Girard-Perregaux proudly boasts a founding date of 1791 in advertisements and all over their website today. The version of GP that is being traced back to comes a bit before Girard or Perregaux but rather a previous iteration of what would become this name in the first decade of the 20th century. This is pointed out not to take anything away from the brand’s history but rather allow us to better understand watchmakers by the name of Bautte who came first. Jean-Francois Bautte lived a rich life from 1772 to 1837 in which he is credited with practicing as one of the world best jewelers, founding the most complete watch manufacturer of the time, and having a hand in developing the world’s first ultra-thin watch movement. Following Jean-Francois’s death, his son Jacques Bautte and son-in-law Jean-Samuel Rossel founded a watchmaking company called Jean-Francoise Bautte & Cie Company to carry on the legacy and continue manufacturing great watches, most for the pocket.
Separate from the Bautte’s, but in the Swiss region, a watchmaker called Constant Girard formed Girard & Cie in 1852. Four years later Girard married Marie Perregaux—you might be able to guess the rest. In 1906, Jean-Francoise Bautte & Cie Company joined forces with Girard Perregaux, bought a large building in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where it still operates today, and became, for good, Girard-Perregaux. Through the name changes and confusion one constant (other than Constant Girard) has remained. The brand built its reputation on cutting-edge horological innovation. Starting with that first ultra-thin movement, many patents are attributed to the GP brand including heavy work on early Tourbillions. A spirit of innovation has served as a throughline of the Girard-Perregaux catalog, both technically and in design, in its history and still today.
This particular watch proved quite difficult to pin down with us only able to find one picture with no other information of a watch with the same case. Even though we don’t have any direct references for this watch there is still some information that we can glean from its looks and movement. Our best guess is that this is watch is part of the SeaHawk range or a close cousin. Girard Peregaux release the SeaHawk in the early 1940s and were originally military styled watches with some early water resistance but over the next 70 years the SeaHawk name would also be used on dress watches, dive watches and watches in between. This inbetween phase during the mid 1950’s seems to fit this watch well. These watches featured a mixed style, neither dress nor military, and manual wind movements. If you know something about this watch please let us know in the comments.
The 35mm stainless steel case is in good condition. The case is sharp and an attractive size for the era that wears very large for its size. There are scratches throughout which is to be expected with some large scratches on the crystal. With no examples to compare it to it is unknown if the crown is correct.
The Dial and Hands
The dial and hands are in good condition. There is some accumulation of dirt around the edges of the dial but otherwise there are no major faults. The hour markers, hands, and numerals are in gold which adds a nice contrast to the steel case. With no examples to compare to it is unknown if the hands are correct but the style is correct for the era from GP.
This watch features a Girard Perregaux calibre 12 manually wound movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, Calibre 12|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|