Girard-Perregaux will soon add a new version of the 1966 Small Second (ref. 49534-52-711-BK6A) model to its dressy 1966 Collection. Coming in a modestly sized round body, it features that easily recognizable, vintage-style dial layout with italicized, Breguet-style Arabic numerals, blued hands and easy to read railway-type minute and second tracks that make the piece look like those luxurious pocket watches from the 1920s.
Available soon in rose gold and white gold cases, the 1966 Small Second will probably replace the current Small Second in Palladium model, which was offered as a limited edition with the reference number 49526-79-131-BK6A.
If so, the new Girard-Perregaux 1966 Small Second will be more in line with the vintage-styled 1966 Chronograph and even more refined 1966 Annual Calendar and Equation of Time models.
As you can see in the pictures, the model is offered in a classic round rose case with a pretty average size of 40 mm.
The white dial is made using “Grand Feu” enameling technique, which is rare these days since it demands high-skilled workers to do the job, cannot be automated and, for obvious reasons, produces a greater share of duds that have to be scrapped thus making each dial a lot more expensive. However, when the dial is done right, you get yourself a watch with a truly remarkable face thanks to its unique texture and that signature matte ‘glow’ that no kind of modern powder-coating technique can match.
Since the 1966 Small Second comes without the date display that had to be visually counter-weighted on previous iterations, the small seconds display has been moved counterclockwise from 9 o’clock to 6 o’clock position to serve as a sort of ‘anchor’ for the whole display. With its finely printed ‘railway’ ring that mimics that of the main chapter ring (save, of course, for the numerals that, while staying Arabic, feature different typeface for better readability) and extremely delicate pointer crafted from blued steel (not sure whether it’s a heat-treated like the larger hands or just painted blue,) the sub-dial doesn’t look too heavy and contributes to the overall feeling of lightness and even relaxation that only a vintage-styling timekeeper can combine in the same body.
The painted Arabic numerals, heat-blued steel feuille hour and minute hands and the vintage-styled chapter ring complete the picture of an elegant, simple, yet refined watch.
According to the Swiss brand’s PR department, the new version will be powered by the GP03300-50 automatic caliber, which is based on the same GP Calibre 3300 base movement. The movement is known for its use of 0.3 mm ceramic ball bearings made of zirconium oxide which makes the automatic winding more efficient and significantly increases movement’s life span.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Girard-Perregaux 1966 Small Second (ref. 49534-52-711-BK6A) specification
Price: $25,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Calibre GP03300-50, automatic, ceramic ball bearings, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hour, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Rose gold or White gold
Size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 10.00 mm
Dial: White Grand Feu enameled
Numerals: Arabic, painted
Hands: Steel, heat-blued
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective