First revealed in its current shape around three years ago (its signature shape, however, was introduced in 2002) and slightly refreshed in all the right places back in December 2012, the gorgeous Sea Hawk family of diving watches has recently been expanded with a new variation. Called Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk Cobalt Blue and available either on a blue rubber strap (ref. 49960-19-431-FK4A) or a bit less flashy, but a lot more practical stainless steel bracelet (ref. 49960-19-431-11A), the new watch makes a very strong impression. In fact, it radiates such a strong presence that you would probably need to wear Mr. Freeman’s hazmat suit just to walk into your nearest Girard-Perregaux boutique to see the watch in person.
What you don’t really need is a microscope to tell the gorgeous Sea Hawk from every other diver with great majority of them based on different versions of either the Rolex Submariner or the Omega Seamaster. Although still struggling to earn the status of a living legend, the collection is nevertheless very distinct from the rest of the pack with its unique styling language and modern approach to industrial design.
Deliberately massive and bulky, the watch still doesn’t look overweight. Yes, it is huge, but it is also ripped like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Wladimir Klitschko on a peak of their form. There also seems to be a point behind its massiveness: the timekeeper’s bezel and the setting crown seem to be designed not only to impress unsuspecting customers, but to be easily operated even by a gloved hand: clearly a must for a watch, which is rated to withstand an impressive pressure of whole 100ATM (1000 meters).
Same goes to the elements of the dial: the hands and the hour markers are large enough to accommodate lots of lume to make the watch more readable deep under water. Frankly, I doubt that any of these timekeepers will ever see anything more breathtaking than a swimming pool (it will probably be just too expensive to be used as a tool watch by anybody but James Bond and Mr. Bond currently prefers Omegas to any other brand, Swiss or Japanese), but it is a pleasure to know that in case of an emergency you won’t have to worry about your timekeeper’s mechanism being ruined by salty water.
As usual, Girard-Perregaux equips their timekeepers by their own in-house movement. In this particular instance it is caliber PG03300-0074: a version of their tractor caliber equipped with an add-on module that expands the gadget’s functionality with a power reserve indicator. You don’t want to find you deep underwater with a suddenly stopped diving watch just because that at some moment in time you forgot to wind the spring, do you?
On the other hand, the GP03300-based caliber that powers this watch is not only robust and reliable, but is also equipped with an efficient system of winding so, given that your watch didn’t completely run out of juice in your drawer, it will probably start getting its power back as soon as you put it on your wrist, so the nightmare mentioned above is highly unlikely.
I would even dare say that a self-winding watch doesn’t really need a power reserve indicator, although having one is nice.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk Cobalt Blue (49960-19-431-FK4A & 49960-19-431-11A) watch specification
Price: €9000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber PG03300-0074, 25.60 mm, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, power reserve
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Tonneau
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Cobalt Blue
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 1000 meters
Strap: Blue rubber strap on stainless steel buckle (FK4A) / Steel bracelet on steel folding buckle (11A)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Screw-down