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Girard-Perregaux - Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton

Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton

Here is the first ever skeleton version of the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges.

The Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton is crisscrossed with slender black finely rounded bridges. Their curves and cut-outs define the structure of the visual effect and support an incredibly slim mechanical structure. The ethereal suspended masses appear truly improbable given the extreme transparency of this complex calibre. Stretched like cables over a precipice, the bridges of the skeleton calibre are a nod to famous cable-stayed bridges around the world.

The Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton is crisscrossed with slender black finely rounded bridges. Their curves and cut-outs define the structure of the visual effect and support an incredibly slim mechanical structure. The ethereal suspended masses appear truly improbable given the extreme transparency of this complex calibre. Stretched like cables over a precipice, the bridges of the skeleton calibre are a nod to famous cable-stayed bridges around the world.

The timepiece has a 45 mm-diameter titanium case measuring 15.6 mm high and offering ample curves and large glazed areas. The satin-brushed domed case band is distinguished by the total absence of any bezel. The polished lugs are perched high on the case so as to create a strong and early inflection that ensures the watch sits so snugly on any wrist, however small.

The architecturally-based construction is an omnipresent factor in the work of Girard-Perregaux. The Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton conveys references to the innermost elements of artistic construction. Dominated by sapphire rather than titanium, the case is built so as to maximise the view of the movement, itself based on the principle of transparency. The dial-side crystal is of the glass box type, steeply cambered and convex. It rises vertically from the case, before changing angle to cover the heart of the watch, like a protective dome. The caseback crystal is also convex, meaning that, when viewed from the side, the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton is a band of grey metal with a matt appearance achieved by satin brushing, framed by two sapphire protrusions. In architecture, these are what are referred to as the “skin” of a construction. This technical and visual layer ensures transparency and reveals the structure, revealing the internal network of reinforcements that give strength and shape to a building. In this instance, the sapphire skin plays a starring role in the watchmaking show, as well as in its structural requirements and in expressing the distinctive Girard-Perregaux style.

Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton

Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton Girard-Perregaux

The GP 9400-0011 calibre is a revisited version of Calibre 9400: as a result of the skeleton working, the baseplate has been eliminated. The movement finds itself suspended between two layers of air. Certain indispensable anchor points remain, but the opaque and solid supporting structure has disappeared. A closer look shows the screws holding the openworked, polished and bevelled bridges, driven far into the structure of the calibre.

Contrary to other skeleton models made by Girard-Perregaux, the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton has not sought to create a graphic shape by openworking, but instead to ‘erase’ the material so as to enable the bridges to express themselves to the full. To the point where the underlying part of the movement baseplate, which is solid on Calibre 9400, is replaced here by two bridges. The latter are exactly identical to those on the dial side: a first in a structure based on visible bridges. These two bridges are the counterparts of the gear-train bridge (in the centre) and the tourbillon bridge (at 6 o’clock). Their subtly arched shape slightly increases the overall movement thickness (9.54 mm.) But this increase only affects the recesses of the two sapphire crystals, while the titanium caseband remains unchanged.  

Physical lightness is ensured by the low weight of sapphire and titanium and their limited presence, while visual lightness is created by skeleton-working. The bridges contribute to the overall transparency of calibre. They are made of titanium, sandblasted and then blackened by a PVD process. Their 3D shape is so complex, composed of interior angles, arches, extensions and overhangs, that their machining is a watchmaking feat in itself. The result is a free, sensual, taut and powerful shape.

Coursing between these bridges are the two life-flows of watchmaking: the barrel is wound by a white gold micro-rotor, which is placed concentrically with the barrel – a unique position for this organ - that ensures a minimum 60-hour power reserve. The 80-part tourbillon is made from titanium so as to safeguard operational autonomy and reduce friction. It spins on its axis once a minute, driven by a large-diameter balance wheel coupled with a hairspring featuring a Philllips terminal coil and a Swiss lever escapement. The entire fully assembled carriage weighs just 0.25 grams.

The timepiece is fitted with a hand-stitched black alligator strap, with titanium triple folding clasp buckle.

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Ever since 1791, Girard-Perregaux has been pursuing its course in the best tradition of Fine Watchmaking. The Maison’s history has been characterised by legendary timepieces that combine cutting-edge design with innovative technology.

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