By releasing the new Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Lotus and Cat’s Eye Arabian Jasmine, the long-standing Swiss brand has further embellished a corner of its catalog that was already in full bloom. The use of floral imagery in women’s watches is, in my opinion, an excellent way to add a feminine touch to a watch as an alternative to diamonds. However, here GP has chosen to merge the two decorative styles, resulting in exceptionally wrought jewelry-first pieces that utilize a creative solution for showing the shift between day and night.
The time is displayed via a two-handed display in the center of the dial. The leaf-shaped hands (a stylistically congruous choice given the floral component of the day/night indicator) are superbly legible against a sparkling aventurine dial on the pink gold version (Arabian Jasmine), while mother of pearl is employed as the backdrop for the icy-cool stainless steel piece (Lotus). Surrounding the aventurine is a glittering field of 365 small stones, expertly set to provide the kind of shimmer one would expect from a total carat weight of 0.90 cut in this manner. The bezel is set with a further 0.85 carats, split across 62 brilliant-cut diamonds.
A three-dimensional day/night indicator is not often seen, with most brands relying on a disc in some form or other, or a pointer system. This creeping complication is linked directly to the transit of the hour hand and so does not require independent setting for incredible ease of use. On both models, the icons indicating day and night are different. On the Arabian Jasmine piece, a shining sun gives way to a flowering jasmine as day gives way to night, while the Lotus model sees a shift between a blooming lotus and a crescent moon.
There is a more philosophical component to these pieces when viewed as a pair, rather than as two distinct pieces. The flowering lotus flower at dawn is replaced by the Arabian Jasmine bursting into life around sunset. Together they form an unbroken cycle of regeneration, which is what underpins this dual release.
And the execution of the flowers themselves is a real treat. Hand-painted by a specially trained artisan, they are a visible embodiment on the dial of the craft that goes into the creation of these in-house calibers powering the show. The movements, appreciable thanks to sapphire casebacks, contain 218 components and have been finished to the high standards one would expect from the brand. Côtes de Genève, circular graining, fine anglage, and blued steel elements all appear. Set within a very elegant oval case (measuring 35.4mm x 30.4mm) water resistant to 30 meters, these 4Hz calibers are tuned to keep excellent time, day or night. The Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Lotus retails for $19,400 and the price of the Arabian Jasmin model in rose gold is $41,300. Learn more about these pieces at girard-perregaux.com.