I am happy to announce the 2014 WatchStars Award winners, voted by almost 50 international and independent jury members.
An independent international panel of experts selected timepieces in five categories, from Swatch to Patek Philippe via Kari Voutilainen. The almost 50 international jury members (click here for an overview of all jury members) were free to choose any brand, model, reference number for these five different categories.
Classic Stars – Three-handed watches with no functions other than a date and/or power reserve indicator are included in this category. All watches in the Classic Stars category must have mechanical movements. Only watches that were launched between January 2014 and November 2014 are eligible.
Technical Stars – Watches with additional function(s) other than a date and/or power reserve indicator are included in this category. All watches in the Technical Stars category must have mechanical movements. Only watches that were launched between January 2014 and November 2014 are eligible.
Design Stars – Watches in this category have interesting design features such as unusual case shapes or materials, specially crafted hands or dials, and the like. The watches in the Design Stars category can have either mechanical or quartz movements. All watches are eligible regardless of when they were introduced.
Stars for a lifetime – These watches are timeless classics whose design and/or technical features give them an appeal that will last for decades. They can have quartz or mechanical movements. All watches are eligible regardless of when they were introduced.
New stars – These watches are newcomer watches, that have seen successful launches in a very competitive market with many established watch brands. The watches in the category New Stars category can have either mechanical or quartz movements. All watches are eligible regardless of when they were introduced.
Jury president and renown watch journalist Gisbert L. Brunner said “The jury is comprised of high-profile experts from around the world – packing professional expertise from Brazil to the United States. The jury is therefore completely independent and can justifiably say that these are the best watches in the world”. The idea for the awards was developed by Germany’s leading specialist publisher (Ebner) on the special-interest subject of watches. “In addition to the existing awards, most of which are associated with a magazine, we wanted to create a second international platform. In doing so, we welcome national as well as international media partners”, said Thomas Wanka, who in his capacity as Editor-in-chief of Uhren Magazin is also responsible for the awards.
Yours truly was also part of the jury and selected a couple of watches for each category. These categories are: Classic Stars, Technical Stars, Design Stars, Stars for a lifetime (icons) and New Stars. I am happy to say that 3 out of 5 winners are corresponding with my own voting.
My own experience with the voting is that it was quite a job, as anything was valid for submitting to the Watchstars Awards. The voting system of Watchstars required a precise entry of every watch, including brand, model name, reference number and the reason why I selected this specific timepiece.
By making the reference number of each watch mandatory when submitting Watchstars Awards candidates, it was probably quite a job to consolidate all selected watches. I entered approximately 5 watches on average per category, but every jury member was free to vote any number of watches per category.
You’ve probably seen the winners already in the header photo, but here they are again:
· Classic Stars – Lange 1 by A. Lange & Söhne (ref. 101.064)
· Technical Stars – Grandmaster Chime by Patek Philippe (ref. 5175)
· Design Stars – Type 3 by Ressence
· Stars for a Lifetime – Royal Oak Ultra Thin by Audemars Piguet (ref.15202ST.OO.1240ST.01)
· New Stars – SISTEM51 by Swatch (ref. SUTS401)
More information can be found on the Watchstars Awards website.