Girard-Perregaux, a Swiss brand whose history of making chronographs reaches all the way back to its 19th-century pocketwatches, has introduced an all-new collection of auto-racing-inspired chronograph wristwatches as part of its 225th anniversary celebration in 2016. Here’s what you need to know about the Girard-Perregaux Competizione.
The watches — which Girard-Perregaux says are its first two chronographs with automatic winding — have a “retro futuristic” look reminiscent of the brand’s Club Italia chronograph from 1987, which was in turn inspired by Girard-Perregaux’s 1960s-era “Ready-Go” three-counter chronograph watches designed for rally car drivers and motorcyclists.
One version, the Competizione Stradale, has the dressier look of the two new models, with either a silvered or black dial and offered on either a stitched black or brown leather strap or a steel link bracelet. Its stainless steel case is 42 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 30 meters, with long, slightly rounded lugs designed to follow the natural curve of the wrist. Its mushroom-style chronograph pushers are a callback to those used on models of the 1950s. The chronograph displays include a red, central sweep seconds hand and sunken subdials at 9 and 6 o’clock for elapsed minutes and hours. Small seconds are in another subdial at 3 o’clock, the date appears in a window at 4:30, and a tachymeter scale adorns the periphery of the dial. The subdials have a delicate, snailed motif.
The movement, visible through a clear sapphire caseback window, is Girard-Perregaux’s in-house Caliber GP03300, which has 435 components, including 63 jewels; a frequency of 28,800 vph (4 Hz); a fully-wound power reserve of 46 hours; and a column-wheel-controlled chronograph mechanism. Its haute horlogerie decorations include blued screws, circular graining on the mainplate, and côtes de Genève on the bridges. Prices for the Stradale models are $9,800 on a strap and $10,500 on a bracelet.
The sportier watch, the Competizione Circuito Chronograph, evokes the body of a high-end automobile with its case, made of a lightweight but robust titanium-carbon alloy, and its black, openworked “honeycomb” dial that calls to mind a car’s radiator grille and air inlets. Like the Stradale, its case measures 42 mm in diameter and houses the manufacture Caliber GP03300, visible through a sapphire caseback. The Circuito comes on a “carbon-effect” calfskin strap with a double-folding clasp made of DLC-coated, microbead-blasted steel. The Circuito Chronograph is priced at $13,400.