Girard-Perregaux has a long history of building highly refined (and often mind-blowing) wristwatches for the world’s elite customers. In 2013, the brand added a nice entry to its Traveller collection. Although the Girard-Perregaux Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date (refs. 49650-11-131-BB6A, 49650-11-631-BB6A & 49650-82-231-HBBA) lacks a second time zone indicator or even a city disk (something that you often expect from a traveler’s companion), it can be a nice acquisition for a proud member of a Million Miles Club.
Elegant and refined, this watch is presented in three versions that differ not only with colors of their dials, but also with materials of their bezels (all three versions are currently available only in relatively affordable stainless steel cases, but something tells me that we will see versions in gold soon enough if this less expensive model is successful enough with the Swiss brand’s target audience.) While the models with opaline and black dials feature good old stainless steel bezels, a version with gray dial boasts a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel that will make the watch look mint for years to come.
Traditionally for the Swiss-based watchmaking house, the timepiece features a clean, well-designed dial that, while sporting whole six indicators, doesn’t look particularly busy. More than that, the display is so well-organized that it will probably require the shortest adjustment time in the niche: it takes just a fraction of the second to understand where is what, remember it forever and never have a problem to concentrate on respective sub-dials. Of the most interest here is, of course, the moon phase indicator.
While featuring nothing new in terms of technical sophistication, the sub-dial nevertheless is a real work of art. Placed between 7 and 8 hours, the sub-dial shares its space with a slightly oversized small seconds display and features a realistic-looking depiction of a sky, which is done on a thin sheet of mineral glass with some complex metallization process. As a result, the metal-and-glass gear wheel looks surprisingly three-dimensional and stands out over other elements of the display if you take a minute or two to actually admire the timekeeper.
To somehow balance the visual weight of the whole layout, the sub-dial is counterweighed with a more traditional power reserve indicator placed between 4 and 5 o’clock. Well, you would probably argue that the design still lacks the symmetry you usually expect from this sort of industrial design, but this is only for the better since thanks to the chosen composition the Girard-Perregaux Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date looks like it was sketched by a skilled hand of an artist before being finally put together on a CAD system. Also, there is something serene and even tranquil about the design, but that’s, of course, just my personal perception.
According to the official press release, the watch is powered by their own in-house GP03300-0080 or GP03300-0081 automatic caliber. The only difference between the two is the color of the large date indicator (white and black respectively) with the rest of the machinery being completely identical. As usual, the GP03300-based calibers are manufactured and decorated in-house and are normally of higher quality than their competitors made by ETA or Sellita although the other specs are virtually the same.
Since the movement is large, the stainless steel body is, too, impressive in size. Still, measuring whole 44 millimeters in diameter and sporting a nicely curved profile, the watch will probably fit a normal wrist without any problem.
Price is still to be announced*.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The Swiss watchmaker will offer the watch at a base suggested price of $13,000 (MSRP.) While not especially ‘affordable’, the price still looks more adequate compared to some offerings from competing brands that have similar functionality, but are animated by less impressive ETA three-hander ebauches with third-party add-on modules.
Girard-Perregaux Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date (refs. 49650-11-131-BB6A, 49650-11-631-BB6A & 49650-82-231-HBBA) specification
Price: $13,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber GP03300-0080 (white date window) / caliber GP03300-0081 (black date window), in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 35
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, large date, power reserve indicator, moon phase
Case and Crown: Stainless steel
Bezel: Stainless steel (Opaline or Black dial) / Rose Ceramic (Gray dial)
Size: 44.00 mm
Dial: Opaline (Ref. 49650-11-131-BB6A) / Black (Ref. 49650-11-631-BB6A) / Gray (Ref. 49650-82-231-HBBA)
Hour markers: Luminous (SuperLuminova)
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather strap with stainless steel folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective