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Watchmaking’s Academy Awards
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Watchmaking’s Academy Awards

Friday, 02 March 2018
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Mathilde Binetruy
Freelance journalist

“And yet, it moves.”

Galilée

From the 1998 World Cup, her first big event, to SIHH and Baselworld today, she reports from where the action is.

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4 min read

It’ll be red carpet time on Sunday March 4th as the American film industry celebrates its actors, directors and movies at the 90th Academy Awards. What if the nominees were from the watch industry instead? And the winner is…

Best Cinematography: Ulysse Nardin #Freakmeout

Among Ulysse Nardin’s wildly offbeat visuals for its new Freak Vision, special mention has to go to the one of a man walking his shark underwater. It’s crazy, it’s stylish, and just that little bit sexy too. Those chocolate-brown Chelsea boots, that white shirt, that casual open collar all show attention to detail. Which is, so they say, where the devil lies…

Best Original Screenplay: Révélation d'une Panthère by Cartier

A tantalising glimpse then gone… all the best thrillers know how to keep us on edge. Révélation d’une Panthère by Cartier is the kind of watch that has us shout out in surprise, then leaves us wondering. By what magical means do those tiny gold beads trace the contours of a panther’s head, only to have it vanish before our eyes. Shhh, spoiler alert!

Best Costume Design: Le Jardin Van Cleef & Arpels

Peonies, daisies, forget-me-nots, chrysanthemums, dandelions… The eight secret watches in Van Cleef & Arpels’ Le Jardin collection form a veritable Garden of Eden. But as Adam and Eve discovered to their cost, a romantic comedy can quickly turn into a drama for all concerned.

Best Visual Effects: HYT-H²0

Star Wars, Interstellar, Jurassic Park. Where would the movies be without SFX? Or watchmaking, for that matter. Each year, new technologies put the extraordinary onto our wrists. For HYT, this means a fluid that tells the time. Two diagonally-mounted bellows propel the hours through a patented micro-fluidic module, a step closer to global 3D construction. It’s hardly surprising that HYT heads the list of nominees to succeed last year’s winner, The Jungle Book.

HYT H²0
HYT H²0
Best Adaptation: SIHH 2018

The Three Musketeers has been adapted for the screen 30 times, Romeo and Juliet more than 80 times. SIHH rolled its opening credits for the 28th time in 2018. The backing of 35 brands (versus 30 in 2017), an open day for the public (first tested in 2017 and back by popular demand), and plug-and-play connectivity were just some of the elements that made this edition such a resounding success. We can’t wait for the sequel!

Best Original Score: Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon

Listen… what’s that you hear? “Daa-dum. Daa-dum. Dadum, dadum, dadum, dadum…” The Jaws theme, of course! What about, “Dum – dum – dum -dum -dadum – dum – dadum”? The Imperial March from Star Wars, yet another of the legendary John Williams’ compositions. Last one: “dong – dong – dong – dong – ding – ding – ding – ding – ding – ding”? Six minutes past four, the time on your Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon by Girard-Perregaux, the musical watch that’s making the most noise right now.

A marvel of mechanical sophistication, the Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon by Girard-Perregaux will pluck at any musician's heartstrings
A marvel of mechanical sophistication, the Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon by Girard-Perregaux will pluck at any musician's heartstrings
Best Stunt Performer: Pablo Mac Donough with the RM 53-01 Tourbillon

If your idea of fun is hard objects flying in all directions, 150 kph impacts and head-on collisions, an X-ray of Pablo Mac Donough will make you think again. The Argentinean polo player has broken so many bones over the course of his career that Richard Mille has sent him onto the field with a watch capable of withstanding any amount of shock: the RM 53-01 Tourbillon. And deserves its (unbreakable) statue just for that.

Best Actor: Roger Federer for Rolex

In a spectacular comeback, Roger Federer has reclaimed the title of number-one men’s singles player at 36 and a half years old, making him the oldest top seed in tennis history. Next in line: a 100th title. Rolex can be proud of its ambassador, one of the greatest sportsmen in the world.

Best Actress: Insight Micro-Rotor Lady by Romain Gauthier

Brains or beauty? The Insight Micro-Rotor Lady by Romain Gauthier has both. Admirers clamoured for a glimpse of the star at SIHH in Geneva. The first in a long line?

The Insight Micro-Rotor Lady – Romain Gauthier's first ladies' watch – is for women who want their timepiece to be more than a pretty face
The Insight Micro-Rotor Lady – Romain Gauthier's first ladies' watch – is for women who want their timepiece to be more than a pretty face
Best Director: the economic climate

The upturn that began in 2017 should continue in 2018. Richemont, LVMH and Swatch Group have all announced increased sales; China and Hong Kong are back on track. The one pulling it all together: a favourable economic climate. But remember: success should never be taken for granted.

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