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Breaking Down The 2011 Cartier Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Awards

I remember several years ago I was part of a thread on one of the popular Replica Cartier Must 21 forums. I commented that it was too bad we weren't alive during the 40s-60s, what I had considered the "Golden Age" of mechanical watches. It seemed like back then, of course, all watches were mechanical, and most seemed quite affordable, even considering inflation. But another poster quickly set me right. He pointed out that were were living in the Golden Age of mechanical watches right now! After a few moments of consideration I realized he was absolutely correct. A strong argument could be made that we live in a Golden Age of mechanical now. We have the ultra-high-end brands such as MB&F, Patek, Lange, De Bethune, etc. We have independents such as Roger Smith, Parmigiani, Peter Speake-Marin, Kari Voutilainen, Richard Mille, and F.P. Journe. And this is all in addition to the usual suspects like Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and dozens of others. But for those without deep pockets there are still other options. A fan of mechanical watches can pick-up a Russian Vostok automatic for well under $100. And there are a seemingly limitless number of Seiko Diver options under $300 and Seiko 5 options for under $75. And don't forget, the Vostok and Seiko (don't forget Orient) automatics are true in-house movements, something that many of the mid-tier Swiss brands can only claim with their fingers crossed behind their backs and a wink. Where I'm going with all of this is that the 2011 edition of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève (sometimes known as the "Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix") awards were recently completed. This event is a kind of industry gathering at which the Swiss Replica Cartier Pasha industry fetes its own. It's not quite clear to me how much of the event is marketing self-promotion by the industry, and how much is more "pure." Regardless, for us watch fans, it's another opportunity to look at the products and manufactures we love. The awards are chosen by a panel picked by, well, I'm not entirely sure how one gets chosen to be on the panel of judges. I can imagine a Swiss castle with Pascal Raffy at the gate, and puffs of white and black smoke coming out of a chimney as candidates are chosen [Ed. note - sounds like a scene from a bad FOX TV reality dating or cooking show]. The 2011 awards were held on November 19th. Cutting to the chase, the top award winner was the De Bethune DB28, which took home the coveted Aiguille d’Or award. As I've mentioned before, I think that De Bethune has the slickest looking moonphase complication. The brand is a breath of fresh air in a world of Rolex Submariner homages and the like. Not that I dislike the Sub, it's just that it's nice to see some different new designs. And the prizes are awarded in large part based on innovation, both technical and design. The Best Men’s Watch award went to the Hermès Arceau Le Temps Suspendu. I really didn't expect this; most of us don't think of Hermès when we think of fine Swiss/French watchmaking. Do read Ariel's review of this watch from earlier in the year.