Believe it or not, there was a point in time when watch manufacturers marketed their wares to the public by heralding the quality and technological prowess of their movements. Girard-Perregaux may be one of the best examples of that type of marketing and their high-frequency chronometer movements at the top of the quality pyramid. With an astonishing 39 jewels, the movement powering this watch was described by the brand as “the world’s most advanced automatic watch” with “extra jewels for greater precision… longer wear… and for smoother winding at the slightest motion of your wrist”. With so much hype the movements had a lot to live up to and the Chronometer printed on the dial tells you that these watches were proven to live up to the marketing.
The Case and Bracelet
The 34mm stainless steel case is in good condition with minor signs of wear. The case has received a polish and luckily the jeweler did so with a light hand. The crystal is in excellent condition and the watch retains its original GP signed crown and signed screw down case back. In addition to a leather strap, the watch also comes with a Speidel USA stretch watch band from the era that is in great condition.
The Dial and Hands
The vertically brushed gold-toned dial is in good condition. The applied square steel-colored markers match the blocky hands perfectly and symmetry is maintained with a 6:00 beveled and bordered date window. To top it off, the GP contains a uniquely shaped acrylic crystal that follows the form of the case. All of the components are correct for the watch.
This watch features a chronometer grade high frequency 39 jewel automatic Girard-Perregaux calibre 42 movement. These movements are the later serial production versions of the significant high frequency calibre 32A movements and beats at 36,000 bph. The watch is running and the service history is not known.
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.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic, Calibre 42|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap and Stretch Stainless Steel Bracelet|