Girard-Perregaux, one of the most revered Swiss watch manufactures, which is known not only for its beautifully styled timekeepers, but also for their in-house movements that enjoy the reputation of the most reliable mechanical calibers in the world, has revealed its new masterpiece. Called (quite plainly) Girard-Perregaux 1966 Annual Calendar and Equation of Time (ref. 49535-52-151-BK6A), the watch is based on their recent GP Vintage 1966 Annual Calendar model, yet, while sporting the same visual styling as other members of the collection, features a lot more complex (and also quite uncommon,) lovingly decorated guts inside its compact rose gold body.
Although both watches share the same case and basically the same styling, the new timekeeper, as the name states it quite explicitly, ditches the moonphase sub-dial of the original, for a lot less common complication of Equation of Time. One might argue that the gadget lost when it comes to functionality, but I think I would probably repost with an argument that now, when just about everyone has a smartphone with a nice moon-phase widget on its home screen, both complications are sort of redundant when it comes to mechanical wristwatches.
With its ±15 minutes indicator ergonomically placed between 4 and 5 o’clock, the complication shows us the difference between the solar time (aka local time that depends on the longitude of the observer) and the time displayed on the watch’s dial.
In this particular case, the indicator tells us that that the solar time is approximately 10:12 plus 4 more minutes, which makes it 10:16.
Not really sure whether the information is of any value, but, at least, the complication still looks more original than the standard moonphase or a tourbillon, that are, too, exist for their own sake.
The watch is powered by G-P’s own GP033M0 automatic caliber: the workhorse movement that we’ve already seen in a number of other brand’s watches, including the gorgeous Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Annual and Zodiac Calendars ladies watch.
The movement is secured inside a mid-sized 40mm case, which is made of 18k rose gold.
Just like the model that it is based on, the watch features a white dial with highly contrasting blued steel hands of the small seconds, days and solar time dials.
The classic leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are conversely made of gold, but the watch’s ‘interface’ remains highly legible and doesn’t overwhelm you with unnecessary information.
Together with the last year’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control 1833 Ultra Thin watch, this timepiece shares the first position in my personal Most Desired Pieces of Luxury Top-20.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Girard-Perregaux 1966 Annual Calendar and Equation of Time automatic wristwatch (ref. 49535-52-151-BK6A) specification
Price range: $31,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber GP033M0, decorated and assembled in-house, 28,800 vph, 27 jewels, Swiss Made
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, month, solar time, annual calendar
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case material: Pink gold, 18-carat
Case diameter: 40.00 mm
Case height: 10.70 mm
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black Alligator leather with self-deployant clasp in rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective