Girard-Perregaux 1966 Column-wheel chronograph

Published by Pierre-Paul Godts



Girard-Perregaux – 1966 Column-wheel chronograph

Girard-Perregaux 1966 integrated Column-wheel chronograph

The Maison’s new caliber

Girard-Perregaux is presenting a new manufacture movement to join its 3000 family: the caliber GP0 3800-001, a hand-wound column-wheel chronograph. For its first appearance, this new development is housed in the elegant case of the Girard-Perregaux 1966 collection. A great classic in terms of mechanical engineering and style which is sure to appeal to watch lovers.

The chronograph in Girard-Perregaux’s history

It is worth recalling that the ancestor of the modern chronograph, with central second hand and start/stop/reset functions was invented in 1862 by Adolphe Nicole, a Swiss watchmaker working in London. Constant Girard-Perregaux took an early interest in this type of watch while adding various improvements or complications. Mention could be made of a chronograph with jumping split seconds in 1880 or a model with split seconds, minute repeater and perpetual calendar nine years later. Girard-Perregaux’s history also offers all sorts of “doctor’s watches”, equipped with a pulsometer, in both pocket and wrist versions. Apart from the medical profession, scientists and industrialists used these Girard-Perregaux chronographs, as did Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who used them to time his aeronautical trials in the early twentieth century. So the Brand’s association with the chronograph is strong and lasting. Here we see the latest expression of this great tradition.

The caliber GP03800

The fruit of five years of research, this latest member of the 3000 family launched in 1994, the caliber GP 03800, comes in the form of a classic column-wheel chronograph movement. It numbers 312 components. Its dimensions are 25.60 mm (or 11½’’’) in diameter and a remarkable 5.40 mm in thickness. It has 31 jewels. Its microvar variable inertia balance wheel beats at 28,800 Vib/h. The small second is at 9 o’clock.

The display of the chronograph includes a central direct-drive second hand and a jumping minutes counter; that is to say that the small hand jumps from one minute to the next in a fraction of a second, making it much easier to read than the usual continuous mechanism. The core of this integrated chronograph is of course the column wheel with its lateral clutch. In addition, a hammer lever allows one arm of the hammer to be wound up more or less strongly thanks to an eccentric in order to position the hammer face precisely on the minute heart cam. Special care has been applied to the finishing: the bridges are beveled and decorated with côtes de Genève, the steels parts, also beveled, are finished with hand-drawn strokes and wheels are circular-grained. Only the eccentrics are deliberately blued, so as not to overload the movement’s design and allow the watchmaker to spot possible adjustments easily.

The new Girard-Perregaux 1966 chronograph

The new caliber GP 03800 will be incorporated in the Girard-Perregaux 1966 collection, the worthy successor to the Brand’s sober and understated style. Combining technical expertise and discreet elegance in a single quest for perfection, the Girard-Perregaux 1966 chronograph is a demonstration of the manufacture’s total mastery of watchmaking. With a 40 mm diameter and thickness of 11.25 mm, it is made in pink gold. Its finish is entirely polished. Naturally, it has two anti-reflective sapphire glasses, domed on the dial side and flat on the back.

Water resistance is to 30 meters. Two dials are available: opaline silvered or anthracite. Both have relief hour markers in the same color as the case and a railroad minute circle. A tachymeter affirms the watch’s character and is integrated in a contrasting zone, as are the small second and the chronograph minutes counter. The hands are diamond-polished. The date appears at 6 o’clock inside a raised window.

Technical Specifications
  • Case: pink gold
  • Diameter: 40.00 mm
  • Glass: anti-reflective sapphire (domed)
  • Case back: anti-reflective sapphire
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Girard-Perregaux movement GP03800-0001
  • Column-wheel integrated chronograph, manual mechanical movement
  • Caliber: 11 ½ ’’’
  • Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h – (4 hz)
  • Jewels: 31
  • Power reserve: minimum 58 hours
  • Number of components: 312
  • Balance wheel: variable inertia microvar
  • Functions: hour, minute, date, column-wheel chronograph, chronograph hand, jumping 30-minute counter and small second
  • Hand sewn Brown alligator strap
  • Pink gold folding clasp

Reference: 49529-52-131-BABA – 49529-52-231-BA6A

Girard-Perregaux Microvar variable inertia balance

The result of Girard-Perregaux’s chronometric research, the Microvar balance features six adjustable screws and two balance weights on its rim, used respectively to set the balance’s equilibrium and enable fine adjustment of the movement. This exclusive development ensures increased precision and more stable adjustment.

Microvar balance

Glucydur balance wheel
6 external gold screws for setting the balance’s equilibrium and general setting of the rate
2 Glucydur balance weights for fine rate adjustments (+/- 40 seconds per day)
1 eccentric for fine adjustment of the guide mark