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Girard-Perregaux - The Esmeralda secret tourbillon

Girard-Perregaux The Esmeralda secret tourbillon

This one-of-a-kind masterpiece pays homage to the watch created by Constant Girard and awarded a Gold Medal at the 1889 Universal Exhibition held in Paris.

Journey of an historic watch

During the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, a watch from La Chaux-de-Fonds created a stir, as visitors flocked to admire the architecture of the calibre featuring three parallel arrows from the Maison Girard-Perregaux, this pocket chronometer with pivoted detent escapement and three gold bridges was awarded the highest distinction at the event and entrusted to international agents Hauser, Zivy & C°, owners of the luxurious Mexican store La Esmeralda offering a superlative range of watchmaking, art and jewellery.
It was not until the late 1960s that this watch returned to its native land. Its name, La Esmeralda, retains the memory of its epic journey.

1867-2017, from one exceptional model to another

It was in 1860 that Constant Girard developed this iconoclastic construction in which three arrow-shaped parallel bridges support the moving parts of the movement. In 1867, a tourbillon pocket chronometer version with three nickel bridges won a First Class Bulletin from Neuchâtel Observatory, as well as a medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition. Constant Girard therefore decided to protect this original movement endowing the tourbillon with an artistic dimension by filing a patent with the United States Patent Office.

Almost a century and a half later, La Esmeralda Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges “À secret”, entirely crafted by a single master-watchmaker, is inspired by the award-winning 1889 model and displays a concern for detail that naturally ranks it as a prime example of Fine Watchmaking.

La Esmeralda Tourbillon « A secret »

La Esmeralda © Girard-Perregaux

The component finishing is entirely performed by hand, including the upper mainplate that is hand-engraved to highlight the radiant guilloché motif; the barrel that is satin-brushed, chamfered and also engraved with a spiral motif; as well as the lower mainplate adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif and concentric circular graining.

Finally, even the bearing the movement number is straight-grained with hand-polished angles; and all 80 components of the famous lyre-shaped tourbillon carriage are likewise hand-polished. The structure of the in-house self-winding movement focuses attention on this complex device ensuring perfectly regular rating while weighing just 0.305 g.

Two hundred hours of patience for a masterful engraving

Designed like a “secret” watch, for the first time the new interpretation of La Esmeralda features a cover protecting the back of the model. This element further adds to the precious nature of this creation and promotes a special sense of privileged intimacy with the wearer.
The entirely hand-engraved pink gold case picks up the brilliantly executed motifs adorning the 1889 model. Three horses thus gallop across the outside of the cover, while the interior is engraved with the inscriptions “Tourbillon” and “La Chaux-de-Fonds”. Other features reminiscent of the 1889 include the flowers and the oval-shaped motifs adorning the bezel and the top of the lugs. Finally, the case sides are identical to the model that served as inspiration.

La Esmeralda Tourbillon « A secret »

200 hours of engraving © Girard-Perregaux

This one-of-a-kind model fitted with a triple sapphire crystal affording a panoramic view of the movement is delivered with a black hand-sewn alligator leather strap secured by a pink gold folding clasp.

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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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