Saturday, 1 November 2014

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve 2014 Prize Winners! Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727 Takes Top Honors

The highest award, the “Aiguille d’Or” is awarded to Breguet for the Classique Chronométrie Ref 7727

The reference 7727 oscillates at a frequency of 10 Hz and represents the first time that such high frequency has been applied in a non-chronograph watch since the purpose is to improve the precision and the stability of rate of a conventional mechanical watch. Increasing the frequency and the power of the mechanical oscillation improves the timekeeping performance of the balance and spring. As a general rule, the regulating power, or the mechanical energy of a timepiece, is equivalent to less than 200 microwatts for the best pe rforming chronometers. The regulating power of this Classique Chronométrie is around 800 microwatts. Breguet’s mastery of silicon enabled this high frequency to be reached with a conventional balance-spring. The main advantages of silicon components are that they can be manufactured to a high precision and are extremely lightweight. Furthermore they are non-magnetic. This watch is thus equipped with balance-spring, pallet lever and escape-wheel in silicon. The balance-spring, especially developed for this model, delivers optimum precision and unequalled isochronism. For Breguet, high frequency does not come at the expense of the power reserve. The energy stored in the mainspring barrel of the reference 7727 and its high level of workmanship keep the watch running for 60 hours. 

Technical Innovation and pretty as a picture ;) well deserving winner!

Breguet’s advances in magnetism have also resulted in an unprecedented mechanism to improve the pivoting, rotation and the stability of the balance shaft. The company’s watchmakers unveiled a new solution based on the use of two endstones incorporating powerful micro-magnets, one for each end of the balance shaft. (This follows in the wake of Abraham-Louis Breguet, who in 1790 developed the pare-chute to prevent shocks breaking the balance shaft, as well as the tourbillon to average out the effects of gravity). As one of the magnets is stronger than the other, one end of the balance shaft is kept in permanent contact with its ruby endstone. Magnetic induction generates a magnetic flux through the balance shaft developing a force that acts with the gyroscopic inertia affecting the balance shaft. 

This construction thus results in a self -correcting dynamically stable system. Since the magnetic bond between the shaft and the endstone is stronger than the force of gravity, the shaft continues to pivot on the endstone irrespective of the position of the watch. Furthermore, the system performs the role of a shock absorber. If a blow shifts the pivot out of position the magnetic attraction pulling it back increases with the extent of the pivot’s lateral displacement. The shaft thus returns automatically to its position, restoring the maximum magnetic flux. 

Just as the technical aspects at the heart of this timepiece unfailingly evoke a work by Breguet, its styling also features all the attributes of a Breguet timepiece: the engine-turned dial, the delicate fluting on the caseband, the polished steel Breguet hands, the welded lugs, the unique number as well as the secret signature. 

Gorgeous dial which displays six engine-turned patterns. The centre is in “Geneva waves” 
a clou de Paris hobnailing design adorns the small seconds dial, the tenths -of-a-second counter
 displays a sunburst pattern, while the power-reserve indicator is decorated in chevrons. The 
 chapter ring for the hours has an edging decoration and the outside edge is in a barleycorn pattern

Congrats to all the winners!


Excellence, innovation and watchmaking expertise were duly rewarded on this Friday October 31st in the Grand Théâtre de Genève, on the occasion of the 14th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) prize-giving ceremony. The international jury of this edition 2014 of the GPHG handed out 16 prizes, including the supreme “Aiguille d’Or”, distinction, awarded to Breguet for the Classic Chronométrie model. The Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann, who praised the vitality of the Swiss watch industry, officially presented this prize on-stage.


“Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix: 
Breguet, Classique Chronométrie

Ladies’ Watch Prize: Blancpain, Women Off-centred Hour
Ladies’ High-Mech Watch Prize: Christophe Claret, Margot
Men’s Watch Prize: Urban Jürgensen & Sonner, Central Second
Chronograph Watch Prize: De Bethune, DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon
Tourbillon Watch Prize: Grönefeld, Parallax Tourbillon
Calendar Watch Prize: A. Lange & Söhne, Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar "Terraluna" some in hand pics of this gorgeous piece here LINK
Striking Watch Prize: Hublot, Classic Fusion Cathedral Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Urwerk, EMC
“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Seiko, Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT
Sports Watch Prize: Zenith, El Primero Lightweight
 Jewellery Watch Prize: Bulgari, Diva High Jewellery Emeralds
Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: Voutilainen, Hisui
“Revival” Watch Prize: Omega, Speedmaster "Dark Side Of The Moon" click here for my post on this fantastic piece LINK
Innovation Watch Prize: Urwerk, EMC
Special Jury Prize: Walter Lange

The public, after votes cast on Internet and at the international exhibitions, selected its own favourite which won the Public Prize: Breguet, Classique Dame.

Created in 2001 and intended as an annual salute to the excellence of worldwide watchmaking creations, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève fosters the reputation and influence of this art and its values around the globe. Values that are shared by the main partner of the Foundation of the GPHG, the Edmond de Rothschild group, which since 2011 has regularly rewarded the best young student at the Geneva Watchmaking School by awarding a scholarship.

[this photo looks to have some interesting photoshopping going on but it's ok ;)] Laureates of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2014 : Bart and Tim Grönefeld (co-founders of Grönefeld), Kari Voutilainen (Founder of Voutilainen), Felix Baumgartner et Martin Frei (co-fournders of Urwerk), Pierre Jacques (CEO De Bethune), Walter Lange (Founder of A. Lange & Söhne), Christophe Claret (Founder and President of Christophe Claret), Aldo Magada (President & CEO of Zenith), Dr Helmut Crott (Owner of Urban Jürgensen & Sonner), Johann Schneider-Ammann (Federal Councilor), Jean-Christophe Babin (CEO of Bulgari), Jean-Charles Zufferey (Vice-president of Breguet), Ricardo Guadalupe (CEO of Hublot), Carlo Lamprecht (President of the Fondation du GPHG), Ryuhei Maeda (HE Ambassador of Japan in Switzerland) and Naoko Maeda, Wilhelm Schmid (CEO of A. Lange & Söhne), Pierre Maudet (State councilor), Stephen Urquhart (CEO of Omega), Susumu Kawanishi (Senior Vice-president of Seiko), Vincent Becchia (Product director of Blancpain)


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