Recently we debuted the new Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk and Chrono Hawk watches (here). Very soon after I got a chance to get some hands-on love with the new collection. While I debuted the new models in a single article, they are really distinct watches. Therefore we felt it was best to isolate each of these new Girard-Perregaux sport watches in a single post.
People are split on which pieces they favor. Some people like the diving Sea Hawk more, while others (who tend to be more into classic watches) like the Chrono Hawk collection better. I probably fall into the first category. Don't get me wrong, I really like a good chronograph, but I like a hardy diver even better. The "new" Sea Hawk is an evolution versus a revolution over the previous models. Like I said in the debut article, Girard-Perregaux designed the watch to merge the old Sea Hawk model with the Laureto collection from an aesthetic standpoint.
The result is a modern looking diver with a rather recognizable amount of Girard-Perregaux DNA. Unfortunately, the world of high-end sport watches has become extremely homogenized in some regards. That means that looking at this watch will inevitably remind you of many other of today's big luxury brand divers and other sport models. The Sea Hawk starts with two dial colors in 44mm wide brushed steel cases. The cases look pretty good, and give the watch a very modern, tool-like feel. You certainly feel like you want to go diving with these one.
On the back of the case is an attractive engraving of a fish that looks like it mated with the Lorax. It is sitting on a anchor that Poseidon invented. The more antique looking of the engraving is a good mix with the modern elements of the case and dial to remind you about the brand's history. The case is water resistant to 100 meters. One issue that exists with the case design is that the lugs are very long. This is not an issue if you have thick wrists, but people like me will wear the Sea Hawk with the lugs sticking off your wrist. That tends to not be "best practice" when matching a watch size to your wrist. The rubber strap is all attached in a way to extend more outwards than down. So consider this a watch for the thick-wristed.
You'll notice that each of the dial versions has a different bezel. The black dial has a bezel with vulcanized rubber, while the white dial is sans rubber on the bezel. Like the Sea Hawk of old the crown is located as 4 o'clock and has a crown guards. The older models has a seamless transition between the lug as it turned into the crown guard. This model set of models has a more distinct separation. At least one person said it look like the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars was trying to fly out of the side of the case. While this look isn't bad I did sort of prefer the previous model's crown guard style - though it made for a less complicated case design.
The crown is coated in rubber and easy to grip. There is further a rubberized octagonal ring under the bezel which is a nod to the design of the Laureato case design. Because the new Sea Hawk watches have the same movement as the outgoing Sea Hawk models the dial layouts are exactly the same. The movements are modular with a base Girard-Perregaux made GP3300 automatic. The module creates the layout with the subsidiary seconds dial, power reserve indicator, and date. The dial is deep looking and rich for the most part. On the plus side the hands and raised hour numerals have an excellent amount of luminant on them. The hands are also all very easy to read. However, I am not sure how thrilled I am with the honeycomb style texture on the dial.
There is one more version of the Sea Hawk that is not mentioned here - that was in the debut. That is the limited edition of 10 pieces Foreverglades version. Being so limited (and all sold out), it isn't worth discussing much. However, one thing it had that I liked was a non-orange minute hand. I like the tool like approach of the orange hand, but find that a non-orange hand is much more stylish and practical for most of the time. I hope that later versions of the Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk consider having hands like the Foreverglades version did.
Girard-Perregaux will have to find its special niche for this watch given that the market for $10,000 plus sport dive watches is very crowded. While it s a good watch, Girard-Perregaux has the very real task of telling people why the Sea Hawks are a better buy compared to things like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor line, Blancpain 50 Fathoms, Rolex Deep Sea, and others. It is a tough, but very rewarding segment with a large market. Look out for more sport watch focus from the brand in the years to come. Price for the Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk watches is $11,350.