The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton; a new vision
Girard-Perregaux are injecting new life into their new 1966 collection. They broke a taboo and have released, for the very first time, a 1966 timepiece made of stainless steel (please see our article and pictures about it at the Artissima fair in Turin on here) and this year they will release three new pieces too, the size of the case of the 1966 steel will reach 44mm of diameter, a piece of news that hasn’t received considerable echo but that actually represents a revolution for the brand and it is also a very good piece of news for those who have ever dreamt of owning a 1966. The manufacturer has given a boost to its creativity and profile and is clearly working on achieving a different vision of complicated watches, like, for instance, the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton.
Most of the historical brands interpret skeleton dial watches in a traditional way by focusing on the complexity of the skeletonized structure and on its crafting, thus forgetting about another important objective; creating an homogeneous and readable style, that’s the reason why I have never really managed to fall for skeleton dial timepieces. When I was talking about “vision” in my previous sentence, I was referring to the fact that Girard-Perregaux have chosen to embark on a path that is going in a completely opposite direction if compared to a traditional visual concept by simplifying to the max the geometry of skeletonized structures and by designing a motif that tends to integrate and “talk to” the curved lines and the simplicity of a 1966 collection’s timepiece.
A frontal view lets clearly emerge the symmetry, the modular construction and an unexpected technological development; the barrel of the movement located at 6 o’ clock and the Microvar balance wheel located at 12 o’ clock featuring 6 screws to adjust the inertia of the movement are two of the main aesthetical elements of this watch. The small seconds are almost central but it is actually the whole caliber deriving from the GP1800 that develops along a vertical axis where the left side of the dial is left almost entirely free and through it, you can view the movement of the winding rotor made of pink gold like the case.
Girard-Perregaux have basically used two colours and two materials to craft their Skeleton, pink gold, bridges and bottom plates have undergone a galvanization treatment that gives them an accentuated high-tech tone and that also remarks how the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton is, without taking anything away from its technical aspect, mainly a masterpiece of style and design. It seems as if the designers of this watch had taken inspiration from the different shapes of nature to create the silhouettes of the rotor, the bridges and the plates by coming up with an apparently complex structure that is actually extremely harmonious. The beholder can clearly discern at first sight every single gearing and movement component that, when put together, create a pleasant and original set, it is as if the movement were moving even when off and it is definitely not as confusing as it is on other skeleton dial watches.
The movement hosts 173 components and the single winding barrel guarantees up to 54 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The only part that hasn’t been skeletonized is the minute ring with applied and hovering indexes made of pink gold and the nice GP logo also made of pink gold and located at 12 o’ clock. Seeing this logo is a pleasure and gives me some personal satisfaction as I have always said that it is one of the most beautiful and powerful logos in the world of watch-making and it is the perfect symbol for today’s Girard-Perregaux’s changing image that, despite having designed this timepiece for a high-end audience (the retail price totals 57,800 euros) they are slowly moving towards a younger and less deeply rooted clientele.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®