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Grand Prix D’horlogerie De Genève (GPHG) Exhibition Official Nomination Tour in Kuala Lumpur presented by The Hour Glass

The prestigious awards ceremony known as the Oscars of watchmaking went on display in Kuala Lumpur as part of its multi-city tour.

By Lifestyle Editor

Pictures Courtesy of The Hour Glass

Ahead of the winners’ announcement of the annual Grand  Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) on 9 November at the Théâtre du Léman in Geneva,  Switzerland, 84 of the 90 watches nominated for the prestigious awards ceremony known as  the Oscars of watchmaking went on display in Kuala Lumpur as part of its multi-city tour. Its  only pitstop in South East Asia, the exhibition is hosted by leading specialist watch retailer The Hour Glass at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur from 5 to 8 October 2023. 

Watches from 14 of the awards’ 15 categories offer enthusiasts in the region a glimpse into  the pinnacle of contemporary watchmaking. The 14 categories comprise the Men’s and  Ladies’, Men’s and Ladies’ Complications, Iconic, Tourbillon, Calendar and Astronomy,  Mechanical Exception, Chronograph, Sports, Jewellery, Artistic Crafts, Challenge or entry level and “Petite Aiguille” or mid-range priced. Only shortlisted entries for the Mechanical Clock  category were absent from the exhibition. 

The GPHG is a distinctive organisation and platform that honours horological  innovation,design and craftsmanship. By selecting Kuala Lumpur, it is an affirmation of this  city’s growing importance in the watchmaking world. This is aligned with The Hour Glass’  mission to advance watch culture, offering our community of enthusiasts access to some of the most extraordinary watches of our generation.

Mr. Michael Tay, Group Managing  Director of The Hour Glass 

The launch event on 4 October saw members of the media and watch aficionados of various  inclinations tour the exhibition at leisure, which was joined by members of The Hour Glass  team from a number of regional offices and Valerie Boscat from the Foundation of the Grand  Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. 

Outside of viewing the watches themselves – and making predictions on the winner of each  category – guests also made a beeline to view the GPHG trophy. Created by Genevois graphic  designer Roger Pfund, who also designed the Swiss passport and a large number of bank  notes, the trophy is from gilded bronze and cast in Geneva, the historic home of haute  horlogerie. Pfund’s inspiration is Michaelangelo’s fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,  in which God touches Adam’s extended hand to give him life.  

What was a source of great excitement – not to mention, countless pictures and videos on  social media – were not one but two rousing performances from New York native Q Sound, a  multi-instrumentalist, producer, recording artist and composer, and former Principal Trombone  for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Accompanying his 21-piece ensemble was  Malaysian singer-songwriter and actress Aisha Retno. 

The Hour Glass is hosting a series of workshops throughout the duration of the traveling  exhibition’s stop in Kuala Lumpur, including a fascinating workshop on watch photography.  The organisation believes that it is never too early to cultivate an appreciation for the art of  watchmaking, as such, over the weekend children will be able to participate in a DIY  mechanical clock workshop or join Hublot for a colouring session. 

Malaysia marks the third stop on a worldwide tour after Hong Kong and Macau. Other cities  to host the traveling exhibition include New York (October 18 to 22), Geneva (October 26 to  November 12) and Dubai (November 16 to 20) before culminating in Zurich (December 2 and  3). 

Norman Ho- Group General Manager of The Hour Glass, SK Teh- General Manager of The Hour Glass Malaysia, Valérie Boscat, from the Foundation of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, Daiyan Trisha, Michael Tay- Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass

Zahirah MacWilson adorning the watches

Michael Tay- Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass, YM Tengku Zatashah, Dato’ Setia Aubry Mennesson

Datin Elvina Mohamad

Whulandary Herman, Amy Chia- General Manager (Engagement Marketing) of The Hour Glass Malaysia

Michael Tay - Group Managing Director of The Hour Glass, Valérie Boscat from the Foundation of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, Batiste Pilet- Swiss Tourism, SEA Director, Ralph Stamm - Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of Switzerland in Malaysia

A Celebration of Excellence 

The Geneva stop coincides with the GPHG prize-giving ceremony, which will take place at the  Théâtre du Léman on 9th November 2023. All nominated watches will be presented here and  winners for the coveted 20 or so prizes, including the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix (Best in Show)  distinction, will be announced following a closed-door selection by the GPHG Jury. 

Created in 2001, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) has been recognised as a public interest organisation since 2011 and is overseen by the Canton and City of Geneva. Its  primary purpose is to highlight and reward the most remarkable contemporary creations from  the watchmaking world and promote its art, traditions, and innovation worldwide. 

The most notable way it does this is through the GPHG awards ceremony, an annual competition involving several hundreds of watches marketed during the year and attributing to  the highest awards in this domain. Held in November of each year, the awards draw elite  representatives of the international watchmaking profession, united in honouring the finest  creations and creators who breathe vitality and creativity into the watchmaking world.

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