Published on July 19th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Girard Perregaux GP 1966, Classic & Timeless
In the 1960s, Girard Perregaux was one of the very few watchmaking Manufactures to have its own Research & Development team. In 1966, it launched the first High Frequency movement, which would provide exceptional accuracy performance. So much so, that 73% of the chronometer certificates awarded by the Neuchatel Observatory in 1967 were issued to Girard-Perregaux.
The Girard Perregaux 1966 collection pays tribute to this era, incorporating the fruits of the Manufacture’s constant commitment to innovation, with its automatic winding movements in a particularly elegant, extra-thin case.
Ask any watch aficionado which brands top the horological hierarchy and no doubt Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe will be mentioned first. Deservedly so, but also deserving of such a mention is Girard-Perregaux. A company with a long history, Girard-Perregaux also has a long list of innovation. G-P was, for example, one of the few brands who, even in the 1990s, was making their own manufacture movements. Also, aside from developing their own quartz movement, one whose frequency is still recognized as the industry standard, G-P was also the first company to produce a mechanical watch movement with a 36,000vph balance, the Gyromatic. This was in 1966, the same year the company was awarded a prestigious prize by the Neuchâtel Observatory for its work in precision watchmaking. 1966 was such a significant year for G-P that they named a series of classically-styled watches after it.
The color of the dial on this particular reference of 1966 Chronograph is spectacular. It is bright and deep, and really unlike any other chronograph of this nature, most veering towards typical cream or black dials with such a configuration. Speaking of the dial, the first thing one notices after the color is the bold tachymetric scale which takes up a good fifth of the dial’s diameter. While it’s doubtful that anyone uses a tachymetric scale on a chronograph, much less a dress chronograph, it is a nod to the aviation/auto racing chronos of the middle of the last century and also keeps the watch from being too stuffy
The 1966 Chronograph from Girard-Perregaux is one of the more beautiful high-end chronographs around, walking the knife’s edge between dressy and sporty, with a near-perfect size and elegant yet modern styling. G-P’s tagline is “Watches for the Few Since 1791” and indeed for those who want to venture beyond the usual suspects that occupy the rarified air at the top of the horological heap, this is a worthy alternative.