Last year, Girard-Perregaux has expanded its Vintage 1945 collection with a beautiful automatic chronograph. A version in rose gold retailed for more than €26,000, so a version in stainless steel, twice less expensive, was introduced in parallel. It looks like the version in steel proved more successful among connoisseurs, so, this year, the company presents an updated version: the 2013 Vintage 1945 XXL Chronograph in Steel (Ref. 25883-11-221-BB6C).
Compared to the original model, the facelifted wristwatch comes in the same compact body but features a more modern-looking dial. The vertically brushed charcoal-colored face serves as a perfect background to rhodium-plated, dauphine-shaped hands and Breguet-type Arabic numerals. As usual in this niche, neither the hand, nor (predictably) numerals and hour-markers feature even the tiniest drop of Superluminova (or any other luminous compound at that,) but that doesn’t seem to be a problem to yours truly: it’s a dress watch, after all: it is supposed to look like that.
By the way, besides looking modern and fresh, the dial also plays nicely with the mirror-polished steel of the rectangular case itself.
Frankly, when it comes to the decoration techniques, I think that nothing stays even close to that painstakingly executed ‘tremblage’ engraving that guys from A. Lange & Sohne love so much.
However, in this particular case, the use of straight graining is completely justified by the elongated, rectangular shape of the body and the use of that signature railway minute track that makes this magnificent time measuring device even more legible in normal lighting.
Measuring less than 37 millimeters in length (lugs not included) and just 36 millimeters in width, but almost 13 millimeters in height, the body doesn’t look particularly bulky thanks to its slightly curved profile that gently hugs your wrist. The ergonomic shape of the case will probably make it “sit” on your hand quite nicely, too, if you happen to have a more or less average body.
It looks that the model 25883-11-221-BB6C is powered by the same GP03300-0064 automatic movement that also animated the last year’s model. Made in-house, the GP03300 “tractor” caliber is employed in a great number of Girard-Perregaux watches with different add-on modules that significantly expand its functionality (see for example the gorgeous Girard-Perregaux Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date that was revealed earlier this year at Baselworld 2013).
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL Chronograph in Steel (Ref. 25883-11-221-BB6C) specification
Price: $13,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber GP03300-0064, in-house, 25.60 mm in diameter, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 47
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 36.00 mm x 36.95 mm
Case height: 12.90 mm
Numerals: Arabic, rhodium-plated
Hour markers: Silver-toned
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap on double steel folding buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective