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.
The reference 9976 RF was part of an unnamed series of watches created by Girard-Perregaux that somewhat went against their normal style of watches described above. This series of watches were distinctly dress watches, and most produced in solid gold or gold plated (this example being plated). They featured highly stylized case shapes ranging from square to tonneau to round and everything in between. On top of interesting case shapes, they featured integrated woven bracelets that really adds to the mafioso feel of these watches.
The Case and Bracelet
The 34mm gold plated case is in very good condition. The edges are very crisp and the base metal is not showing through the gold plating. The integrated bracelet is also in very good condition with a design that is both very comfortable on the wrist and beautiful. The crown and caseback appear original to the watch.
The Dial and Hands
The dial on this watch is a very simple two-hand design with applied baton hour markers and applied GP logo over a vertically brushed gold face. Overall condition is very good with no major flaws to note.
This watch features a Girard-Perregaux 17 jewel manually wound movement that is stamped 100-891. The watch is running well and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Reference Number||9976 RF|
|Movement||Girard-Perregaux 17 jewel manually wound movement|
|Case Material||Gold Plated|
|Band Material||Gold Plated|