Introducing the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges – Aston Martin EditionBy Revolution
In the wake of the announcement of Girard-Perregaux becoming the watch partner for Aston Martin, what the world has been waiting to see is how one of the revered names in British motoring and one of the oldest names in Swiss watchmaking, would come together to produce their first collaborative timepiece.
One thing we know for sure, from the perspective Girard-Perregaux offering a timepiece that would be appropriate for a landmark launch, it had to be something held within their Three-Bridges family.
Girard-Perregaux’s three bridge movement construction has been a signature of the brand’s for just about a century and a half now. Created by founder Constant Girard, this particular approach to movement construction was first showcased to the world in 1867 as a tourbillon pocket chronometer version with three nickel bridges that won a First Class Bulletin from Neuchâtel Observatory. But its ultimate recognition came when Girard took his creation, in the form of the La Esmeralda Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, to the Exposition Universelle — better known as the World’s Fair, held in Paris from 6 May to 31 October of the year.
So lauded was his creation at the fair that the watch was awarded one of its highest honors, the gold medal. Today, of course, the legacy of Constant Girard carries on through the brand, not only by the name it bears, but its most recognized timepieces, which all feature the three-bridge movement.
This is perhaps, even more so the fact, for the more contemporary expressions within the Three Bridges collection. A prime example of this would have to be the Quasar Tourbillon with Three Bridges, which has transformed the appeal of the Three Bridges from something that only those well versed in the technicalities of the watch would be able to appreciate to something that anyone with a love for avant-garde contemporary aesthetics would be able to appreciate.
Taking a page out of the successful playbook of the Quasar is where we find the first timepiece born out of Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux’s collaboration, the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges – Aston Martin Edition.
“Believe me or not, but really, the moment we started talking with Aston Martin the fit was obvious,” says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO Girard-Perregaux. “Aston Martin themselves, were looking to reestablish themselves witha watch partner that would be able to offer a higher level of exclusivity and a brand that would be truly authentic. You can probably draw some parallels for Aston Martin, as a car brand, and us. Their F1 team has garnered great momentum in recent days and their street cars are simply cool.”
The Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges – Aston Martin Edition starts off with a 44mm titanium case. But titanium, not just because it is the choice material these days for all avant-garde expressions of watchmaking, this was done to make this connection that it was in 1791 that titanium was discovered in England, the home country of Aston Martin, by English clergyman William Gregor. 1791, which incidentally happens to be the year that Girard-Perregaux was founded. From there you have this expansive domed crystal, underneath which lies that magic of it all, the iconic three bridges that are designed to flow out of the mid-case, in a way that they all seem to be floating in space. Each of these are as well rendered in titanium.
For the tourbillon aspect of the three-bridges, Girard-Perregaux has chosen their classic “lyre-shaped” tourbillon cage, a design that dates back to the brand’s pocket watches from the 19th century and onward. The tourbillon is as well affixed with a blued seconds hand, thereby giving the one-minute tourbillon purpose, beyond it just being something cool to look at. Given contemporary design and optimization methods, the tourbillon cage comprises just 79 components and weighs a mere 0.25 grams.
Looking up at the 12 o’clock position of the watch, we can see that the barrel of the watch has been skeletonized, making it possible to establish the state of winding on the watch simply at a glance. But in keeping with the nature of the execution of the watch, the automatic timepiece is given a micro-rotor that pairs with the barrel and is placed just underneath it. Curiously enough, Girard-Perregaux has engraved Aston Martin’s name on the vertical flank of the micro-rotor. This possibly was the most discussed feature when the watch was brought to the table with the Revolution team, even more so because Girard-Perregaux has filled the engraving with white lume that glows blue in the dark.
Movement: Reference: GP09400-1683; self-winding mechanical movement; diameter: 42mm, height: 9.45mm; 3Hz tourbillon; 60-hour power reserve
Functions: Tourbillon; hours and minutes; small seconds mounted on tourbillon cage
Tourbillon: Cage composed of 79 parts weighing 0.25g
Case: 44mm in grade 5 titanium with black DLC coating; height: 15.52mm; boxed sapphire crystal on front and back; dial: three bridges in titanium with black PVD; hands: dauphine-type skeletonized, solid gold with ‘black-or’ treatment and luminescent material; water resistant to 30m
Strap: Alligator with rubber effect fitted on triple folding buckle in grade 5 titanium with black DLC coating; timepiece will be delivered with an additional black calf leather strap with rubber alloy (injected white gold on rubber) insert
Availability: The Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges – Aston Martin Edition is a limited edition of 18 pieces and available immediately worldwide through all authorized Girard-Perregaux retailers
More information: girard-perregaux.com