Introducing the Girard-Perregaux Eternity Editions at Dubai Watch Week 2021By Revolution
Girard-Perregaux continues to add to its special creations in the year of its 230th anniversary with a trio of novelties that highlight some of the maison’s most iconic, decorated in time honoured techniques from the universe of watchmaking.
The icons in question here are timepieces such as the Laureato, the Cat’s Eye and the La Esmeralda Tourbillon, while the crafts in question include hand engraving and enamelling.
Cat’s Eye Eternity Edition
The Cat’s Eye is a relatively young addition to the cannon of Girard-Perregaux’s 230 years of existence. First unveiled in 2004, when the watch won the Ladies prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), the Cat’s Eye Eternity Edition being announced today starts with a 35.4 x 30.4mm stainless steel case set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds, amounting to just about -0.85 cts worth of precious stones.
The dial here is a blue grand feu enamel dial, proudly made within Girard-Perregaux’s in-house facility. The translucent effect of the dial is achieved with an initial mixture of silica, minium, potash and soda, which are ground down to a fine powdery consistency. Colors within the final enamel dial is achieved by adding various metal oxides at this point.
The powdery material is thereafter evenly dusted onto the intended dial surface and fired in an oven that reaches up to 800°C. The process is repeated in this manner anywhere from five to ten times before the dial can be considered finished. Now the reason why these are called grand feu enamel dials is because the complete process requires the expert eyes and sensitivities of a masterful artisan who must understand not just the raw material but as well how firing causes it to evolve such that the dial ultimately produced is free of cracks, air bubbles and color inconsistencies.
Shares Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux, “This year, Girard-Perregaux is celebrating its 230th anniversary. Whenever we peruse our archives, we are reminded that we have a responsibility to uphold the legacy of former watchmakers, craftspeople and artisans. These skills, which our company holds dear, should never be forgotten. With our Eternity Editions, our aim was to produce a limited number of watches that would showcase our expertise for the enjoyment of generations to come. We sought to create watches that will still look incredible in decades to come, hence we endowed these models with grand feu enamel dials, produced in our in-house facility. These dials won’t fade with the passage of time. Their beauty will remain eternal, destined to be enjoyed by those in the future.”
Movement: GP03300-1739 self-winding mechanical movement; hours, minutes, date; 46-hour power reserve
Case: 35.4 x 30.4mm steel case set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds -0.85 ct; height: 9.10 mm; water resistance: 30m
Dial & hands: Blue enamel with a guilloche sunray motif; hands: leaf-shaped, rhodium-plated
Bracelet: Blue alligator strap with steel folding buckle
Price & availability: Limited edition of 88 unnumbered pieces; CHF 15,700; Seddiqi exclusive in December 2021
Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition
The Laureato may be a child of the 70s, but this icon of Girard-Perregaux’s is definitely seeing a renewed interest both from the brand and the watch collecting community in recent years. Now the Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition is, as stated in its name, a 42mm stainless steel piece that will be offered in a blue and green dial options. Both of these are rendered through enamelling applied over a guilloché sunray motif dial surface.
Both timepieces will be limited to 188 unnumbered pieces and offered as a Seddigi exclusive in the month of December 2021.
Reference: 81010-11-432011A (Blue Dial)
Reference: 81010-11-433011A (Green Dial)
Movement: GP01800 self-winding mechanical movement; hours, minutes, central seconds, date; 54-hour power reserve
Case: 42mm steel case; height: 10.68 mm; water resistance: 100 metres (10 ATM)
Dial & hands: Blue or green enamel with a guilloché sunray motif; hands: ‘baton’ type, rhodium-plated
Bracelet: Steel, polished and satin-finished
Price & availability: Both references are limited to 188 unnumbered pieces; CHF 13,460; Seddigi exclusive in December 2021
La Esmeralda Tourbillon “A Secret” Eternity Edition
La Esmeralda is a supremely important name within the watchmaking heritage of Girard-Perregaux. It was in 1889, at the Paris World’s Fair — the same event that showcased the Eiffel Tower — that Constant Girard’s intricate Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, a pocket watch housed in a sumptuous pink gold case, measuring 56mm in diameter and fitted with a detent escapement and a case with elaborate engraving by Fritz Kundert, an acclaimed artisan based in the ‘Neuchâtel mountains’ received a diploma and gold medal at ‘Exposition Universelle’.
At the conclusion of the Paris World’s Fair, Hauser, Ziwy & Co, which operated ‘La Esmeralda’ stores in Paris and Mexico, was tasked with selling the prize-winning watch. The watch, ultimately called ‘La Esmeralda’, was sold to Porfirio Diaz, then president of Mexico (1830-1915). In 1970, a descendent of the president offered Girard-Perregaux the opportunity to purchase the watch and it now forms part of the brand’s museum collection.
Today Girard-Perregaux is introducing a wristwatch version and a tribute to the original 1889 pocket watch with the La Esmeralda Tourbillon “A Secret” Eternity Edition. Shares Mr Pruniaux, “La Esmeralda is unquestionably our most famous watch and as the current custodian of our Maison, I am always mindful that we should treat such a legend with due reverence. This year, the Manufacture is celebrating its 230th anniversary and we were keen to ensure this milestone did not pass by unnoticed. Already this year we have unveiled several fabulous watches, however, La Esmeralda ‘A Secret’ Eternity Edition is without doubt the most ambitious creation we have released to date. It draws upon our vast knowledge of Haute Horlogerie, in particular tourbillons, embraces several types of artistic crafts and, at the same time, honours the history of La Esmeralda, a watch that continues to exhibit lasting appeal.”
However, a sharp point of deviation for the La Esmeralda Tourbillon “A Secret” Eternity Edition from the pocket watch it is inspired by, is that as opposed to Constant Girard’s classical three bridges, two hand-engraved galloping horses form the right and left ends of the barrel bridge and tourbillon bridge. The Maison states, “Each bridge is painstakingly finished and features concave bevelling, mirror-polishing, flanks with horizontal ‘traits-tirés’ and rounded off arms. It requires 40 hours to finish each bridge, while the additional engraving found on the barrel bridge and tourbillon takes an extra 50 hours to complete.” Further to this, “To the rear of the watch, the back of the blue enamelled secret cover features three horses, again inspired by the original La Esmeralda and adorned with a sunray guilloché decoration and blue grand feu enamel.
Movement: GP09600-1506 self-winding mechanical movement; tourbillon, hours, minutes, small seconds on the tourbillon; 50-hour power reserve
Case: 43mm case in 18k pink gold, engraved and enamelled; height: 15.10 mm; caseback: the blue enamelled secret cover reveals a sapphire crystal; water resistance: 30 metres (3 ATM)
Dial & hands: Hand-guilloché, blue enamel with a sunray motif; hands: ‘dauphine’ type, pink gold
Bracelet: Hand-stitched blue alligator strap with engraved, pink gold triple folding buckle
Price: CHF 360,300
More information: girard-perregaux.com