Have you noticed how many modern luxury watches are shedding their skins? It’s quite popular for a watch to strip a bit and reveal their movements. Some watches are all movement, with no dial to speak of–mere hands floating above a landscape of gears. To accomplish this, watchmakers must design movements not only to be aesthetically pleasing, but also perform properly, a difficult task.
In 1860, Girard Perregaux was one of the first watchmakers to consider building a movement around aesthetic ideals. It wasn’t that movements were unsightly before then, but rather they displayed a sense of organic mechanical construction that was beautiful for what it was. Girard Perregaux implemented the idea of placing three symmetrical bridges as the main viewable element of a movement. Even today, symmetry in a watch movement (just as on a dial) is highly respected. The Girard Perregaux Tourbillon Three Gold Bridges watch continues in the brand’s tradition of highly sophisticated tourbillion watches that prominently display the three gold bridges. The top bridge secures the mainspring barrel used to power the timepiece, the middle bridge helps secure the hour and minute hand, while the lower gold bridge secures the top of the tourbillion carriage (which also acts as the seconds counter). While the name of the watch may sound familiar, shown here is the 2010 model of the Three Bridge Tourbillon, which enjoys a brand-new style.
The 18-karat pink gold case is 41mm wide and houses a Girard Perregaux GP9600C automatic mechanical tourbillion movement (automatic tourbillions are less common than manually wound ones). The movement number, “9600,” is displayed on the dial, where you will also find the watch’s limited edition number–there will only be 50 pieces of this Girard Perregaux watch model made. It comes on a black alligator strap with a matching gold buckle.
Some people will no doubt be confused by the style of the watch. While easily seen as attractive, the blend of an actual dial (barren and lightly engraved) and movement parts may seem an odd combination. However, the watch is actually an emblem of the brand. The iconic three gold bridge design signifies that the watch is not only a Girard Perregaux, but one of the highest-end Girard Perregaux watches available. Ownership places you in a small club, and communicates to those in the know of your affiliation with tasteful, classic timepieces. It is almost the anti-modern, modern watch. Price for each limited edition timepiece is $80,000.
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com