Girard-Perregaux has presented this 1966 Lady (Ref. 49528D52B871-CKBA) model in July 2014. Offered in a delicate, meticulously crafted and painstakingly finished with diamonds 18-karat rose gold case, the timepiece not only features the usual for the brand elements of industrial design but also manages (quite easily, at that) to play on the same field with such monsters as Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Sporting a finely decorated in-house self-winding movement and delivering a nicely balanced mix of materials, this new model is one of the most interesting “simple” timekeepers presented by the company during the last couple of years.
The secret of this new addition to GP’s glorious 1966 Collection is simple: the timekeeper’s designers are not shy of adding tried and true elements of design that we have seen admiring legendary vintage timekeepers issued back in the 1950s and 1960s by different Swiss brands, while keeping intact the brand’s core DNA.
Quite compact at just 30 millimeters in diameter, the watch is also relatively slim (at least, it is quite visually thin for a timepiece powered by a self-winding movement: timepieces of this diameter often look a bit more, um, plump compared to this beautiful specimen) and also makes an impression of a elegant accessory.
The visual effect is ensured with a thin bezel set with precious stones, as well as a carefully chosen font for the pair of rose gold Roman numerals, and their traditional leaf-shaped, finely polished hour and minute hands. The eighty brilliant-cut diamonds set on the bezel and the delicate lugs, as well as ten more precious stones on the dial further increase the gadget’s visual lightness.
The effect could probably be further enhanced with the stock dark brown alligator-coated leather strap with rose gold pin buckle replaced for something like a silk strap of the same color of dark chocolate, however, it could possibly detract a little from the accessory’s stateliness.
While the chosen “gold on bronze” color scheme doesn’t look terribly contrast in theory, on this particular model the problem is solved with an extremely subtly executed “solar” guilloche pattern that makes the finely polished hour and minute hands truly stand out.
To a bit of regret, the back cover that bears the usual Girard-Perregaux inscription and the model’s serial and reference numbers doesn’t look as subtle: the bezel here is quite massive and, to my taste, too heavy.
The usual Caliber GP03200-0005 automatic movement is, probably, to blame. Measuring just over 23 millimeters in diameter, it is just a tiny bit too small for the 30 mm pink gold body. However, I must admit that with its branded rose gold oscillating weight and finely decorated bridges the mechanism is a real treat to look at: something that we rarely see when it comes to watches that are designed for ladies.
All in all, this is an almost perfectly balanced piece that you could proudly wear not only to dinner with an important client, but also to a lot more formal events.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Girard-Perregaux 1966 Lady Automatic (Ref. 49528D52B871-CKBA) specification
Price: $20,400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber GP03200-0005, 23.30 mm, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 26
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 26 hours
Movement decoration: Decorated rose gold oscillating weight, vertical Geneva stripes on bridges
Functions: Hours, minutes
Case: Rose gold
Bezel: Set with brilliant-cut diamonds
Size: 30.00 mm
Hour markers: Ten diamonds
Hands: Rose gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Dark brown alligator-coated leather strap with rose gold pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective