Just before the start of the 22nd edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the Swiss high-end timepiece brand has announced that its team will be much stronger after the arrival of the legendary watchmaker Dominique Loiseau. This is not the only good news since the company has presented six new luxury novelties which will enrich its impressive collection. The novelties that are flaunted at the Geneva show are 1966 Minute Repeater, 1966 Lady Moon-Phases, Vintage 1945 Large Date Moon-Phases and Laureato Tourbillon with Three Bridges, 1966 Small Seconds and 1966 Annual Calendar and Equation of Time timepiece.
At the beginning, let us share a few facts about Mr. Loiseau, and what his addition to the team of Girard-Perragaux will mean to the brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds. Dominique Loiseau has been creating watchmaking masterpieces for 30 years, during which he created some of the most amazing horological creations. The one that stands out is recently presented Loiseau 1f4, arguably the most complex automatic watch ever. It includes the movement made of 891 components and with eight patented features. Besides, it has bezels made of sapphire. It features a multitude of 32 different functions (some of those are introduced for the very first time!), and has a reversible case that enables the watch to have two dials, one on each side.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Loiseau was working for Omega and Blancpain, and was responsible for the creation of many iconic timepieces. The items in question are Omega Central Tourbillon Watches, complex pocket watches named Les Montres de Sables and Cappriccio, as well as La Rose de Temps clock. During the last decade of the 20th century and his engagement in Blancpain, he masterminded the creation of Blancpain 1735. At the time it appeared, this was the most complex watch in the world which is another reminder of Loiseau’s dedication of making the extremely complicated watches that still have a traditional spirit and are not too modern or over-the-top.
If It Is Good, Make It Permanent
Prior to January 2012, the renowned craftsman was brought into Sowind Group’s team (the company that owns Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard). However, seeing the expertise he brought, it was decided to make a permanent agreement with Loiseau. The agreement was reached to the mutual satisfaction which is confirmed by the statements of the watchmaker and the representatives of the company. “Girard-Perregaux is a unique brand in that it is a true manufacture founded in very rich history and heritage. I am very excited to have become a part of this amazing team and look forward to a successful partnership,” explained Loiseau. The head executive of Sowing Group Michele Sofisti agreed with this assessment: “We are extremely happy to have a man such as Dominique Loiseau on board. He is a true visionary, a legend within our world, but more importantly, he understands the values Girard-Perregaux stands for: heritage, manufacture and passion”.
Four Additions to the 1966 Series Girard-Perragauxes at SIHH 2012
After the extensive story about the brand’s new watchmaker, let us now focus on the new timepieces the company from La Chaux-de-Fonds presented at SIHH 2012. Apart from 1966 Small Second Watch and 1966 Annual Calendar and Equation of Time timepiece that we have already presented, the Swiss manufacturer prepared four new novelties. The first of them is another edition to the 1966 collection, Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater. The exceptionally elegant wristwatch with the pure design has a minute repeater, an advance feature that shows the time with a series of chimes. The sound of the minute repeater possesses exceptional acoustic qualities, thanks to its mechanical hand-wound and in-house made E09-0001 movement with a power reserve of 100 hours. The timepiece is housed in a polished pink gold case (which is 42 mm wide) and has a glare-proof sapphire crystal. The white enamel dial includes blued leaf-shaped hands and a small second sub-dial at the bottom of the face. The Swiss brand’s newcomer comes with a matte black alligator leather strap.
The fourth addition to the 1966 series is intended for ladies. It is the brand new 1966 Lady Moon-Phases Watch which is a true embodiment of elegance. The watch is fitted in a perfectly round pink or white gold case with the diameter of 36 mm. It has a convex glare-proof sapphire crystal, surrounded with a dazzling bezel that holds 54 diamonds (1.35 kts). Another fine decorative element is its white mother-of-pearl dial. The small second dial which is simultaneously a moon phase indicator sits at the bottom of the dial. The beating heart of this women’s timepiece is automatic mechanical Girard-Perregaux 3300-0067 mechanism with a power reserve of 46 hours. This stylish product is paired with a glossy black alligator strap.
After the novelties from 1966, the next in line is Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date Moon-Phases wristwatch that the manufacturer likes to describe like a watch that is “at the same time classic and cutting-edge”. Inspired by the Art Deco style, it features strong and powerful lines. It has an aesthetically pleasing rectangular case with the dimensions of 36.1 mm x 35.25 mm. There are two versions of the watch: the first is made with a stainless steel case, whereas the other utilizes pink gold. Apart from displaying hours, minutes, small seconds and moon phases, this timepiece also incorporates a large date display at the top of the dial. All of this is possible because of its self-winding mechanical 03300-0062 proprietary movement with the power reserve of 46 hour. Both of the versions come with black alligator leather straps.
Laureato or the Exceptional Way to Pay Homage
We have saved the biggest treat by Girard-Perregaux for the end. At this year’s edition of SIHH, the Swiss brand also presented a watch that pays tribute to one of its iconic products, Tourbillon with three gold Bridges that was unveiled way back in 1889, at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. The modern homage to the famous watch is dubbed Laureato Tourbillon with Three Bridges and will be presented in a very limited edition that is comprised of only 10 pieces.
It has a magnificent one-minute tourbillon that is made of 72 parts. The tourbillon is visible through a skeleton dial that also includes three parallel translucent blue bridges. This amazing product is set in a titanium case (with the diameter of 42.6 mm) that is matched with a titanium bracelet. Inside the case sits self-winding Girard-Perregaux mechanical movement with the designation 9600-0004 with a power reserve of 48 hours. It is a complex product with outstanding characteristics, and we have no doubt that it will bring much joy to ten lucky people who succeed in getting one of the pieces.