Bridging the Past and Future: Girard-Perregaux Neo-Bridges

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Most historical watch brands have an iconic piece that defines them; Omega has its Moonwatch, Audemars Piguet its Royal Oak, Zenith its El Primero. For Girard-Perregaux, it’s the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, originally produced as a 19th-century pocketwatch and now offered in various modern wristwatch versions. This year, at SIHH 2017, Girard-Perregaux announced that it would be expanding and evolving its “Bridges” design to develop an entirely new collection within the larger GP family. The new Girard-Perregaux Neo-Bridges —  the brand’s first non-tourbillon “Bridges” timepiece — debuts as the flagship of this new “retro-futurist” series.

Girard-Perregaux Neo Bridges Automatic Titanium - frontThe Neo-Bridges Automatic Titanium offers a contemporary take on the architectural design codes established by brand co-founder Constant Girard — whose Esmeralda pocketwatch, with its three-bridges tourbillon movement, won first prize at the Paris Universal exhibition in 1889 — and by Jean-Francois Bautte, the legendary 18th-century watchmaker whose company merged with Girard-Perregaux in 1906.

It features an all-new movement, the self-winding Caliber GP08400, which is outfitted with a micro-rotor positioned along the same axis as the mainspring barrel for a symmetrical design architecture. The barrel stores a power reserve of at least 48 hours. The watch has no traditional dial, just a ring with suspended indices, in order to showcase the front side of the movement, which is swept over by skeletonized hour and minute hands, coated with luminescent material. The movement is also the first made by Girard-Perregaux to incorporate only two of its hallmark bridges rather then three. At 6 o’clock on the front of the watch, and anchored by one of the bridges, is the large, variable-inertia balance wheel, which oscillates at 21,600 vph (3 Hz) — occupying the spot usually reserved for the tourbillon cage in Three Gold Bridges watches. The balance’s generous proportions (10.15 mm diameter) make it less subject to disturbances and thus, GP says, more accurate. The hands are mounted on the upper bridge.

Girard-Perregaux Neo-Bridges - angle

The movement parts — 208 in all, including 29 jewels — feature a variety of contemporary finishes, including sandblasting, NAC treatment on the mainplate, and black PVD coating on the curved bridges.

The titanium case measures 45 mm in diameter and 12.17 mm thick and has alternating polished and satin-brushed finishes. The front of the watch is covered with a box-shaped, nonreflective sapphire crystal, while another pane of sapphire in the caseback offers a view of the movement’s rear side. The case, water-resistant to 30 meters, is integrated seamlessly into a dark gray alligator strap with a triple-folding clasp, also made of titanium. Available in spring of 2017, according to the company, the Girard-Perregaux Neo-Bridges will be priced at $24,000.

Girard-Perregaux Neo-Bridges - side

Below, you can see two photos we took of the Neo-Bridges during its introduction at SIHH 2017, including a good glimpse of the backside of the watch that was not included in the press materials.

Girard-Perregaux: Neo Bridges
Girard-Perregaux: Neo Bridges, back

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SOURCE:http://www.watchtime.com/wristwatch-industry-news/watches/bridging-the-past-and-future-girard-perregaux-neo-bridges/