Unveiled at SIHH 2011, the new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Lady automatic wristwatch is fairly expensive at almost $12,000 even for an entry-level version in steel (ref. 25760D11A161-CK7B), the Swiss brand plans to ask for it. However, for the price you get a fairly versatile accessory that proves your (pretty rare at that) ability to combine high income with very good taste.
When it comes to industry events of this caliber, all media attention is usually stolen by high-end pieces of luxury with complicated models like Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astroregulateur or Roger Dubuis Excalibur Self-Winding with Micro-Rotor and Flying Tourbillon (Ref. EX45-520-20-00/0ER01/B) virtually bathing in the limelight.
Still, the Swiss watchmaker is not ashamed to present relatively simple (but still extremely elegant) models designed to be worn on a daily basis by people who can afford them.
This new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Lady in white gold, for example, was presented together with the new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL men’s wrist watch that, as the name implies, belongs to the same collection and features the same styling inspired by art-deco movement.
When it comes to timepieces that are designed with women in mind (I mean, in the sense that they are supposed to be worn by women. Oh, whatever), they are often very similar in their design philosophy to cars: no matter how underpowered engine whines under the hood, a girl will buy it as long as it is pink and as long as there is enough space in the trunk to put some groceries and a baby stroller.
Well, this is not how Girard-Perregaux approaches the problem. Looking very reserved and even understated to a degree, this beautiful timepiece is equipped with a very refined mechanism that, together with nice leather chosen for the strap and beautifully decorated dial make a very solid accessory that also acts as a time measuring device. Although a bit expensive, it seems to completely justify the heavy price tag the Swiss manufacture applied to it.
Although there will also be more affordable versions of the watch powered by a Swiss quartz movement and offered in steel, the most interesting for us is, of course, the one, which is powered by the GP2700 automatic base caliber.
Made at GP’s own production facility, the movement sports non-lubricated ceramic ball bearing (zirconium oxide,) which makes its winding system more durable and efficient, and also helps to noticeably increase service intervals.
Besides the hours, minutes and a simple instantaneous calendar, the movement can also display seconds (with either a subsidiary dial or a centrally positioned hand,) but this particular model sports the simplest two-handed dial layout with a date aperture at 3 o’clock.
The panoramic dial features an elegant sunray decoration and looks especially splendid with the timekeeper’s bezel decorated with 70 diamonds.
To my taste, the case lacks a bit in the legibility department since the white gold hands and numerals are not as contrast on the white background as they could be if GP decided to use something like white mother-of-pearl. Also, the calendar aperture at 3 o’clock is a bit too small: as you can see on the photo, even the single-digit numeral is not really big and the double-digit ones will be even tinier.
The slightly widened (compared to previous models) rectangular case is 34.00 mm in length and 23.30 mm in width. It is neither large, nor small and is clearly designed to fit just about any beautiful wrist.
The case is a bit on a thicker side, but it a sort of that reassuring thickness that is actually welcomed by most customers, it doesn’t make the watch uncomfortable in any way.
Visually, the body of Vintage 1945 Lady is very nicely sculpted with all elements looking as delicate as you would probably expect from a timepiece of this caliber. The same goes to the set of white diamonds that perfectly match the eight “hour markers” on the dial.
This is, perhaps, one of the most elegant “simple” timepieces that were on display at this year’s SIHH.
See also: Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Small Second
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Lady in White Gold automatic watch specification
Price: Starts at $12,000
Movement: Automatic, GP2700, in-house, 20.00 mm in diameter, 4.00 mm in height, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 32
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, instantaneous date change
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: White gold / Steel
Bezel material: White gold / Steel
Case shape: Rectangular
Bezel shape: Rectangular
Case size: 34.00 mm x 23.30 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Dial: Black with a sunray decoration
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator strap with pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective
Case back: Sapphire