Girard-Perregaux, fine watch makers for over two centuries, has lined up a stunning range of exquisitely designed, ultra-sophisticated and intricately complicated timepieces for the benefit of fine watch lovers and aficionados from the Middle East.
Estimated to represent a combined value of Qatari Royal 18.20 million (US$5 million), the masterpieces that make up the Swiss maison’s line-up at the Doha Watches and Jewellery Exhibition in the Qatari capital, are crafted in a variety of materials ranging from titanium and tantalum to steel and carbon composites, instead of the more normal gold.
Highlighted in the Swiss maison’s exhibits will be exceptional timepieces including the Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges, Minute Repeater Tourbillon, Constant Escapement LM and the Tri-Axial Tourbillon, all of which have attracted rave reviews from the haute horological community.
Each one of these extraordinary timepieces draw heavily on the maison’s rich tradition of innovation and creativity, precision workmanship and unique engineering and each of these are all collector’s items in their own way.
These complications present a unique look at fine watchmaking and attain heights of haute horology in their own way. These timepieces also bring alive the glory of the brands masterpiece treated in a creative new light: The Neo-Bridges bringing alive the three bridges concept first visualized in the 19th century in a new design: the tourbillon seen in its most advanced avatar in the Tri-Axial version and the Constant Escapement LM with its movement that creates constant energy that has fascinated watchmakers for ages.
The tourbillion in its most complicated form
Housed in a 48mm titanium case, the master craftsmen of Girard-Perregaux have put together a stunning complication that combines the tourbillon in three different axes. Enclosed by a crystal sapphire dome, the tourbillon moves across its three axes, creating a fascinating and mesmerizing aspect that is unique to the watch and can be viewed through a glass window on the side of the case. The traditional tourbillion has been placed in the centre of the mechanism and completes a cycle per minute, the second cage rotates over a second axis that makes a full cycle every 30 seconds, both have been integrated with a third cage that makes a full cycle every two minutes. This system operates the GP09300-0002 manual-wound caliber which offers the hours and minutes in a sub-dial, below which is the power reserve indicator designed in accordance with a bow ending at six o’clock. This watch is available in limited edition of 20 pieces only.
Three Bridges between past and present
Three bridges which immediately refer to its maker, returns in this watch as a link to the timepiece’s glorious heritage of over 150 years. Girard-Perregaux keeps all the links with the heritage code in this version, while at the same time introducing some crucial refinements and tweaks in a memorable refresh of an icon. The three bridges have become skeletonized and three-dimensional in this version and are made of titanium, after blasting and PVD. Highlighting the effect of depth in this unique landscape with its structure, the main plate underwent charcoal-ruthenium treatment and sand blasting and is painted gray. The case is also made of titanium with a diameter of 45 mm and features an innovative domed sapphire crystal cover while dispensing with the bezel which allows for better viewing of the movement. The mechanical movement has been entirely redesigned, and the self-winding GP09400-0008 caliber is larger than before, and the tourbillion has been made from titanium for the first time, with beveled edges and cavities.
The winding system at 12 o’clock has been redesigned to ensure optimum performance of the watch, with the small rotor being placed under the barrel, not around it as it was in the previous three- bridge tourbillion movements. The power reserve has also increased thanks to the use of a larger cylinder barrel.
Futuristic history-inspired approach
Girard-Perregaux’s legacy and future vision for the watch industry meet in this new edition, which blends what is traditional and what is innovative in the same time. This watch comes with a satin-polished 45 mm titanium case. The role of the mechanical movement in this case is not limited to the technical side, but is also in the design basis where it replaces the dial within a geometric structure inspired by the creations of the maison founder, “Constant Girard, “and of the theatrical nature of the dials of the watchmaker’s innovations,” Jean-Francois Bot “in the late eighteenth century. The self-winding GP08400-0001 caliber has undergone modern decorative touches, including sandblasting and PVD. In the engineering structure, it offers a small rotor within the same axis taken by the barrel cylinder, with a remarkable scene at the top, while the large balance wheel that oscillates at a rate of 3 Hz stand at the bottom along with the bridge that is characteristic of the maison’s one-of-its-kind tourbillion.
Constant Escapement L.M
Revolutionary innovation of constant energy
With the launch of this watch in 2013, Girard-Perregaux revealed the result of years of research and development. It was considered one of the leading technical developments in the industry, and it won the Golden Scorpion Award (Aiguille d’Or) at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve (GPHG).
Revolutionary innovation is shown through the unique geometric structure of the dial, which aims to provide constant energy that enables the watch to maintain unprecedented high accuracy and regularity levels regardless of its power reserve. To achieve this, the maison has come out with a first of its kind solution across the escapement system; it integrated an intermediate device in the escapement that is a metaphor of a silicon chip that is ephemerally slim – six times thinner than a human hair! It stores energy until a fixed threshold that is virtually unstable, and then the energy of movement immediately and entirely moves before starting a new session. Powering this watch is the manual-winding GP09100-0002 movement which has a reserve power of up to six days, thanks to the dual winding tank, with its indicator shown at 9 o’clock. This innovation, which led to the victory over the feeble energy in conventional mechanical watches, has three patents; it comes in a case of white gold with a diameter of 48 mm, or in a case of carbon composite and titanium with a diameter of 46 mm.