Announced just a day ago, the new Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk Hollywoodland (refs. 49970-34-132-BB6A and 49970-34-232-BB6A) looks like a normal version of the wrist watch that was first introduced during Baselworld 2013 event, but has its steel body swapped for an extremely scratch-resistant ceramic one.
The choice of material not only allows the timepiece last longer without showing even minor sights of wear, but also makes it significantly lighter than a similar device with a stainless steel (or, possibly, even titanium if there was one) case treated with DLC coating. Of course, it also makes the gadget look extremely cool. The sandblasted surfaces, paired with signature multi-surface design of the body, give the new model a feel that, as stealthy and menacing as it is, can only be compared to that of a fifth-generation jet fighter.
To give the pricey watch (its suggested price of €18,900 looks reasonable, but is still very high for an average Joe) an even more impressive appearance, the Swiss watchmaker has also equipped it with a rose gold bezel whose deeply brushed texture nicely contrasts a sandblasted surface of the ceramic body.
While only a long-term test would reveal how resistant the part is to daily wear (and this, alas, is just a brief “initial impressions” review), I have a suspicion that it is the bezel that will probably give you the most headache for your buck, although, the pricey accessory is clearly designed with that of sort of people in mind who already have at least half a dozen of other timekeepers and will not wear this thing on a daily basis (they also should have a high quality automatic winders to keep the Chrono Hawk constantly at ready). Otherwise, you will probably need to find yourself a good place where the bezel could be refinished from time to time to hide those inevitable dings and scratches that would be visible on the brushed surface.
As I have already noted, the body of the watch is brilliantly sculpted: among hundreds of sporty chronographs that are currently available on the market, this brilliant collection features, perhaps, the best shape that one could possibly wish for. Despite its decisively masculine appearance, it also seems to be quite ergonomic. I especially like the shape of chronograph push-pieces: although not terribly innovative, the look very comfortable and sporty.
Looking at official specs, I can assume that mechanically this special edition watch is, too, identical to its less expensive sibling. It is still powered by the same GP03300-0073 automatic caliber that features 61 functional jewels and features a minimum power reserve of 46 hours. While not terribly impressive, it is still enough if you don’t plan to leave the gadget in the box for more than a day.
It is reported that the Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk Hollywoodland is presented in two variations those differing from each other only with the color of their neatly decorated dials. The model with reference number 49970-34-232-BB6A sports a dark face, while the version 49970-34-132-BB6A comes with a silver-toned dial.
With its broad, sword-shaped hands and huge applied indices the dial looks a little bit less elegant that I would care it to be, but it still is easily readable thanks to the contrast color scheme and generous (putting it mildly) amounts of Superluminova covering its hands and hour markers.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk Hollywoodland (refs. 49970-34-132-BB6A and 49970-34-232-BB6A) automatic wristwatch specification
Price: €18,900 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, GP03300-0073, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 61
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Black ceramic
Bezel material: Rose gold
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black / Silver-toned
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with rubber base on folding black PVD titanium buckle with ceramic cover
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire