The new Girard-Perregaux 1966 Tourbillon Gold Bridge (ref. 99535-52-111-BK6A) automatic watch features a beautifully executed tourbillon bridge inspired by the XIX century La Esmeralda pocket-watch created by Constant Girard-Perregaux himself. The piece is delivered in a dressy 40 mm round case. Made of 18-carat rose gold alloy, the case is surprisingly thin measuring just a hair less than full 11 millimeters from top to bottom.
The gadget’s thinness comes courtesy of the in-house movement that features volume-saving micro-rotor design and makes the watch very comfortable to wear with formal attire. As other members of the 1966 collection, the watch features a silvered dial with painted Breguet-style italicized Arabic numerals and a pair of hour and minute hands made of blued steel. Some may find the dial not especially innovative, but for those looking for more modern approaches to design the Swiss watchmaker has other collections: this one clearly targets more conservative clientele.
Also, as it is usual for the vintage-styled watches, the dial offers perfect legibility (at least, in normal lighting: since the watch lacks even a single drop of Superluminova on its face, reading it at night or in a movie theater may prove problematic, but that is sort of obvious) and doesn’t torture the eye with unnecessary details. Frankly, given the gadget’s being an “homage” to the 19th century pocket watch, I would expect the watch to feature an enameled dial, but even as it is it looks quite solid and convincing.
The gorgeous watch comes powered by GP’s new Girard-Perregaux 9610 automatic tourbillon movement, which is equipped with a platinum micro-rotor.
Being only 28.60 mm in diameter, it is about 6.88 millimeters in height and is made of 224 meticulously decorated parts.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to admire this beautiful artifact since the movement is protected from the elements with a hand-engraved solid case back cower, which is, like the rest of the timekeeper’s mildly oversized body, made of 18-carat rose gold and locked into place with six screws.
Well, its main point of interest, the tourbillon on a gold bridge, is perfectly visible and the view is nothing but stunning!
You see, the tourbillon bridge is crafted using “bassine” technique, which demands high level of dexterity, but also lets a skilled master to produce a truly wonderful piece of art.
The tourbillon not only pleases the eye, but also functions as a subsidiary second hand.
According to the Swiss watch manufacture, they plan to produce not more than 50 individually numbered pieces.
Recommended pricing is yet to be revealed, but I am sure that the price will be really, really high.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
See also: Girard-Perregaux 1966 Small Second
Girard-Perregaux 1966 Tourbillon Gold Bridge (ref. 99535-52-111-BK6A) automatic watch specification
Price: $165,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber GP 9610, 6.88 mm thick, 28.60 mm in diameter, micro-rotor design, in-house, 224 components, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 21,600 vph
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, tourbillon serving as subsidiary seconds
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case material: Rose gold, 18-carat
Bezel material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 11.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic, black
Hands: Blued steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black Alligator strap with 18-carat rose gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective
Case back: Solid, rose gold, hand-engraved