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Martin: IWC Portugieser Chronograph