Cosmic Blues: Girard-Perregaux Quasar Azure Limited Edition

Girard-Perregaux’s invention of a tourbillon with three bridges, first unveiled in a timepiece on 1867, has influenced the venerable maison’s tourbillon-equipped wristwatches ever since, most notably in its eye-popping Quasar editions of recent years. The newest one, limited to only eight pieces, fits the Quasar’s sophisticated, skeletonized tourbillon movement into a case made entirely of blue sapphire.

Girard-Perregaux Quasar Azure

The first Quasar timepiece, released early in 2019 and named after a super-luminous astronomical object in keeping with that year’s “Earth to Sky” theme, was the first Girard-Perregaux watch with a case made entirely from sapphire. Its follow-up, in February 2020, was the Quasar Light, which also used sapphire for the iconic three bridges of the tourbillon. The Quasar Azure is distinguished by its translucent 46-mm case, sculpted from a single block of blue-tinted sapphire. The forming, milling, coloring, and polishing of the case is a painstaking process that required more than 200 hours of work to ensure a uniform shade for the finished piece, including its lugs and crown. Box-shaped crystals in the front and back of the case offer a 360º view of the watch’s complex, skeletonized movement, Caliber GP09400-1035.

The skeletonized movement is on display inside the blue sapphire case.

The Quasar Azure’s arrow-shaped “Neo-Bridges” — which anchor the tourbillon and have their aesthetic origin in the famous La Esmeralda pocketwatch of 1889 — are made of grade 5 titanium and are set against an NAC-treated mainplate. The tourbillon’s lyre-shaped cage, whose design is derived from the 19th century, is composed of 80 pieces and weighs only about 1/4 of a gram. The unidirectional, automatic winding system uses a micro-rotor made of white gold, which is positioned discreetly behind the mainspring barrel for the movement’s 60-hour power reserve. The Dauphine hour and minute hands that sweep above the openworked dial are made of white gold and treated with a blue luminous material. Under these hands, the tourbillon appears to float freely in space, earning the watch its cosmos-inspired name, while the hand-finishing of the movement’s components (260 in all, including 27 jewels) is in clear view.

The three-bridges tourbillon design dates to the 19th century and finds an ultra-modern execution in this eight-piece limited edition.

The Girard-Perregaux Quasar Azure is mounted on a metallic-effect anthracite fabric strap with matching hand stitching and a triple folding clasp made of DLC-coated titanium. It comes in an on-theme spherical display case made of handblown glass. Available by special order from select Girard-Perregaux retailers, it is priced at $274,000.

Manufacturer:Girard-Perregaux, a division of the Kering Group
Reference number:99295-43-002-UA2A
Functions:Hours, minutes; small seconds via tourbillon
Movement:Caliber GP09400-1035, automatic with micro-rotor, skeletonized, “Neo Bridges” tourbillon, 260 components, 27 jewels, 21,600 vph frequency, 60-hour power reserve. Diameter = 36 mm, height = 9.54 mm
Case:Blue sapphire case, nonreflective “box” sapphire crystals front and back, water resistant to 30 meters
Bracelet and cla­­sp:Metallic anthracite fabric strap with DLC titanium triple folding clasp; additional blue alligator strap
Dimensions:Diameter = 46 mm, height = 15.25 mm
Price:$274,000 (limited to eight pieces)

To check out another unusual model with avant-garde materials from Girard-Perregaux, click here.

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