Girard-Perregaux is proudly expanding its 1945 Collection with the deliberately archaic Vintage 1945 XXL (ref. 25880-52-721-BB6A) model. Offering a combination of a vintage-style exterior and a modern (albeit very simple) mechanism, the watch is a sort of a daily beater for the kind of people who can afford one at a price of a base Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan.
Available both in rose gold (pictured) and more affordable stainless steel, the Vintage 1945 XXL is powered by the well-known GP3300 self-winding movement, Girard-Perregaux’s workhorse (GP uses modified versions of the caliber even in ladies watches.) The movement is built using ceramic ball bearings for its automatic winding system, which makes it both more durable and more efficient, while significantly increasing service intervals.
As it is customary for the Swiss-based brand, the mechanism is nicely finished featuring a combination of circular (on the rose gold oscillating weight) and diagonal (on the bridges and quarter plates) Geneva stripes, as well as an inevitable set of polished and blued screws and, of course, the symbol of the Manufacture that is carefully engraved and gold-plated.
From the point of view of sophistication, this is a rather ordinary mechanism, but it does its job great and enjoys a reputation of a reliable and pretty accurate movement. For all I care, this is all that a simple (even if high-priced, for it will retail for impressive USD 27,000 when it hits the United States market) three-hander needs.
Although the new model has the dreaded “XXL” part in its name, the watch is not that large, after all. Among all those hundreds of clock-sized luxury watches offered today to, ahem, international clientele, this one is deliciously compact. In its official press release Girard-Perregaux says that the boxy case is only 35.25 mm wide and 36.20 mm long.
Girard-Perregaux says nothing about the height of the case, but, judging by the photos, the body is not particularly thick, either*.
As the rest of the family, the Vintage 1945 XXL sports a vintage-styled silvered dial with painted Breguet-style Arabic numerals, a pair of dauphine hour and minute hands, and a small second hand inside a concave sub-dial positioned at 6 o’clock.
A printed railway minute track finishes the picture providing the watch with an even more refined look and increasing its legibility.
If you were looking for a dressy automatic timepiece, congratulations: the search is over!
See also: Girard-Perregaux 1966 Small Seconds
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
* UPDATE ON CASE DIMENSIONS: The thickness of the case is stated as just 11.80 millimeters: impressively thin for a wristwatch that is powered by a self-winding movement. It will indeed be very comfortable to wear with formal attire!
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL (ref. 25880-52-721-BB6A) specification
Price: $27,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber GP3300, in-house, ceramic ball bearings, 25.94 mm in diameter, Swiss Made
Winding: Automatic (self-winding)
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case: Rose gold OR Stainless steel
Dimensions: 35.25 mm x 36.20 mm
Case height: 10.80 mm
Numerals: Arabic, blue, printed
Hands: Rose gold or Steel, polished, Dauphine-shaped
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Alligator leather with folding buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective
Back: Sapphire, fastened with 4 screws