Watches and cars – lots of folks know their way around at least one of these topics, while others have a passion for both. Now, let me be the first to tell you that I’m someone who uses their car to get from point A to B, and that’s it. Any further questions? Well, the owner’s manual is somewhere there in the glove box. What I’m trying to say here is that my car knowledge is more on a need-to-know basis. But when finding out more about the watch we’re looking at today, I discovered that cars and watches are more similar to one another than you might think.
Just like what’s under the hood of a car, a watch case houses a kind of motor: a movement. This of course doesn’t run on super unleaded, but instead on the tension released from the mainspring. And just like our car makes it possible for us to travel along the country roads, highways, and everywhere in between, you could say a watch takes us along the highway of time. I know, I know, perhaps I’m rambling a tad too much, but let’s see what you think by the end of this article.
A Sports Car Interpreted
The Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux and British luxury automaker Aston Martin clearly hold the same view. They didn’t just see the similarities (and differences) between their products, but more importantly, how well they complement one another. The two have been part of an official partnership since 2021, during which time they have released four timepieces, with them now presenting their fifth collaboration: the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition.
The watch brand is known for its distinctive designs, materials, and unique mechanisms perfected over the centuries (the origins of Girard-Perregaux date back to 1791). And although the history of the British automaker Aston Martin do not reach back that far (it was founded in 1913), they too have a passion for high-performance, luxury, and sophisticated designs. With this in mind, both luxury brands came together to create a watch combining the amazing attributes they have in common.
A Look Under the Hood
This is where we roll up our sleeves and take a look under the hood. The watch drew on ideas from earlier cooperations between these two. As seen with another new release in October, the Neo Constant Escapement, Girard-Perregaux did not use a typical watch dial, opting instead for more of a “mechanical landscape,” just like as if we had the hood of a car propped open. This gives you a great view of the motor of the watch, the mechanical GP0840000-2164 caliber, which you would otherwise need a see-through case back to enjoy.
The “gas tank” in this watch, i.e., the microrotor that provides energy to the movement as the wearer moves their arm, bears the Aston Martin name. You’ll see the mainspring barrel to the right of it. It brandishes the Girard-Perregaux name, and is mounted onto one of the watch’s open-work bridges. The dial is comprised only the hour and minute hands, and a ring of lume-filled indices around the bezel. I’m being very generous with the term “dial” here, because in reality, the display is the movement itself, giving the wearer a clear view of the gear train and escapement powering the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition.
The movement is 32 mm across, mounted inside a 45-mm titanium case, and protected by a box sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. Skeletonized hour and minute hands glide along the watch’s applied indices.
And speaking of the open-work bridges I mentioned above: Something that really catches the eye on this timepiece are the fir-green bridges, a distinctive feature of the watchmaker, that bridge (pun intended) the gap to the green Aston Martin Super Tourer DB12. Upon closer inspection, you’ll also see gray tones flowing into shades of ruby and black, whose nuanced light play is reminiscent of a freshly-tarred road surface.
We’re not quite done with our Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition. Just like we need to wear our seat belt when driving, we need a strap when wearing a watch. This model comes on a textile black rubber strap, with green stitching that complements the velvety green of the bridges. It sits securely on the wrist thanks to its tri-fold, DLC-coated titanium buckle.
This timepiece is limited to 250 pieces, and costs €39,800 (around $43,000). It will be available this December at authorized Girard-Perregaux dealers worldwide.
What is there left to say about our trip into the world of Girard-Perregaux new releases? Well, even though watches and cars are of course two different things, I leave it to you to decide whether I’ve hit the mark with my comparisons. One thing that is certain is that a cooperation between a luxury carmaker and luxury watchmaker is a wonderful thing, as clearly seen with the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition. What’s your take on all of this?
|Case material||Titanium with black DLC coating|
|Case thickness||12.18 mm|
|Crystal||Anti-reflective “box” sapphire|
|Dial||Ring with applied floating indices with luminescent coating (glows green)|
|Hands||Skeletonized, green-luminescent baton indices|
|Water resistance||30 m (3 bar, 98 ft)|
|Caliber diameter||32 mm|
|Caliber thickness||5.45 mm|
|Balance frequency||21.600 A/h|
|Number of components||208|
|Number of jewels||29|
|Power reserve||48 hrs|
|Strap material||Black rubber strap with fabric effect and green stitching|
|Buckle||Titanium DLC triple folding buckle|