Girard-Perregaux Girard-Perregaux still has a lot in the tank
The brand's innovation and manufacturing abilities are intact. With such rich history and tools, GP have all they need to surprise us.
Due to the sheltering-in-place and Covid circumstances, many watchmaking brands have yet to introduce a 2020 novelties lineup. One of those is highly anticipated. Girard-Perregaux haven't been making the front page when it comes to a category where they had long been a reference, high horology. This is a fundamental, flag-bearing segment, which bestows pride and produces astounding watches, where Girard-Perregaux need to find a new footing.
It should be said that they were busy relaunching the Laureato collection, pushing the Classic Bridges collection and propelling the Laureato Absolute collection. Not to mention merging their manufacture into that of Ulysse Nardin (they share the same shareholder) and changing their logo : under the Girard and Perregaux names now lies a double-arrow bridge, a nod to the emblematic shape found on the Tourbillon sous Trois Ponts d'Or.
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute on the wrist © David Chokron/Worldtempus
The joint Girard-Perregaux / Ulysse Nardin manufacture © David Chokron/Worldtempus
But bear in mind that Girard-Perregaux set the haute horology tone for the better part of the 1990's and 2000's. Way before the tidal resurrection wave of high end watches, they had been offering multiple versions of their Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts d'Or, a trailblazing and absolute reference of a timepiece.
A Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts d'Or Perpetual Calendar movement © David Chokron/Worldtempus
At the same time, they were supplying collectors with the most daring chiming watches one had ever seen, the three successive versions of the Opera. Plus perpetual calendars, split-seconds chronographs and foudroyante, and several combinations of those.
A throwback to a time of great great complications... © David Chokron/Worldtempus
By choosing to manufacture a wide range of base movements and an even wider catalog of complication modules to fit them, Girard-Perregaux treated themselves to capabilities and opportunities one can only dream of. Flyback chronograph, big date with moonphase, annual calendar with equation of time, perpetual calendar, worldtimer, tourbillon with one or three bridges, flying tourbillon, several skeletons and even micro-rotor-powered movements... there are maybe ten manufactures with such a technological array.
The Girard-Perregaux Neo Bridges © David Chokron/Worldtempus
Most of these complications were, and still are, in-house developments. For those which weren't, like the minute repeaters, the multi-axis tourbillons or the Jackpot models (essentially, portable slot machines with a tourbillon), Girard-Perregaux are the ones doing the decorating, assembling, setting, encasing and servicing. For there is also a culture of top-of-the-line finishings within the manufacture, which has most certainly survived when the staff moved workshops. For those who doubt it, forgot about it or don't even know it, this brand can do actual wonders.
A gold tourbillon bridge meant for a pocket watch being finished © David Chokron/Worldtempus
Case in point, the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges, which is one of their most fertile creations of late. A modern take on the classic Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts d'Or, the Neo is a resounding design success : three-dimensional, sleek, complex, aerial, full of details, it's also a shape shifter. The timepiece first began with gold cases and black, full bridges and mainplate.
The Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton © David Chokron/Worldtempus
Then came a skeleton version. Then came a sapphire-case version, named Quasar. Then in 2020 came the ultimate step in transparency, Quasar Light. Its skeleton movement bears three sapphire bridges and is borne by a sapphire case. It doesn't get any more transparent (and auspicious) than that.
Girard-Perregaux Quasar Light © Girard-Perregaux
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.Find out more >
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