Girard-Perregaux Takes Inspiration From Astrology For Its Latest Watches, Quasar And Cosmos
Girard-Perregaux launched itself into orbit for 2019, taking inspiration from the cosmos and the universe for its new horological creations. Astronomy is not simply a guiding theme for colour or decorative interpretations, but a deeper influence that has shaped the key design fundamentals of these watches. To that, the watchmaker has produced some stellar results, particularly in two bold timepieces that stand out among its other releases for the year—one takes a traditional icon of the brand into the space age, while the other comprises a visually impressive take of the very planet that we inhabit.
PRINCIPLES OF LIGHT
Behold the fully transparent Quasar, which holds the Neo‑Tourbillon with Three Bridges movement within a case entirely made of sapphire crystal. A first for Girard‑Perregaux, the sapphire case is in itself a thing of wonder, requiring some 200 hours to craft and form via multiple processes and with tools made from diamond.
The watch takes its name from the most brilliant of astronomical entities. The quasar, which is an extremely remote celestial object of high luminosity, is found in the centre of certain galaxies. Girard-Perregaux likens its Quasar timepiece to this galactic phenomenon composed of light and darkness—light is referenced in its extreme level of skeletonisation, while the various depths of the movement components draw the eye like the darkness of a black hole.
Within the crystal-clear case is intricate architecture outlined by the signature three bridges. Here, the bridges are crafted out of titanium, sandblasted and then blackened by a PVD treatment, so that they stand out prominently against the light that shines through.
The Quasar watch is equipped with the calibre GP9400‑1035, a modified version of the self-winding calibre 9400, with its mainplate removed for skeletonisation so that it appears to float magically in the case. At 45mm wide and 15.25mm thick, the watch case clearly has heft to it, yet it projects a remarkable lightness because of its transparency.
(Related: Space Odyssey: Girard-Perregaux's new "Earth To Sky" Watch Editions)
A VIEW FROM OUTER SPACE
Putting the earth quite literally on your wrist is the Bridges Cosmos watch, the centrepiece of Girard‑Perregaux’s “Earth to Sky” theme, the guiding design principle for its novelties this year. This complex masterpiece combines a tourbillon, sky chart, second time zone function, and a day and night indicator in one breathtakingly designed timepiece.
The most prominent features on the dial are the two three-dimensional globes placed adjacent to each other—the one on the left, a celestial representation marked with the best-known zodiac constellations, which can be customised according to the owner’s wishes; and the one on the right, a terrestrial representation of the globe. The former largely serves a poetic purpose, since it is hard to find a practical need for a constellation indicator, but does so beautifully with markings that are enhanced with luminescent hydroceramic. It rotates every 23 hours, 58 minutes and four seconds—the exact duration of a sidereal day, which in layman’s terms, measures the rotation of the earth relative to the stars rather than the sun.
(Related: Why Bridges Are So Important For Watchmaker Girard-Perregaux)
On the other hand, the latter, a miniaturised scale model of the earth, provides two indications—whether it is day or night in the local time zone, as well as the time in the second time zone via the numbered scale around the globe, or its “equator”. The relief of the “continents” is perfectly executed, resulting in a realistic replica of the earth. Both globes are crafted out of blue-tinted titanium and then given its respective detail via laser engraving.
There is no crown on the Bridges Cosmos watch—the time, as well as other indications, are to be adjusted via four keys, which fold flat down when not in use, on the back of the watch. The tourbillon is similar to that of Girard-Perregaux’s Neo creations and is straddled by a black PVD-treated titanium bridge. Everything is housed in a 48mm bead-blasted titanium case and topped with a 22.32mm-thick “glass-box” sapphire crystal that gives the watch an imposing presence befitting its links to astronomy.
(Related: Girard-Perregaux Adds A Dark Side To Its Laureato Absolute Watches)
This year is the first time that Girard-Perregaux has chosen an overall theme to represent and inspire its novelties. Whether “Earth to Sky”—and consequently, the thematic strategy—is successful remains to be seen. But it has definitely given the new watches a unified direction and, especially for the haute horlogerie pieces such as the Quasar and Bridges Cosmos, a stable foundation for the watchmakers at the manufacture to build upon.