A true synonym of high-end watchmaking, Girard-Perregaux – Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges was presented 152 years ago, and it was responsible for the rise and universal acclaim of the brand, embodied through a gold medal that the watch won at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. The main attraction and the most notable feature of the watch is its tourbillon movement with three parallel bridges in the shape of arrows. Even today, this model remains the best known timepiece that was launched by the Swiss brand. This July, Girard-Perregaux has announced the release of two new limited editions in pink gold, where the basic one consists of 50 pieces. Additionally, the watchmaker from La Chaux-de-Fonds is releasing 18 more pieces that are opulently decorated with baguette-cut diamonds. The already staggering price of the basic model ($211,500) is almost doubled for the gemstone version whose price exceeds $400,000.
Use of the Movement as an Element of Design
As it has been mentioned, the iconic model was first made in 1860 when it was hand crafted by Constant Girard. The yet-unseen novelty of the timekeeper was the concept that utilized the movement as an element of design which is still a trait that is highly appreciated by watch enthusiasts today. Without any exaggeration, it can be said that the concept with the mechanical movement put beneath three gold bridges caused a revolution in horology.
Unsurprisingly, Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges was received with much praise in the industry, and its ultimate accolade was much esteemed gold medal at Exposition Universelle that was held in 1889 in Paris. To be fair, the timekeeper was not really the high-point of the fair, but not because it was not a great achievement. The simple reason was that the exposition also included the revealing of the newly built Eiffel Tower that served as an entrance to the manifestation. However, in the circles of Haute Horlogerie, Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges certainly did not come unnoticed. The timepiece was responsible for the international fame and rise of Girard-Perregaux and became so important that in a way it can be said that it is a symbol and the best representative of an entire epoch of watchmaking.
The New Incarnations of the Iconic Watch
The new limited editions of the iconic timekeeper are set in a round pink gold case with the diameter of 41 mm and the thickness of 11.1 mm. The front of the watch is guarded with a domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal (sapphire is also utilized for the transparent case back). Without any doubt, its most striking features are arrow-shaped bridges placed in a parallel order, which requires a lot of precision. Furthermore, precision was even more required when it came to the finishing of three beveled bridges, which was executed exclusively by hand. The bridges stand in contrast to the platinum surface of the dial, giving the watch a highly distinguished appearance. Its dial is completed with imposing oar-shaped hands made from pink gold, and naturally with the tourbillon cage placed at the bottom of the face.
Another impressive trait of the timekeeper is its self-winding mechanical GP9600-0018 tourbillon movement which is completely designed, developed and constructed in the brand’s workshops. The caliber with 31 jewels runs on the frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 vph) and has a power storage that lasts for at least two days. It is highly complex (made from 258 parts) and beautifully hand-finished caliber and it includes components, such as a barrel with a guilloche cover and galvanized treatment, a patented micro-rotor automatic winding system made from platinum, a balance spring with Phillips terminal curves, a rhodium-plated plate with a guilloche motif and a grained finish and naturally three pink gold bridges with beveled edges. Even its one minute tourbillon by itself is a technical marvel. Made from 71 parts (all fitted in a frame with the diameter of 12 mm) it is also opulently decorated with beveled and hand-polished lower and upper cages. Besides, the watch also features water resistance to 30 meters, a gold crown with the brand’s logo, a blued small second hand on the tourbillon’s cage, as well as a black alligator leather strap which fastens with a 5N18 gold folding clasp.
High-End Watchmaking with Optional Pricey Gemstone Decorations
There are two new limited editions of Tourbillon with Three Pink Gold Bridges and both of them are individually numbered. The luxurious version (with the reference number 99193B52H001-BA6A) is not different or more advance in the watchmaking sense than the basic one (99193-52-001-BA6A). Its price of $406,500 (almost twice as higher) is caused by the inclusion of 88 diamonds (11.7 ct) set on the stationary bezel, case sides, lugs and the wristlet’s clasp.