In 1867, Girard-Perregaux launched the first Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, a timepiece that has attained iconic status in the modern day and a longtime symbol of the venerable Swiss watch maison. What its inventor, brand founder Constant Girard, accomplished with that historic timepiece was to bring to the forefront three functional parts of the watch that are typically hidden, in essence making the invisible visible.
With the launch of the latest Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges at the recently concluded Geneva Watch Days, Girard-Perregaux takes this design philosophy forward and adds a new twist. For this version, the maison, which marks its 230th anniversary in 2021, has equipped the tourbillon movement with three of its avant-garde Neo Bridges made from rose gold — marking the first time that Girard-Perregaux has used that particular precious metal to form the bridges of the timepiece.
Regarding the construction of the watch, the three bridges of the movement not only support the gear train, tourbillon, and barrel but also essentially act as the mainplate. The design makes the bridges appear to be floating in mid-air and thus adds to the openworked aesthetic of the watch. The upper and lower surfaces of the rose-gold bridges are coated with black PVD and painstakingly chamfered by hand using a small piece of boxwood (an age-old tradition), to impart to them a perfect finish.
In other parts of the watch, the play with three-dimensional forms continues, bringing about some very interesting architecture. The barrel and the gear train are positioned along a north-south axis, with the former arranged in the upper portion of the dial. The tourbillon can be found on the lower half of the dial and is surrounded by a lyre-shaped cage whose historical design dates back to the 19th century. A blued hand on the tourbillon cage rotates at a 360 degree angle once per minute and serves as a small seconds display.
The Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges comes in a 44-mm 18k rose-gold case with the automatic GPO9400-1273 movement beating within. It’s attached to a rubber-effect alligator strap with a rose-gold triple-folding buckle and priced in the U.S. at $156,000.
A version of this article first appeared on our sister website, WatchTime India.