When gentlemen discuss watches, the title Chaumet is not one which comes up frequently. Not that the brand is unknown, but actually far from this, but it is in general more associated with higher end jewelry instead of watches. Yet watches, especially for women, are not in any way unknown land for Chaumet. The brand also claims to have generated wristwatches as early as 1811. The most recognizable wristwatches in the brand are even now for ladies, with one exception: The Dandy.The Chaumet Dandy premiered in 2003, and it’s title could not have been more suitable. A good deal of emphasis was placed on look, coming with a refinement therefore natural it seemed almost casually effortless. It was completely in line with Chaumet‘s tradition of incorporating a generous dab of Haute Couture to it’s designs, something that a true dandy never objects to. The oval shape of the case, together with the surprisingly little screwed in lugs, resulted in a very recognizable watch. Yet the main trademark of this watch was it has asymmetrical dial, complemented by a calf leather strap with an off center line of silk sewn into compliment the dial. For people who may find it unsatisfactory that this was merely the ETA/Peseux caliber 7001, there are two things to keep in mind; First of all, it’s said that a Dandy often comes from a working-class background and is always a self-made guy. Second, as could a Dandy, is refinement is obtained slowly using its age.The present collection of this Chaumet Dandy is a display of “Dandyism” in the finest tradition. Let us call it a Dandy undercover. More intriguing though it gets together with the chronograph.
On September 1st, in keeping with the regulations, the Foundation of the GPHG posted on its website the 72 watches selected by the 26 members of the international jury that will convene before the prize-giving ceremony on October 29th to choose the winners in each of the 12 categories. The first clearly visible fact is that all the watch groups are represented, as are the major independent brands and various small niche players, spread across a number of segments. As in any competition, there are winners and losers (see the 72 selected watches here).
Let’s focus on the winners. Generally speaking, being selected is in itself a first victory. The six watches chosen in each category earn worldwide recognition as well as media coverage, and are exhibited in various cities around the world, in this instance Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Geneva. Among the brands whose watches will appear in showcases designed by the students of the HEAD – Geneva University of Art and Design – some stand out by the sheer number of creations that appealed to the jury. This particular honour roll is topped by Piaget with no less than six watches selected! Absent from the GPHG last year, Piaget has managed to place its models among the top six in the Ladies’, Ladies’ High Mech, Men’s (the most competitive with 32 candidates), Chronograph, Jewellery and Artistic Crafts categories, thereby powerfully showcasing the breadth of its expertise.
Blancpain, Bulgari and Hermès are right behind with four watches selected each, followed by Hublot and Montblanc with three watches apiece, and then Chaumet, Christophe Claret, Girard-Perregaux, Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz and Zenith, that will each see two watches travel to the Dubai Watch Week organised by the GPHG and the retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.
They are right there in the mix
This first result must be particularly pleasing for Tiffany & Co, which has just launched a global operation designed to recapture the watch market, notably symbolised by the May opening of a flagship store in Geneva, and now by the selection of its Annual Calendar CT60. A longstanding loyal participant in the GPHG, Bovet has been singled out in the most crowded category after that of Men’s watches: the Tourbillon, with 24 candidates. Former prize-winners A. Lange & Söhne, de Grisogono, DeWitt, Greubel Forsey, HYT, Laurent Ferrier, Romain Gauthier, Seiko and TAG Heuer will also be part of the Middle and Far Eastern tour that will culminate in Geneva at the Cité du Temps. They will be accompanied by timepieces from such diverse brands as Claude Meylan, Longines, Louis Moinet and Louis Vuitton, to mention only the WorldTempus partner brands.
Check out the entire selection and take part in the prediction competition here (which should not be confused with the official Public Prize vote that may be cast via this link).