Okay, we at WorldWatchReview.com have just received yet another piece of good news from the major Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux. The famous luxury brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland will soon start selling its new take on their gorgeous Three Gold Bridges concept. Their recent Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon Three Gold Bridges (Ref. 99193B52H001-BA6A) high jewelry wristwatch sports a slightly modified version of their in-house self-winding movement with micro-rotor design. The highly sophisticated mechanism is housed inside a beautifully executed rose gold body, which is decorated with more than seven dozens baguette-cut diamonds totaling almost 12 carats.
Although I am not a great fan of high-jewelry watches (at least when it comes to timekeepers designed for gentlemen), I don’t even have to really exert myself at being as nonbiased as possible in order to admit that this particular specimen truly looks like a real work of art with all of its parts carefully finished and painstakingly assembled into a beautiful piece of functional jewelry.
The middle part of the slightly oversized body, lugs and even the fixed bezel of the watch were meticulously routed and then set with the aforementioned 88 baguette-cut diamonds that together tip the scales at around 11.7 carats.
Thanks to this approach, the new timekeeper’s case looks like it was crafted from a huge diamond and then decorated with polished rose gold inlays.
I am not sure how heavy this timekeeper is (at 41 millimeters in diameter and around 11 millimeters thick it must be quite massive, although, thanks to relatively low profile it will surprise you at how good it feels on a normal wrist), but it looks almost as lightweight as Omega’s gorgeous Hour Vision model with its transparent inner-case body.
As usual for the Three Gold Bridges range, this watch, too, lacks a dial in its normal meaning: the polished surface that the painstakingly crafted bridges are attached to, is in fact a baseplate of the GP9600-0018 automatic movement that would be normally hidden from your eyes by a ‘real’ dial in a ‘normal’ watch.
Featuring circular guilloche pattern that mimics that on the mainspring barrel cover at 12 o’clock, the plate serves as a perfect background both to the signature Regatta-shaped hour and minute hands, as well as to the finely crafted tourbillon module that also serves as a small seconds indicator.
Like many deliberately “archaic” mechanisms introduced during the last two or three decades by major watchmaking brands, the Caliber GP9600 beats at a rather slow pace of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Although this is clearly not as fascinating as a breakneck speed of Zenith El Primero 36,000 vph series and some other movements, the slower cadence of balance serves two purposes: it preserves moving parts from premature wear, while at the same time increasing available power reserve even despite the fact that the mechanism features a relatively short mainspring.
Well, to be frank, I can’t find any serious flaw in this model, besides, um, the price.
The MSRP is yet to be announced, but the new 99193B52H001-BA6A will certainly be very, very expensive.
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon Three Gold Bridges High Jewelry Automatic (Ref. 99193B52H001-BA6A) watch specification
Price: $400,000 USD (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber GP9600-0018, micro-rotor winding system with platinum oscillating weight, 258 components, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 31
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Movement decoration: Rhodium plated, decorated by hand
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds on the tourbillon
Case material: Rose gold, set with 88 baguette-cut diamonds (approximately 11.7 carats)
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 41.00 mm
Case height: 11.10 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Rhodium-plated with three gold bridges, hand-crafted
Hour markers: None
Hands: Rose gold, Regatta-type
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator-skin strap with folding clasp in 5N18 rose gold set with 18 diamonds (approx. 0.20 carat)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire