The second edition of Watches & Wonders takes place this weekend in Miami. If you’re planning on attending, not only will you have the opportunity to peruse many of the timepieces that made their debut at last month’s SIHH, but you’ll also get to see a number of watches make their official premiere during the three-day long festival. The first of these launches is the Girard-Perregaux Quasar, the first Girard-Perregaux timepiece to feature a case made entirely from sapphire crystal.
The skeletonized version of the Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges that serves as this watch’s base was first released last year and acts as a sort of union between two of the brand’s most significant developments: The 1884 patent of the Three Golden Bridges construction that has served as an identifying characteristic for GP ever since, and the 2015 launch of the first Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges timepiece. Combine that with Girard-Perregaux’s enviable position as a leader in the field of skeletonization and you get the basis of today’s novelty.
The usage of sapphire crystal for watch cases has been trending upwards in recent years. Greubel Forsey, MB&F, and Hublot were early pioneers, and we’ve even seen boutique brands like Bovet and Speake-Marin get in on the transparent fun in recent months. Although a common element in watchmaking as a whole, sapphire crystal is notoriously tough to work with on the scale that building an entire case out of it requires, resulting in limited production numbers and high price tags. The Girard-Perregaux Quasar remains true to form with a reported 200 hours of work needed to craft the case from a single sapphire crystal disk in order to reach its final 45 mm by 15.25 mm form.
Visible from 360 degrees thanks to the complete clarity of the case, Caliber GP9400-1035 is built from titanium rather than traditional gold (hence Three Golden Bridges). It is then sandblasted and blackened for maximalist effect. The movement is a modified take on Girard-Perregaux Caliber 9400 with its mainplate removed for total skeletonization.
The Girard-Perregaux Quasar is priced at $194,000 and will be on view all weekend at Watches & Wonders Miami. Stay tuned for more exclusive coverage online and on our Instagram.
Click here for a breakdown of some of our favorite timepieces to feature sapphire crystal cases.