Girard-Perregaux – A Swiss Watchmaker’s Journey

In the watches industry it is believed that practice makes perfect and that is how Girard-Perregaux have become leaders in the watchmaking field. The company started its journey in 1791, and has had the time to experiment with movements, designs, collections, materials and all other aspects of the trade.

Humble origins
Original Girard Perregaux
Original Girard Perregaux Designer Watches

In 1856, Constant Girard and Marie Perregaux got married giving birth to the Girard-Perregaux brand. Since then the company has accomplished many achievements in the world of “horlogerie”. They were the first to create innovative wristwatches, or what was known as “wristlets” in the 1880s, for the German Navy. The recommendation of Naval Officers reported that it was difficult and time consuming to operate pocket watches during training in bad weather or high winds.

The birth of a timeless classic
Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945
The classic Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945 watch

In 1945 the square shaped collection named Vintage 1945 was born and went on to become one of the most sold Swiss watches still in production to date.

This model has a simple square shape, an elegant and smooth polished bezel, clear large Arabic numerals and an accurate chrono-certified automatic movement. This creation is dynamic with a seconds hand available at the 6:00 o’clock position. This multi-material watch is available in stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold and pink gold. It can be equipped with a leather strap, a rubber band or a bracelet. This unisex watch comes in multiple sizes for both men and women. This timepiece contains an array of complications such as chronograph, moon-phase, tourbillon and others.

Classic expansion
Girard Perregaux Laureato
The Girard Perregaux Laureato

Another similarly iconic and renowned collection from the luxurious brand would be the Richeville. It is a classic Tonneau shaped watch similar to the Vintage 1945 collection, as it comes with multiple materials such as stainless steel, 18 K gold (Yellow/White/Pink) and multiple complications such as chronograph and multiple time zones. The Laureato collection is similar with an Octagon shaped bezel and a round shaped case. It is available in multiple materials. In addition, this model can come with a two toned watch face because it has a clear bezel area that can easily be decorated with diamonds.

Ferrari class with Girard-Perregaux engineering

In 1993 Girard-Perregaux took a huge leap in their design and marketing activities thanks to the increase of popularity in Formula One, which in turn amounted to signing a deal with Ferrari. This partnership culminated in the creation of one of the most fascinating limited edition Formula One inspired watches. An example is the following watch with the engraved race plan of each F1 World GP track on its back-case.

Girard Perregaux Ferrari designer watch
One of the limited edition Girard Perregaux & Ferrari designer watches

It features a black  ‘Cavallino’ stallion that embodies the Scuderia Ferrari at the 12:00 o’clock position, a chronograph to time speed and looks elegant and sporty at the same time. Most of the Ferrari collections are limited editions and are named either by track name or by Ferrari model name.

Alas, this joint venture ended in 2004.

 

Today, Girard-Perregaux is keeping up with the times, and I personally think that few watch brands combine both innovation and history in one movement the way they do. In the world of wristwatches and horlogerie, Girard-Perregaux is among the greats.


Ghassan Chammas
Watches Category Manager
TheLuxuryCloset.com

 

Image sources

  • http://people.timezone.com/mfriedberg/articles/Wristlets.html
  • http://www.luxist.com/2009/02/01/2009-girard-perregaux-vintage-1945-collection-watch/
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