2014 saw Girard-Perregaux release a host of new watches at all price ranges. Well, at all prices ranges within their own price ranges, that is. At over $150,000, this Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon watch is closer to the top, but no where near at the apex of where Girard-Perregaux prices can go. So what exactly is the Neo Tourbillon, and where does it fit into where Girard-Perregaux is going?
aBlogtoWatch previewed the Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon With Three Bridges watch here. The Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon is clearly an evolution and design refresh of the still iconic Three Bridge Tourbillon that has had various names. Compare the Neo Tourbillon with last year’s Girard-Perregaux Bi-Axial Tourbillon in tantalum (hands-on here) to get an idea of the design Girard-Perregaux began with.
For the most part, the Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon contains much of what we loved about the former models, but adds a lot. While the case is not as thick (14.45mm still), it still has a substantial feel to it with the hefty brushed rounded sides. At 45mm wide, it is still a large timepiece, but the lugs allow it to wear comfortably. The materials on the case and overall construction are really top notch.
The case itself is uniquely detailed with a cool-looking sapphire crystal that sits over the entire case acting as the bezel. Acting like a cap, the sapphire crystal allows for a very dynamic view into the dial. Even though it is curved, Girard-Perregaux ensures that it has the right amount of AR coating so it is not marred with glare and reflected light. If there is any company that understands how to properly use sapphire crystals it is GP, for sure.
Probably my least favorite part of the entire watch is the hands. I get what Girard-Perregaux was trying to do, but I am not sure it worked out perfectly in the execution. Former models used amazing looking dauphine hands that were perfect. Here, you have a set of rounded-ish dauphine hands that are both skeletonized and polished. They look attractive enough but – you can guess what I am going to say next… yea, legibility suffers. That is not only because the hands are mostly cut-out, but also because they reflect light, which makes them more difficult to read. If Girard-Perregaux wants skeletonized hands, that is fine, but they should ensure that there is proper finishing on them, and I don’t think they need to be as skeletonized.
The re-imagination of the “three bridges” concept works very well on the dial. The three bridges have been redesigned and are also skeletonized. On the dial of the Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon watch, they are produced from PVD-coated titanium and quite literally look like bridges being raised up. Girard-Perregaux stays true to the Three Bridges theme without applying too much polish to the dial and offering textures and finishes that promote visibility of the details.
Inside the Neo Tourbilon With Three Bridges watch is the Girard-Perregaux in-house made caliber GP09400-0001 automatic movement. A micro-rotor is placed right behind the mainspring barrel that offers around 72 hours of power reserve. The movement operates at 3 Hz and contains a tourbillon-style escapement. Here, it is just a simple tourbillon (no bi or tri-axial ones), but it is rather large, being over 14mm wide in diameter. At 245 pieces, you get a nice mixture of complexity and style in the mechanism.
For 2014, the Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon will be available exclusively in 18k pink gold and is not part of a limited edition. I feel that future versions will come, but I don’t think that Girard-Peregaux intends for this case design to replace the existing Three Bridge collection timepieces. It is a successful re-imagination of a classic, and helps Girard-Perregaux maintain a high level of innovation and appeal at the $100,000 plus level. Price for the Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon With Three Bridges ref. 99270-52-000-BA6A watch is $153,150. girard-perregaux.com
Girard-Perregaux, Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges Technical specs:
Case: pink gold
Diameter: 45.00 mm
Crystal: anti-reflective sapphire
Case-back: sapphire crystal, secured by 6 screws
Water resistance: 30 meters (3 ATM)
Girard-Perregaux movement GP09400-0001
Mechanical, self-winding movement
Diameter: 36.60 mm (16 ”’)
Thickness: 8.21 mm
Frequency: 21,600 Vib/h – (3 Hz)
Power reserve: min. 70 hours
Number of components: 245
Mainplate: anthracite ruthenium, sandblasting finish
Bridges: three titanium Bridges with PVD treatment, arrow shaped, beveled and sandblasted
Barrel: upper wheel skeletonized, beveled, polished, circular grained and engraved
• Tourbillon cage 80 components for 0,25 g
• One rotation per minute
• Upper and lower cages beveled and hand-drawn, cage balanced with gold adjustment screws
• Escapement Bridge and pallet Bridge beveled and hand-drawn
Balance wheel: variable inertia with gold adjustment screws
Spiral: Phillips terminal curve
Winding: micro-rotor crafted in white gold assembled under the barrel
Functions: tourbillon, hour, minute, small second on the tourbillon
Black alligator leather strap with hand stitches
Pink gold folding buckle