March 26, 2013
by James Stacey
Girard-Perregaux has announced an evolution of their WW.TC line of traveler-centic watches, continuing the collection with two brand new models. Seeing as the past year has been host to a litany of new worldtimers, it’s of little surprise that GP would look to inject their WW.TC formula into this new “Traveller” series. We have known for some time that Girard-Perregaux was going to refresh the WW.TC for 2013. The second new model in the new Traveller collection is the Moon Phases and Large Date, whose features are basically explained by that over-descriptive title – a basic watch it is pleasant enough but lacks pizazz. Whether you call it the WW.TC or the Traveller, this line of globetrotting GP’s has been around for a while and found success by offering high end worldtimers that combined elements from both the sporty and elegant sides of Girard-Perregaux.
The first of the two new models is a worldtimer that GP is calling the Traveller WW.TC. The WW.TC employs the Girard-Perregaux GP03300-0083/84 automatic movement to offer its many features. This movement is comprised of 476 parts, 63 jewels, and has a power reserve of 46 hours supporting a world time complication, a 12 hour chronograph and a date display. GP fans will note that this new Traveller WW.TC looks very similar to the current range of WW.TC chronographs already on offer from Girard Perregaux. They (you?) would be right, save for a few tweaks. The world time crown (at nine o’clock on previous models) has been removed and the feature is now controlled via the main crown at three o’clock. The 24 hour ring is set against your local time so the user needs to align their local city at 12 o’clock to synchronize the world time feature. Providing the watch is set correctly, one need only reference the hour number that is aligned with whatever city they wish to time (see Ariel’s WW.TC review for a visual explanation). I have an older Seiko desk clock which works in a similar fashion and I find it to be an effective and useful way to view many timezones at once and quickly survey the offset between two cities.
The dial of the Traveller WW.TC carries a subtle globe pattern, inlaid markers and GP’s distinctive date window placement between one and two o’clock (similar to the GP Sea Hawk II). Both models in the Traveller line use an attractive new handset that is classic while still offering space for luminous materials. The Traveller WW.TC measures 44mm wide (up from 43 in previous similar models) and will be available in four versions, a matte black or opaline dial with a steel case, an opaline dial with a titanium case, or an opaline dial with a ceramic bezel and a steel case, with pricing starting at 15,000 CHF, going to 16,000 CHF in a ceramic case. The new case is nice and we appreciate the size, but we sort of miss the extra crown that make the piece unique looking.
The second model is a bit of an irony for a continuation of the Traveller range as it does not feature any travel-related complications. The new Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date is a classic watch that offers a big date, sub seconds, power reserve indication and moon phase display. Girard-Perregaux is touting the Traveller collection as the inheritor of the WW.TC collection, so it would seem they are planning a wider scope of features and design for this new line of watches. Powered by the automatic GP03300-0080/81, this new model has a 46 hour power reserve, an instantaneous jumping large date and its moon phase display will be accurate to one day in 122 years (assuming sustained operation and a rather seasoned owner).
Featuring a simple and attractive 44mm case, the Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date will be available in a steel case with either an opaline or black dial or a steel case with a gray dial and ceramic bezel. The base models will carry a price tag of 12000 CHF with the ceramic-clad model costing 13000 CHF.
While both of these new models look quite appealing, I definitely prefer the new Traveller WW.TC. I think the more sporting intention of a world timer makes the most sense in a 44mm platform, while the much more dressy Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date may seem especially large for a watch of its aesthetic. The Traveller WW.TC is a handsome watch that looks to balance both sporty and elegant intentions with ease while offering ample wrist presence with its 44mm case. Girard-Perregaux has been in the world timer game for a while, but the field has recently become more crowded with competition from IWC, Bremont, Alpina, and Frederique Constant. As Girard-Perregaux moves forward, it is clear that they will continue to innovate within the space created by the WW.TC line while expanding the Traveller collection for a wider audience. No doubt these are “Western-focused” wears as GP seems to be aiming to the US and again at Europe as its desired centers of business and growth over the new few years. girard-perregaux.com