Girard-Perregaux is a brand that has not really been on our radar much of late, which is a bit of a shame as generally speaking GP makes really nice watches. The latest example of this comes in the form of the newly announced 1966 Skeleton, which as the name suggests boasts a completely skeletonized movement. The company is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year so expect more big things to come.
The 1966 Skeleton
For me the 1966 Skeleton is somewhat of a walking contradiction. On the one hand the watch comes from Girard-Perregaux’s vintage inspired 1966 collection, and yet the style of skeletonization and overall aesthetic design is thoroughly modern – if a little Bell & Ross-ish. This is not necessarily a bad thing by any means, it just took a little getting used to.
The movement is based on the automatic GP1800 caliber, a time-only manufacture movement comprised of some 173 components. Unlike what you’d normally expect to see from a traditional Girard-Perregaux timepiece however the movement of the 1966 Skeleton has been treated with a galvanic process (anthracite gray ruthenium) to give it that stylish twist.
A sneaky wristshot courtesy of Stefano Macaluso’s Instagram account
Don’t let the modern façade fool you though as the 1966 Skeleton still boasts all the traditional finishing techniques Girard-Perregaux are well known for. All the visible bridges and plates, gears and levers have been chamfered, polished, satin-brushed and hand-finished by the watch artisans at the Manufacture. The balance wheel is clearly visible on the front of the watch at 12 o’clock and the movement boasts a “Microvar” variable inertia balance exclusive to Girard- Perregaux, pulsating at 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour).
Visible on the back side of the watch is the skeletonized oscillating weight, which has been made from gold. Although it’s an automatic the 1966 Skeleton still boasts a healthy power reserve of 54 hours when fully wound, which is definitely appreciated given that this is probably not a watch you’re going to be wearing every day.
Presented in a 38mm pink gold case paired with a black alligator leather strap complete with matching pink gold pin buckle, the 1966 Skeleton is a great example of what can be achieved if you just stick to the basics but do them really, really well. Some people might argue that 38mm is too small but for this style of watch I think it’s perfect.
No word on pricing for the 1966 Skeleton as yet but given that this is Girard-Perregaux expect it to be a little on the steep side. Stay tuned for more from Baselword next month.
In the meantime please visit www.girard-perregaux.com for more information.