These are the best watches of the year, according to the experts

The results are in, and we now know what a panel of 30 professionals in the watch industry collectively think are the watches that deserve special recognition this year. It is the culmination of the annual GPHG, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the main award ceremony in the watchmaking world.

The top prize, the “Aiguille d’Or”, went to a technically impressive and visually compelling watch, but there were other winners spanning a total of 18 categories – no finalist, just one watch in each. category (plus a discretionary watch Special Jury Prize to the organizers of Dubai Watch Week). All entrants paid a fee, and the winners came home with a small golden hand sculpture held out as a prize and the rights to use the GPHG award mark for marketing purposes.

Did your favorite watch succeed? There was some overlap with our own favorites, but also some interesting choices. Agree? To disagree? Check out a selection of the winners below (you can see the full list here) and leave your comments in the Comments section.

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Grand Prize: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar

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I can’t really dispute this choice, as it broke the world record for the thinnest perpetual calendar at 5.8mm, and its execution is as inspired as an innovative watch of its kind deserves.

Movement: Bulgari BVL 305 automatic
Diameter: 40mm
Price: $ 59,000 +

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Men’s: Grand Seiko Heritage Hi-Beat Shirakaba

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The category “men’s watch” can include just about anything. We also picked this Grand Seiko as our favorite out of the six nominees for more or less all of the reasons we normally love Grand Seiko.

Movement: Seiko 9SA5
Diameter: 40mm
Price: $ 9,100

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Male complications: MB&F LMX Titanium

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MB&F, the industry favorite, is a staple of the GPHG every year. For the complications category, its LMX does the job perfectly, with a dual time zone displayed on inclined dials and power reserve indicators.

Movement: MB&F LMX with manual winding
Diameter: 44mm
Price: $ 112,000

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Iconic: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin isn’t new, but it’s definitely an icon. New this year is its green dial and platinum case configuration.

Movement: Audemars Piguet 2121 automatic
Diameter: 39mm
Price: $ 105,400

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Chronograph: Zenith Chronomaster Sport

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Zenith’s new sporty chronograph features familiar elements that have combined into a new model this year. The brand’s Chronomaster series is so good it was doomed to win in one category or another.

Movement: Zenith El Primero 3600 automatic
Diameter: 41mm
Price: $ 9,500 +

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Calendar & Astronomy: Christiaan van der Klaauw CVDK Planetarium Eise Eisinga

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It’s cool to see smaller, independent watchmakers being recognized. It almost looks like a relatively “normal” watch, but its sub-dial at 6 o’clock “displays in real time – the solar orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn”.

Movement: CVDK7386 automatic
Diameter: 40mm
Price: ~ $ 50,000 +

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Diver: Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver

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Likely to cause controversy, Louis Vuitton this year launched a diving watch in its Tambour collection with a trendy “urban” theme that it calls the Street Diver. It certainly deserves some attention.

Movement: ETA 2895-2 automatic
Diameter: 44mm
Price: $ 7,505

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