In 1791, watchmaker J.F Bautte signed his very first creations and became renowned for his ultra-slim timepieces. Demonstrating great insight and innovation, Bautte established a manufacturing base in which all the elements of the watchmaking craft could be brought together under one roof. Some years later, in 1852, Constant Girard founded Girard & Cie . After marrying Marie Perregaux, Girard founded Girard Perregaux in 1856. By 1906, Girard's son, Constant Girard-Galle, took control of the factory from his father, and later merged his own manufacture with the House of Bautte. Nevertheless, by this stage, Girard Perregaux had already built a reputation as an eminent watchmaker; receiving the prestigious Gold Medal at the Paris Universal Exhibitions in 1867, for their research into, and creation of the triple gold bridge Tourbillon. In other words, for using gold within the movement, of which the brand Girard Perregaux is renowned.
Although initially intended for German Naval Officers, Girard Perregaux developed the first concept for wristwatches from 1880 onwards, in excess of two thousand were produced, and ordered by none other than Kaiser Wilhelm I. The concept of a wristwatch was perceived as implausible within the industry, and it wasn't until the beginning of the next century that the Girard Perregaux wristwatch gained some popularity. Nonetheless, by 1890, the manufacture had become so popular that Girard Perregaux were able to expand their operations, moving into the Japanese, American and South American markets. By 1910, the wristwatch emerged, and Girard Perregaux received considerable recognition industry-wide. By 1930, sales of the Girard Perregaux wristwatch had far exceeded those of the pocket watch.
Inspired by the Tourbillon pocket watch of the 1860's, the Girard Perregaux Tourbillon Bi-Axial Tantalum and sapphire model, launched in 2013, offers the ultimate in contemporary design and cutting edge technology. The watch is characterized by three, distinctive sapphire bridges. In addition, grade five titanium, gold, steel and glucydur optimise the tourbillon bi-axial mechanism. The iconic elliptic pattern made famous by Girard Perregaux in the 1860's, is also displayed across the barrel. To date, only twelve pieces have been created.
Launched in 2011, The WW.TC Cabinet de Curiosities model contains the Girard-Perregaux, in-house caliber GP03378 automatic chronograph movement. This collection is reputed to be one of the finest world time watches in existence, containing a rotating bezel which is used with a special 24 hour disc. Forty three milimetres wide, the model is housed in a white ceramic case and displays a smoked dial. Girard-Perregaux has only produced five such pieces.
Inspired by the Art Deco style collection produced by Girard Perregaux in 1945, the Girard Perregaux Limited Edition Vintage 1945 Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges is a sight to behold. Finished in white gold, the collection features highly polished, rhodium-plated skeleton bridges. The 12mm diameter casing houses no fewer than 72 components, and the case features a curved profile with matching crown. The rear of the timepiece features a sapphire glass which exposes the Calibre 9600C movement. A total of fifty pieces have been produced by Girard Perregaux.
Particularly inspiring are the beautiful collections for women by Girard Perregaux. Stylish and elegant with impeccable detail and opulent designs, the collections are highly sought amongst the discerning. In 2013, Girard Perregaux unveiled the stunning new Vintage 1945 Lady. Characteristic of the Art Deco designs among other 1945 Vintage collections, the Vintage 1945 Lady features harmonious curves and straight lines, with a diamond setting at the 3 and 9 O'clock position. Two, elegant rows of diamonds run parallel along the steel case and the company's smallest, self-winding caliber is visible through the sapphire back.
The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Lady 38mm combines striking design with femininity. The dial features a diamond encrusted arc which overlaps an arc of mother of pearl. The case is set with 72 diamonds which sit on a pink gold base and the timepiece is powered by the Girard Perregaux, automatic Caliber GP03300. The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Lady 38mm is offered with either a white crocodile strap and a light mother of pearl dial, or a dark brown dial. Perhaps the most renowned among the ladies's collections by Girard Perregaux is the Cat's Eye Collection. Unveiled in 2004, this magnificent collection is offered with both oval and egg shaped dials, all the Cat's Eye models within the Girard Perregaux range are meticulously detailed, with mother of pearl and diamond settings.
For more than 200 years, Girard Perregaux has been hailed as one of Switzerland's finest watchmakers. The Girard Perregaux brand is synonymous with innovation, vision and excellence within the world of Haute Horlogerie. The ultimate collections; highly desirable, instantly recognizable and considered 'must have' pieces amongst the discerning, collections by the House of Girard Perregaux appeal to all who appreciate skillfully crafted pieces and exquisite design.