As one of the oldest continuing watch manufacturers in the world, Girard-Perregaux have a long, illustrious history of sharp and innovative designs. In 1889 at the Paris Universal Exhibition, the brand’s legendary pocket watch “Esmeralda”, a tourbillon with three gold bridges, was awarded first prize, establishing the motif as an emblematic design for the brand. Since then, the iconic Tourbillon with Three Bridges has formed the cornerstone of GP’s top tier collection. This year saw the addition of the Neo-Bridges, a “retro-futuristic” take on the design, which embodies the long-standing traditions of the brand while adopting its rediscovered forward-looking approach to watchmaking. Distinctively modern, the dial of the Neo-bridges is fully open-worked and essentially consists of an outer ring with suspended indices and minute markers – laying bare the front side of the newly developed automatic calibre GP08400-0001. However, the movement is anything but bare, with its inner workings showcased in a mixture of matt sandblasted finishes, an NAC-coated mainplate, and a PVD treatment on the hallmark bridges. These bridges span across the dial, with the lower bridge supporting the large, 10.15mm diameter, variable-inertia balance wheel (instead of the familiar tourbillon as seen on other models) – its generous size… Read More
Girard-Perregaux is one of Swiss watchmaking’s best-kept secrets. The La Chaux-de-Fonds based brand offers a complete — and compelling — package, fine pedigree, and a catalogue that ranges from the highest of high horology, through to some more accessible (yet still exceptional) pieces. But, for whatever reason, GP has long lacked the sort of name recognition they deserve, and which is enjoyed by some of their Helvetican siblings. But it feels like that’s on the cusp of change. Girard-Perregaux is back at the SIHH, with a particularly strong and focused collection. And while the Laureato is their shining star, there are plenty of other worthy offerings in the catalogue. Take, for example, the 1966 WW.TC in steel. The 1966 collection is GP’s clean, classic – and dare we say it, conservative – collection, and this is the first time the WW.TC (short for World Wide Time Control) has joined its ranks. Personally, I don’t think that the brand’s world timer has ever looked more at home. Previous versions of the watch have added chronographs, dates and superfluous complications. The 1966 WW.TC is stripped back to the essentials. A clean, legible city ring, easy to read 24-hour disc and small seconds…. Read More
Following on from their somewhat controversial releases at SIHH, Girard-Perregaux has surprised us with not one but two new pieces to add to their already brimming Laureato collection. Originally launched back in 1975, the then cutting-edge, quartz-powered Laureato was designed by an Italian architect who, the story goes, drew his inspiration from the dome of the famous Cathedral in Florence. With its octagonal inner bezel and integrated bracelet, the watch bore more than a passing resemblance to other very recognisable ’70s designs (read AP and Patek). These two new skeletonised pieces seem to be doing their best to shake that association and delve back into the architectural design roots of the Laureato. The 42mm wide, 10.88mm thick Laureato Skeleton is available cased in either stainless steel or 18k pink gold. It sports GP’s own in-house GP01800-0006 skeletonised movement with a 54-hour power reserve and small seconds – a movement most recently seen in last year’s skeletonised 1966 model. Derived from the GP01800, the movement has been upgraded with a variable inertia balance, ensuring greater precision. But the most obvious addition is, well, what’s been left out. The openworked design seems to be well done, and the movement has been galvanised with an… Read More
While the watches at SIHH change every year, one thing stays reassuringly the same, and that is the drama surrounding them. Sometimes it’s big, like the deregulation of the Swiss Franc. Sometimes it’s small, like a brand being a little too obsfucatory in a press release over the origins of a movement. This year everyone’s tongues seemed to be wagging about a) Moser’s cheesy take on the industry, and b) the Girard-Perregaux Laureato. Feel free to disagree with us, but we think the majority of noise around the Laureato – specifically around its look and legitimacy – is well and truly blown out of proportion, as is so often the case with ‘controversies’ like these. But that’s just the tip of the GP iceberg in 2017, with lots to discuss around other models, too. Watch on!
In the spectrum of colour, grey is quite the double agent. There it goes, trudging along amid notions of overcast skies, mind-numbing office cubicles, uncertainty. But just as we’re all stifling a yawn at its inherent dowdiness, what’s this we see? There goes grey playing its other hand in a realm populated by wolves and weimaraners, silver foxes with steely gazes, marble and moodiness. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the grey matter we’re interested in – executed perfectly, as it happens, in the anthracite hue of this Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Power Reserve. We’ve talked before about embracing colour at the wrist, but let’s be honest: though this is a world away from your usual black and brown options, it’s a far less daunting leap than anything genuinely bright. Adding to the style quota is the horizontally elliptical case at 37.84mm by 32.84mm, which, combined with the slender grey alligator strap, makes this watch an excellent choice for daintier arms. Sixty-four diamonds stand guard on the bezel, while eight more act as indices on the dial itself, dotted between Arabic numerals at 6, 9 and 12. Meanwhile, the backdrop of two contrasting textures – a smooth crescent hugging a guilloche section – create… Read More
Let’s get this out of the way early on. Does the Girard-Perregaux Laureato share some visual similarities with other well-known luxury steel sports watches? Sure, but we can easily think of half a dozen watches that fit that particular bill. AP and Patek don’t have a monopoly on ’70s design. And make no mistake, the Laureato is very much a ’70s design. In fact, as far as watch designs go, it’s got a great backstory. The first Laureato, released in 1975, was a quartz, arriving as it did six years after the invention of the quartz wristwatches. Not only that, it was (according to GP) the first quartz movement made entirely in-house, and it also determined the frequency standard 32,768 Hz that’s still used today. Quite a feat given the novel and complex technologies involved. The watch – designed by an Italian architect, its octagonal bezel inspired by the footprint of Florence’s famous dome – was a hit, and by the latter part of the decade it had become GP’s best-seller. Even then, the key elements of bezel, hobnail dial pattern and integrated bracelet were key design features. And it’s not like the Laureato has suddenly reappeared after a long absence. The collection was given an upgrade… Read More
The story in a second: The most important Girard-Perregaux of 2015 isn’t the one that just won a major prize. When Antonio Calce came on board as Girard-Perregaux’s CEO at the start of 2015, he discovered a sleeping giant. One of Switzerland’s most storied brands, GP had over 200 years of history at its disposal – but this legacy was underutilised. Calce resolved to remedy this situation by simplifying product offerings, capitalising on the impressive in-house capacity at his disposal, and placing a greater emphasis on Girard-Perregaux’s museum. That GP recently took home the award for the best striking watch at the GPHG for their Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges is proof that they’re doing things right at the big-budget end of town. But while this recognition is important, Calce says, “You don’t build a brand with high-end products, you build prestige. You need an entry level product to attract new customers.” The perfect product to do that is the new 1966 in steel. The elegant 1966 is already a flagship watch for the brand. At 40mm, with an opaline dial and leaf-shaped hands, powered by a beautifully finished in-house movement, it rivals the Calatrava or Patrimony for simplicity… Read More