Girard-Perregaux 1957 - At the Mirror!
In 1957, Girard-Perregaux presented a solution that managed to enhance the performance of winding rotors by substituting roller-equipped unidirectional clutches for the ratchet wheels which, if compared to traditional solutions still used in automatic timepieces from that time, enabled both the rotor’s unidirectional movement and a longer lasting performance. This solution also paved the way for the launch of the 32A caliber that was hosted within the Chronometer HF, the answer that the manufacturer from La Chaux de Fonds gave to the “highest precision challenge”.
This year, this old manufacturing company is celebrating its first 225 years in business and it has made a good use of its time by creating a new image for itself and by opening its historic archives to get some inspiration for the crafting of new models; timepieces that have contributed to the recent history of the brand and that also represent milestones in its haute-horlogerie collections. How many of you are actually aware that Girard-Perregaux was the maker of the Gyromatic and that the manufacturer also patented its original solution and came up with a high-frequency caliber? The Girard-Perregaux 1957 is the ideal modern version of the first Gyromatic, it repeats its style but without copying its technical solution, to be more precise it doesn’t even try to imitate a modern version of it, so, keeping in mind this timepiece’s positioning, this solution remains confined to the watchmaker’s history and it also represents a missed opportunity, from the product point of view, since it doesn’t create a connecting thread with that chapter of the watchmaker’s history.
This watch is a well-crafted three-hands with a clear vintage inspiration, an area of expertise that the brand is quite good at. Its classic timepieces, like the 1966, are among the most comfortable timepieces ever designed and the Girard-Perregaux 1957 is no exception to this rule. Once you have adjusted the folding clasp and wrapped this timepiece around your wrist, you will completely forget that you are actually wearing it but when you remove your watch for the night, you will immediately start missing it. After trying on lots and lots of timepieces, talking about a watch’s comfort feeling is definitely not a trivial topic.
This fine result is achieved thanks to a 40mm-case with a particularly reduced thickness thanks to an extremely thin automatic movement like the GP3300 caliber. The lugs stretch for a sufficient length to then turn briskly, thus creating the perfect adherence between the case and the wrist even without having to tighten to the max the pin of the folding clasp. The dial is crafted in a polished champagne hue that actually tends to a cream color, it sports double applied indices and Dauphine-style hands, the quintessence of the vintage style from the 60s, there is also a small opening for the date located at 3 o’clock.
Going back to the date and taking a look at this timepiece from a ¾ angle, you can view the “cut” that has been made on the dial to craft the date, a small chamfer here would have increased the feeling of perceived quality. The dial has been covered with a glass box, a choice that watch-makers often go for, many of these brands are currently trying to bring back to its former glory the traditional horlogerie from the 60s, a time when this type of glass was quite widespread. The GP3300 caliber is a fine automatic movement that oscillates at a frequency of 4Hz, the main plate sports a delicate “perlage” decoration while the bridges feature a “Côtes de Genève” motif and a circular pattern on the rotor. This is one of Girard-Perregaux’s battle horses despite its diameter being slightly undersized due to the size of the 1957’s case.
The Girard-Perregaux 1957 retails at 10,400 euro and it falls into a highly-competitive market category. One of this timepiece’s pros is the fact that it is a commemorative model that was crafted with the typical taste of someone who has always created timepieces for elegant and refined people – those people who don’t like showing off but are nevertheless aware of their look -. This spirit has always characterized Girard-Perregaux’s creations and the 1957 is no exception to this rule.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter