GP keeps updating its famous (and light years out of reach for an average Joe) Three Gold Bridges family of ultra-luxury dress watches. The new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Tourbillon Three Gold Bridges (Ref. 99880-52-001-BA6A) model, for example, leaves the basic layout of the earlier ref. 99880-52-000-BA6A watch intact, but adds a nicely decorated dial with vertical guilloche and a high-tech anthracite-grey NAC surface treatment.
As usual with this model, the dial of the piece is in fact a back side of mainplate of its in-house GP 9600-0019 automatic movement. Featuring fine vertical stripes that are echoed by circular stripes on the mainspring barrel cover in the upper part of the dial, the mainplate, surprisingly, looks better than some ‘real’ dials in some similarly priced wristwatches.
But of course, the main showstopper here are the traditional three rose gold bridges. Designed primarily for your viewing pleasure, the painstakingly decorated pieces are also doing a good job increasing structural rigidity of the mechanism. Visible through the domed, glare-proofed sapphire crystal, they hold in place not only the diamond-polished rose gold regatta hands with their daring lack of any sort of luminescent substance, but also hold in place the ultra-lightweight tourbillon module, as well as the aforementioned spring barrel with a hand-brushed platinum micro-rotor hidden behind it (this one is visible through the case back cover that, too, features a synthetic sapphire crystal.)
Thanks to its micro-rotor layout, the movement is not only fully exposed through the sapphire crystal on the back, but is also quite thin being no more than 3.20 millimeters in height. Despite its impressive thinness, the movement still offers you whole two days (48 hours) of continuous operation after being fully wound.
The power reserve comes at a price, though: the movement’s balance wheel beats at only 21,600 vph that may make it ever so slightly less precise than its competitors working at more conventional 28,800 vph. On the other hand, the slower mechanism wears out not as fast as its more agile competitors, doesn’t it?
Unlike many contemporary tourbillon watches, this model is also very compact measuring just over 36 millimeters in length and 35.25 millimeters in width making it usable for persons with thinner wrists who were often out of luck with so many brands giving a lion’s share of their collections to deliberately oversized watches.
Square-shaped timekeepers often look boring with their well-calculated cases, but, thanks to its nicely shaped lugs, this Vintage 1945 Tourbillon Three Gold Bridges (Ref. 99880-52-001-BA6A), however, doesn’t look too square sporting more aesthetically pleasing 3:4 proportions if measured from horn’s end to horn’s end.
The price of the piece is still unknown, but it will possibly be at least as expensive as the aforementioned ref. 99880-52-000-BA6A that was offered at around $160,000 USD.
When reviewing watches in this outrageously out-of-reach price range, any attempt of estimating its “value for money” ratio looks sort of stupid since, trying to gauge the whimsical “value”, you are sort of missing the point: these watches are not about value, they are more about that unspoken “I didn’t need to ask” statement and, in this regard, this particular timekeeper has no peers. However, it is still very nice of Girard-Perregaux to offer this beautiful trinket only as a super-limited edition of just 50 individually numbered pieces.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The watch will go on sale at a recommended street price of €210,000.
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Tourbillon Three Gold Bridges (Ref. 99880-52-001-BA6A) specification
Price: €210,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber GP 9600-0019, 28.60 mm x 30.30 mm x 3.20 mm, 257 components, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 31
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Hand-brushed platinum rotor; mainplate NAC-treated with vertical guilloche pattern
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds (tourbillon)
Case material: Rose gold
Case shape: Rectangular
Bezel shape: Square
Size: 36.10 mm x 35.25 mm
Dial: Anthracite grey
Hands: Regatta-shaped, rose gold, diamond-polished
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather alligator strap with folding strap in pink gold
Crystal: Sapphire, domed, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, antireflective