For the next Christie’s Annual Green Auction charity event, which is scheduled for April 11, 2012, the Swiss watchmaking brand plans to present its new Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk Green Auction 1000 automatic diving watch. Limited to just one unique piece, the watch sports all the features of the last year’s Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk Pro 1000M diver, but, predictably, comes with a different color scheme with the jovial, billiard table style, green dominating the visual scene.
It’s always a pleasure to see a big brand doings something for the environment. Although the proceedings that Girard-Perregaux plans to donate to the cause of saving the planet doesn’t seem to be particularly impressive (especially if you compare it with the money Bill Gates and his wife donate on an annual basis to charities all over the world,) it is still a good attempt to make a difference when it comes to survival of our home planet.
Unlike many one-offs that were presented during the last couple of years, this one is rather basic featuring the same technical specs as the “base” model, but having changed the main color scheme from the grim black and grey of the original to more jovial green and black.
Looking at this beautiful sea monster, I kind of regret that they don’t have a choice of colorful pieces in their mass-produced Sea Hawk Pro 1000M: surprisingly, it looks really great without losing even a tiniest bit of its rugged masculine beauty.
Case, Bezel & Strap
Presented in the same strangely shaped 44 mm body with the same signature crown guards that, being an integral part of the case, do a great job of protecting the crown at 4 hours, the little monster of a watch is still rated for the same 1000 meters of water resistance.
Although, with its specified case thickness of just shy of 15.5 millimeters, the watch is not terribly thick (well, at least on paper,) it in fact looks rather bulky on a normal wrist. Also, being crafted from rather dense steel alloy, it is rather heavy like all other members of this otherwise absolutely gorgeous collection.
The signature notched bezel is still painted very dark -almost- grey with the Arabic numerals and the 15-minute diving scale remaining unpainted and featuring the same brutally brushed finish as the stainless steel case.
Although I doubt that the unique timekeeper will be ever used as a diving tool, it is still pleasant to note that at least the bezel looks more usable and contrast than that of the base model.
Compared to the original Sea Hawk Pro 1000M diver that was first revealed a couple of years ago and then updated last spring with mainly cosmetic changes, the “piece unique” edition swaps the matt black color of the dial for intensive green and has its greenish Superluminova light emitting substance replaced with more subdued light-grey lume that better matches the dull grey color of seemingly carbon-rich steel case.
Styled as a professional diving tool, the wristwatch features a high-contrast color scheme with the black-and-white hands standing clearly over the green background that, to increase contrast level to an even higher degree, seems to be sand-blasted.
Watches with off-centered sub-dials are often difficult to read, but this one seems to be quite okay: as soon as you have figured out that the dial at 6 o’clock is a power reserve indicator and the one between 9 and 11 is a (literally) small seconds counter, everything becomes easy. By the way, you’ve probably already noticed that the power reserve pointer, too, is covered with light-grey Superluminova, so you will never have to worry whether the watch is wound-up or not: even in total darkness the hand will glow brightly enough.
Of course, Superluminova, like all other chemical luminescent compound that need to “charged” under natural or artificial light, has a tendency to get duller as electrons in the strontium aluminate pigment used in the compound slowly lose their energy. However, the 5-7 hours that the lume is able to emit light are usually enough for any normal use.
As for the date window, I must admit that, having some brief acquaintance with a “normal” Sea Hawk Pro 1000, I would probably prefer to have it a bit larger and/or with a Rolex-style bull’s eye lens over the aperture, but, well, it’s still readable.
As for the strap, it seems to be a rather standard nondescript, but rather comfortable rubber band with the usual safety folding clasp that features their proprietary extension system. Nothing really fancy in this department although I would have expected something more interesting like, say, a good mesh bracelet or something like that.
Girard-Perregaux is one of the precious few brands that are capable of making their own in-house calibers. They may be not as advanced as hand-made and hand-finished mechanisms of Jaeger-LeCoultre and Patek Philippe, but they are good, reliable and also have a number of in-house add-on modules that greatly enhance their capabilities.
This watch, for example, powered by the same Caliber GP033R0 self-winding movement that animated the aforementioned “base” Sea Hawk Prom 1000m model, but, probably, features a mechanism that was carefully selected and fine-tuned to provide the best possible operation. That’s just my guess, but I am pretty sure that I am right here: otherwise, what’s the point?
Built solely in-house, the caliber has 27 jewels, beats at frequency of 28,800 vph and its spring barrel holds enough power to keep the watch running for almost two whole days after being fully wound.
There is, by the way, a very nice short film that gives you an idea of how much skilled labor it takes to build each mechanism and case:
Pricing & Availability
Since the watch is going to be sold on the auction, we can’t predict how high the price of this thing will soar as soon as distinguished ladies and gentlemen start bidding for this unique Sea Hawk. However, given that price of the “normal” Sea Hawk Pro 1000 is set at $10,000 USD, it would be safe to say that the watch will be sold at approximately $11,000 – $12,000. While the money will clearly not be enough to save the world, it’s still great to know that there is somewhere a person in the world willing to pay extra to make an even slight dent in the Universe.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: It’s a pleasure to note that the watch is not that eye-popping expensive as I have expected. According to the info that was just released by the Swiss-based brand, this particular version on black leather strap will cost ahem just $51,000 USD. However, MSRP for its siblings that feature rose gold and white gold bracelets respectively is set at a lot more intimidating $76,000 and $71,000 respectively.
Whether it is too expensive, or just okay, is only for you to decide.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk Green Auction 1000 automatic watch specification
Price: Approx. $11,000
Movement: Automatic, Caliber GP033R0, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, power reserve
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, satin-finished
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 15.45 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Green, sand-blasted
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 1000 meters (100 ATM)
Strap: Black rubber strap; Safety folding clasp with extension system
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Screwed-in, engraved