Last year, the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève) announced a list of winners for 2021. Not surprisingly some amazing watches were competing for what is equivalent of an Oscar in the watch industry. Personally, I don’t agree with all the judges selections and feel Louis Moinet’s wonderful ‘Space Revolution’ should have been acknowledged. However, no one can dispute that Bernhard Lederer’s ‘Central Impulse Chronometer’ and Louis Vuitton’s ‘Tambour Carpe Diem’ are definitely worthy recipients. Another, superb watch that instantly caught my attention is the ‘Blue Planet’ from CIGA Design.
CIGA Design is an innovative creative hub founded by acclaimed industrial designer Zhang Jianmin. This pioneer is recognised as one of China’s top 10 industrial designers. In his illustrious career he has provided design services for Beijing Olympics, Shanghai World Expo, and Universiade Shenzhen. Effectively Zhang Jianmin is multi-disciplinary designer that specialises in fields like architecture, graphics, product design. After 26-years of commercial experience he decided to launch his own watch brand.
Zhang Jianmin is an advocate of Bauhaus’s design principle that “form follows function”. CIGA Design don’t consider wristwatches luxury items and believe everyone should be able to afford one. Certainly, the company’s timepieces are very attractive and very well designed. However, in my opinion previous models don’t come close to the ‘Blue Planet’. This amazing watch shows a degree of maturity and that’s why it netted the ‘Challenge Prize’ at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021 awards. On first inspection you could be mistaken for thinking it was created by Vianney Halter or MB & F.
Aesthetically the ‘Blue Planet’ has a refined ‘Avant-Garde’ appearance normally found in “Haute Horlogerie” style watches. Dimensionally the watch is well proportioned and has a 46mm diameter case. Due to the ergonomic design (which is devoid of lugs) and choice of lightweight titanium this piece is exceptionally comfortable to wear. For this model CIGA Design have developed a self-winding mechanical movement with new gear ratio. This allows the hour hand (the earth) to rotate by 30° and the minute chapter ring to rotate by 390°. The brand have named this innovative technology “Asynchronous-Follow”. Time is displayed by a mariner symbol, that points towards a static hour chapter ring and minutes on a rotating chapter ring. This non-conventional display takes a bit of adjusting. However, it is exceptionally cool to look at and is certainly a good talking point.
As a perfect finale the Blue Planet is presented on a blue rubber strap with matching titanium buckle. To purchase this amazing watch follow this link