Girard-Perregaux is marking its 230th anniversary this year, and as a part of the celebrations, the brand is going back to some of the iconic models of the past to recreate them with a 21st-century touch. One of these models is the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges. Girard-Perregaux is now re-releasing this icon with three Neo Bridges created from pink gold, which is the first time that all three bridges are made from this precious metal.
The Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges was first created back in 1867. Girard-Perregaux was one of the first watch brands to bring the three bridges which are usually hidden, into open view and make it an aesthetic element of the timepiece. Once this iconic design was born and loved by watch fanatics all over, Girard-Perregaux has created several tourbillon models with this design over the years. This latest Three Flying Bridges timepiece takes the same design cues but gives it the modern touch.
CEO of Girard-Perregaux, Patrick Pruniaux, states that with the design; “We wanted to create a watch that provides a bridge to our past but also demonstrates our vision for the future. It draws on the talents of our artisans and watchmakers, pairing traditional methods with innovative techniques. The Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges embraces three-dimensional architecture, allowing the wearer to see many parts that are typically hidden away. Since its inception, Girard-Perregaux has made the invisible – visible, something I expect it will continue to do for the next 230 years.
However, where our team has chosen to add a slight twist is by making the bridges from gold and then shrouding them in black PVD, save for their sides. It seems wonderfully indulgent, a trait synonymous with luxury, that will remain a secret to most people, except for those in the know.
This latest Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges is enclosed in a 44mm 18K rose gold case. The timepiece is essentially fully see-through with only the bare components and tourbillon attached to the bridges being shown.
The three bridges used, act as the main plate, but also support the geartrain, barrel, and tourbillon. The result of this design is that the bridges appear to float in mid-air, which is a very notable characteristic of this timepiece. The barrel is located near the 12 o’clock position of the dial (top bridge) and sits above the white gold micro-rotor, which is powered through the motion of the wearer’s wrist. The three bridges made from pink gold have their upper and lower surfaces done in black PVD coating.
The tourbillon is connected to the last bridge and has a lyre-shaped cage design. This design dates back to the 19th century, although the material used by Girard-Perregaux is more modern with Grade 5 titanium. A small seconds display is also shown through the use of a blued hand on the cage, which rotates 360 degrees every minute. The construction of the tourbillon cage only requires 79 components and weighs a total of 0.25 grams. This low weight is also what helps reduce energy consumption, which in the end gives a better power reserve of 60 hours minimum.
Each of the three bridges is chamfered by hand by a well-experienced artisan. The bridges are chamfered using a small piece of boxwood, which is a traditional technique that has been used for hundreds of years. While this Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges uses modern materials and innovative designs, the way to create these pieces upholds traditional techniques synonymous with Haute Horlogerie.
The sapphire crystal used for the case has a unique design in that it has gently sloping sides that curve downwards to the outer edge. This makes the sapphire crystal quite aesthetic. To achieve this look, however, roughly four to five times more material is required than a regular sapphire crystal.
By making the invisible, visible, Girard-Perregaux has been able to take minimalistic design to another level with the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges. Now equipped with a pink gold precious metal for the first time, a dose of modernity has been given to an iconic model in the Maisons collection.