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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Timepiece Tuesday: Helios Watch Receives GTE Superwatch Award

Technical innovation and craftsmanship are at the heart of the Swiss watchmaking universe. On Monday, that tradition was celebrated by naming the Helios timepiece, by Manufacture Jouvenot SA, as the winner of the GTE 2011 Superwatch Award. Nearly 30 companies submitted entries for this competition.

The Helios (named after the Greek God of sun) has a sun-shaped hour display which represents the path of the sun over a 24-hour period alternating between day and night. The timepiece has two faces, corresponding to day and night cycles, and displays the time without conventional hands, numerals or disks.

Each hour is represented by a radioconcentric sunbeam, i.e. starting from the centre and radiating towards the edge of the dial. The twelve sunbeams show the path of the sun on the dial while indicating the hour to come and the past hour. At midday all rays blaze like the light of the day, representing the sun at its zenith. As day become night, gradually, each sunbeam is replaced by a moonbeam. Twilight is reached, then midnight symbolized by twelve dark segments. The darkness of the face then reveals the disc with an opening in the form of the moon at the center of the watch. At dawn, the rays of the sun (as watch hands) are reactivated and the ambient light progressively returns as each hour passes.

Ressence (pictured above)  received a “Special Mention” for its Platform Watch, which has a rotating dial plate. Time is displayed by a flush mounted revolving dial that embodies all the graphical elements in one plane.

The award was announced Monday during the second day of the Geneva Time Exhibition—a trade fair for innovative, independent luxury watches. Held at the International Conference Center in Geneva, Switzerland, the fair consists of about 60 watch brands displaying their newest designs—including technological advancements, unique creations and exceptional craftsmanship—to thousands of watch lovers, private collectors, and watch dealers. The fair, which will run till January 21, along with Superwatch Award, is in its second year.

Frédéric Jouvenot, the company’s founder, received the GTE Superwatch Award: a Reuge musical box epitomizing Swiss mechanical prowess and avant-garde creativity. The prize also includes a free stand at next year's fair (GTE 2012); and the chance to appear on the cover of Plaza Watch after a free photo session with the magazine's team of professional photographers.

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