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Girard Perregaux

Swiss  •  b. 1791

Biography

Celebrating its 225th anniversary in 2016, the company earned its fame as the first vertically integrated Swiss watchmaking company, manufacturing high-grade movements, cases and dials within its premises. Particularly noteworthy are the brand's three-gold-bridge tourbillon pocket watches built by Constant Girard beginning in 1867 — considered amongst the most beautiful movement architectures ever made. An active participant in Switzerland's observatory chronometry competitions, the brand won so many precision awards that they were excluded from competing in 1901.

Key models include nineteenth and twentieth century pocket watches with three gold bridges, modern tourbillon wristwatches with three gold bridges, minute repeating pocket and wristwatches, as well as sport watches such as the Laureato and Sea Hawk.

Insights

  • Girard Perregaux was the first brand to mass-produce wristwatches, fabricating 2,000 timepieces designed for the wrists of Germany's naval officers — following an order from Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1880.

  • Girard Perregaux's three-bridge architecture is the world's oldest mechanical movement design still in production.

  • A historically important, oversized tourbillon pocket watch from 1886 with three gold bridges and pivoted detent escapement sold for HK $837,500 in the Phillips Hong Kong Watch Auction: TWO sale on 31 May 2016.

"Girard Perregaux earned its fame as the first vertically integrated Swiss watchmaking company, manufacturing high grade movements, cases and dials within its premises."

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