Original article from worldtempus.com
The Aiguille d’Or (Golden Hand) is the top prize at the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Awarded by a jury that consists of the most eminent collectors and watch journalists, this prize is the one coveted by the entire watchmaking industry. We take a look back at the watches that have won this prestigious award in the past.
In general, there is one clear trend among the winners: all of them are traditional high-end watch brands, like Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Söhne and Breguet, to name just a few of the names that have won the Holy Grail of watchmaking. The prize awarded to TAG Heuer in 2012 is a notable exception. Although the brand is not usually considered to be part of the inner circle of high-end watchmaking, it nevertheless stood out that year with its revolutionary Mikrogirder model, a mechanical chronograph with a precision of 1/2000th of a second and an entirely new type of regulating organ.
MIKROGIRDER. © TAG HEUER
From 2001 to 2006, the winners were all Geneva-based watch brands: Vacheron Constantin in 2001 and 2005, Patek Philippe in 2002 and 2003, F.P. Journe in 2004 and 2006. In 2007 Geneva’s reign ended with a victory for Richard Mille. The manufacture based in the canton of Jura won the Aiguille d’Or with its RM 012, an architectural tubular tourbillon. In 2008, Geneva watchmaking returned with another victory for F. P. Journe and his Centigraphe Souverain. Since then, year after year, the Switzerland’s traditional watchmaking valleys have taken the honours. To date, A. Lange & Söhne, based in the Saxon village of Glashütte in Germany, well-known as the cradle of the German watchmaking industry, is the only non-Swiss watch brand to have won the Aiguille d’Or, in 2009 with the Lange Zeitwerk.
LANGE ZEITWERK. © A. LANGE & SÖHNE