These Are the Best Watches of 2019

Originally published by Jon Bues on Hodinkee.

The votes have been counted and the results are in. The winner of watchmaking’s most prestigious industry award, the CPHG Aiguille D’Or, is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin. This is the serially produced, commercially available version of a watch that readers may remember from its initial debut as the Royal Oak RD#2. Presented at the SIHH 2018, it was made of solid platinum and was an experimental prototype. 

Today’s winning watch is made from titanium with a platinum bezel and polished platinum bracelet interlinks. Like the RD#2, the Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin measures just 41mm x 6.3mm with a perpetual calendar movement that clocks in at just 2.89mm thin. These record-breaking proportions were achieved by taking the classic, three-level perpetual calendar construction and and compressing everything into one layer, as seen in the below image. The Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin is an incredibly impressive watchmaking achievement, and one that clearly impressed the Grand Prix jurors in Geneva. 

Though AP has won several GPHG awards across numerous categories, this is the company’s first time taking home the top prize.

The 2019 Winners

Aiguille D’Or: Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

Ladies’ Watch Prize: Chanel, J12 Caliber 12.1

Ladies’ Complication Watch Prize: MB&F, Legacy Machine FlyingT

Men’s Watch Prize: Voutilainen, 28ti

Men’s Complication Watch Prize: Audemars Piguet, Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Minute Repeater Supersonnerie

Iconic Watch Prize: Audemars Piguet, Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-thin

Chronometry Watch Prize: Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, Carburised steel regulator

Calendar and Astronomy Watch Prize: Hermès, Arceau L’heure de la lune

Mechanical Exception Watch Prize: Genus, GNS1.2

Chronograph Watch Prize: Bvlgari, Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic

Diver’s Watch Prize: Seiko, Prospex LX Line Diver’s

Jewellery Watch Prize: Bvlgari, Serpenti Misteriosi Romani

Artistic Crafts Watch Prize: Voutilainen, Starry Night Vine

“Petite Aiguille” Prize: Kudoke, Kudoke 2

Challenge Watch Prize: Tudor, Black Bay P01

Innovation Prize: Vacheron Constantin, Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar

Audacity Prize: Urwerk, AMC

“Horological Revelation” Prize: Ming, 17.06 Copper

Special Jury Prize: Luc Pettavino, Founder and Organizer of Only Watch

Hodinkee is the preeminent resource for modern and vintage wristwatch enthusiasts. Through in-depth reviews, live reports, and dynamic videos, Hodinkee is bringing watches to a 21st-century audience.

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