By James Phang
As Girard-Perregaux celebrates its 225th anniversary in 2016 as one of the oldest manufactures around, it has decided to introduce an open-worked edition of their signature model – the elegant, slim and discreet 1966 – for their anniversary release at Baselworld 2016.
The original Girard-Perregaux 1966 collection embodies the essence of a dress watch, distinguishable by their genuinely classic, but uniquely rounded and slim designs, as well as their simple but impressive approach to watchmaking which results in a refined feel on the wrist. The new Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton brings this one step further, providing a unique look into the construction of the movement with sacrificing legibility.
The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton is encased in a 38mm wide and 9.27mm thick 18k pink gold case, retaining its classical round shape – entirely polished, with smooth and beveled bezel, as well as short lugs and a small crown. The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton’s hands have also retained the elegant leaf design. However, some mechanical changes were made along with Girard-Perregaux’s decision to open the movement, with them opting to feature a bigger and thinner movement (using the calibre GP1800 as opposed to GP3300 which is more frequently used) to make a larger visual difference.
The calibre GP-1800 of the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton is made up of 173 components, measuring 30mm and looks very well proportioned when housed in its 38mm case. This movement features a self-winding capacity (via a skeletonized central rotor in gold), with the single barrel providing a comfortable 54-hour power reserve. The regulating organ also features a new “Microvar” variable inertia balance, exclusive to Girard-Perregaux. In contrast to other Girard-Perregaux 1966 watches featuring this movement (in non-opened editions), the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton does not have a central second, instead, it has a small second directly attached to the second wheel (right after the escape wheel at the 10 o’clock position), and also opts to drop the date feature to reduce the clutter.
The skeletonization of the movement is done with subtlety and modernity in mind, with polished bevel angles on all the bridges and a concentric brushed finish on the top. The skeletonized GP1800 movement also appears as a sheen of gray because it has been treated with anthracite gray ruthenium using a galvanic process, providing a strong contrast to its pink gold case.
Personally a big fan of skeleton watches, the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton comes in at the top of my wish list. It will be officially introduced during Baselworld 2016, with the price yet to be confirmed.
For more info, please visit girard-perregaux.com
JAMES PHANG – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
James Phang is a young watch enthusiast from Singapore and is a self-professed fanatic of independent brands for their unique avant-garde designs. Some of his favorite brands include MB&F, Urwerk, Romain Jerome, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake-Marin and Azimuth. His love for art extends out to all things handmade, and he has made it his personal mission to find the best handmade straps and buckles worldwide for his humble collection. Read his articles here