January 30, 2017
Gateway to the future: A futuristic extrapolation of a 19th century movement architecture now considered to be the historical signature of the Manufacture Girard-Perregaux, the Neo-Bridges automatic titanium watch heralds a construction approach aimed at bringing a dramatic theatrical touch to tomorrow’s mechanical horology.
Fundamentally retro-futurist in terms of its aesthetic approach, the Neo-Bridges automatic titanium adopts a certain vision of forward-looking horology, while remaining entirely in harmony with the history of the brand founded in 1791.
Shaping the future
At the crossroads between two worlds associating tradition and innovation, this visionary time-measuring instrument showcases one of the key directions being taken by the new image of the Manufacture, which remains consistently ahead of its time. The rich vitality of this new expression of Manufacture Girard-Perregaux’s mechanical vision takes firm root in the past in order to propel itself firmly towards the future. The Neo-Bridges Automatic Titanium picks up the architectural construction design codes cherished by Constant Girard, creator of the Esmeralda pocket watch that was honoured in 1889 by a first prize at the Paris Universal Exhibition. It also echoes the theatrical nature of the creations by Jean-François Bautte who, in the late 18th century, designed horological instruments employing a playful approach to displaying the passing hours in order to demystify the flow of time and thus transform watches into pure kinetic works of art.
The dynamics of visual balance
Within this magnificently staged watchmaking show, the new GP08400 self-winding 14 ¼-ligne movement with micro-rotor forms an inseparable whole with the 45 mm-diameter titanium case that is water-resistant to 30 metres, fitted with a black alligator leather strap secured by a titanium triple folding clasp. This captivating movement featuring perfect symmetry – thanks to the judicious positioning of the micro-rotor along the same axis as the barrel drum ensuring a 50-hour power reserve – is first and foremost designed to draw the eye. The architecture does indeed capture the gaze, especially since it is reinforced by contemporary finishing including sandblasting, NAC treatment of the mainplate, and a PVD coating on the delicately curved bridges. This ensemble with its sophisticated graphic design is endowed with an infinitely hypnotic charm thanks to the presence at 6 o’clock of a large 10.15 mm-diameter variable-inertia balance wheel oscillating at a frequency of 3 Hertz (21,600 vibrations per hour). The generous size of the balance makes it less subject to disturbances and therefore more accurate.
A sense of stage-setting
The Neo-Bridges watch was designed by the style department as a contemporary transcription of the aesthetic codes dear to the Manufacture Girard-Perregaux. To magnify these design principles, the engineers and watchmakers have endowed the finely crafted titanium case measuring 45 mm in diameter and 12.17 mm thick with alternately polished and satin-brushed finishing. This coherent ensemble is fitted with a “Box” sapphire crystal and a minimalist dial, as well as a transparent sapphire crystal caseback – thereby providing ample space in which to read the time, as well as to discover this fascinating 208-part mechanism. The latter epitomises the art of harnessing and propelling towards the future the full stylistic power of the historical timepieces that have been forging the renown of the Manufacture Girard-Perregaux for more than 225 years.