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Girard-Perregaux - Sea Hawk II Pro 3000M: Tried and Tested Technique - And Plenty of Character

Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk II Pro 3000M: Tried and Tested Technique - And Plenty of Character

The most iconic model is the Sea Hawk II, a watch with plenty of character designed by Gino Macaluso in the early 2000s

The Sea Hawk name was first used by Girard-Perregaux in the 1940s. Adverts published in the United States during the Second World War present the model as a waterproof military watch with the slogan ‘The Watch for Active Service’. Of course, at that time the Sea Hawk wasn’t yet a dive watch in the modern sense of the term. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the first authentic dive watches arrived, with models such as the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, the Rolex Submariner and the Zodiac Sea Wolf. Girard-Perregaux’s noteworthy contribution in this respect is its Deep Diver model, manufactured in the 1960s. Only in the late 1980s did the Sea Hawk resurface with all the attributes of a modern dive watch — a unidirectional rotating bezel, very good readability and the requisite water resistance. It was followed by the most emblematic expression of the model, dubbed the Sea Hawk II. This was designed in 2002 by ‘Gino’ Macaluso, the owner and charismatic CEO of the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based Manufacture until his death in 2010. The Sea Hawk II’s unique, assertive character stems largely from its crown at 4 o’clock, protected by an unusual crown cover that fits flush with the case. This crown position is designed to make it safer and the watch more comfortable to wear: a traditional crown located at 3 o’clock is more exposed to impacts and snags when diving.

Over a period of some ten years, many different versions of the Sea Hawk II were made, offering varying degrees of water resistance, with a minimum depth of 300m. Some models even boasted a tourbillon movement. Among the most iconic iterations, the Sea Hawk II Pro 3000M stands out for its exceptional technical features. As its name suggests, these meet the requirements for professional use at pressures of up to 300 ATM, (the equivalent of a depth of 3,000m), a rare feat for a mechanical watch at that time — and of course far in excess of the needs of most clients.

Sea Hawk II Pro 3000M: Tried and Tested Technique - And Plenty of Character

Sea Hawk II Pro 3000M © Girard-Perregaux

Never do anything without taking advice

To provide this level of resistance to pressure, the model is fitted with an impressive titanium case, 44mm in diameter and 20.11mm thick. Its glareproof sapphire crystal is slightly convex and is no less than 4.85mm thick; the caseback alone is 5.85mm thick. As is to be expected, the crown and caseback are screwed on. The caseback is engraved with a very special symbol: a porpoise wound around a trident anchor. This symbol was attached to a patent filed by Girard-Perregaux in 1898 with the German Intellectual Property Office. Alongside it was the motto ‘Never do anything without taking advice’. Astoundingly, due to its professional vocation the model is fitted with not one but two helium release valves, located at 2 o’clock and 9 o’clock.

The titanium unidirectional rotating bezel is toothed to make it easy to handle; while it has its own luminous marker to make it readable even in the dark. Similarly, the hour-markers on the black dial and hands have a luminous coating. 

The automatic GP 033R0 caliber is a version of the GP 3300 — the latest addition to the family of ultra-slim movements developed in the 1990s by Girard-Perregaux. It features a power reserve indicator alongside the usual display of hours, minutes, seconds, and date. With a diameter of 11½’’, it has 26 jewels and operates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, on a 46-hour power reserve.

he satin-finish titanium Reference 49940 came with a titanium or vulcanised natural rubber strap fitted with a safety clasp. The clasp on the rubber strap was also equipped with a quick extension system offering a total of five positions, allowing it to be adjusted by up to 11mm so that it could be worn over a diving suit, while the polished satin-finish titanium Reference 49941 unveiled a few months later had a brown calf leather strap.

This year GMT Magazine and WorldTempus have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the divers watch since 2000 in The Millennium Watch Book - Divers watch, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book - Divers watch is available in both French and English here:

 

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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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