Girard-Perregaux’s Tourbillon with Three Bridges has been an icon of classic design for almost 150 years. This year, the brand’s signature timepiece is reborn with a radical new look. Here are 10 things to know about this futuristic masterpiece.
1. The Neo-Tourbillon features a completely redesigned caliber GP09400 that is larger than previous versions.
2. The trademark bridges present a sculptural new shape. Fashioned from titanium, they are carved from a solid block of material, then skeletonized. Once shaped, the titanium is sandblasted before receiving a black PVD finish. Titanium is notoriously difficult to machine, and carving the thin arches requires careful attention to prevent deformation during the production process.
3. The bridges are truly named, for each spans a valley in the center of the movement created by inclined surfaces on either side. This unique construction creates a strong three-dimensional effect. The mainplate is treated with ruthenium anthracite and then sandblasted, producing a finely grained texture in a soft grey color that compliments the bridges.
4. The one-minute tourbillion retains its classic lyre shape, though for the first time it is crafted from titanium. The diameter is a larger-than-average 14.44 mm.
5. The variable-inertia balance wheel is presented in a new black color. The tourbillion includes 80 components, yet it weighs just 0.25 grams.
6. Still located at 12 o’clock, the winding system has also been redesigned to optimize performance. The white gold micro-rotor is now located entirely under the barrel, and not around it, as in the past. A larger barrel allows a longer mainspring, which yields an increased power reserve of 72 hours. The teeth have been removed from the drum and replaced by a top-mounted gear.
7. The sapphire crystal and case are equally innovative. Like a traditional crystal, the glass is round, but rather than the usual gentle slope to an edge that meets a bezel, this crystal features a 90 degree edge that sits flush against the case, with no bezel. This construction allows the movement to be viewed through the crystal’s edge with no visual distortion, for maximum enjoyment of the unique mechanism beneath.
8. The back of the caliber features an arrow-shaped bridge that spans the entire movement.
9. The Neo-Tourbillon case measures 45 mm in diameter and 14.45 mm in height. It is water-resistant to 30 meters, and it features an alligator strap with a pink gold folding buckle.
10. The Neo-Tourbillon is priced at $153,150.