The idea of substituting the usual silvered or enameled dial with a tinted sapphire crystal is by no means new. Corum, for example, used it for its massive Admiral’s Cup Minute Repeater Tourbillon 45, while Omega employed the concept for the gorgeous Skeletonized Tourbillon Co-Axial Platinum. However, this new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date, Moon-Phases (refs. 25882-11-223-BB6B & 25882-52-222-BB6B) (ah, that descriptive naming!) looks like one of the most exciting “regular” models delivered by the brand during the recent couple of years.
Based on their earlier Vintage 1945 XXL Large Date, Moon-Phases model, the new version of the timepiece has the original silvered dial replaced with tinted sapphire. The new translucent material not only gives the timekeeper extra depth but also finally allows the watchmaking house to show-off their in-house movements in all their metal glory.
The timekeeper comes powered by their well-known Caliber GP 03300 tractor movement that was modified in order to provide the big date and moon phase functionality.
In its press release, the Swiss brand emphasized that the ingenious way that the big date indicator was designed. To make the numerals look as natural as possible, they placed the first numeral on a black disk to the right with the second numeral printed on an ultra-thin (just 0.1 mm!) sapphire disk that rotates right above it. Although viewing at the dial at certain angles, one may suspect that there is something “wrong” with it, in most cases, the illusion is convincing.
Another interesting thing about the indicator is that GP uses here the so-called “jumping date” display. This basically means that the date is not changing slowly with disks moving with glacier speed during a couple of hours, but instead takes just 5 milliseconds to turn to a new position. The complication requires a lot of energy, so maybe this is why the mechanism will only work for 46 hours after being fully wound.
As you can see, the metalized sapphire plate that is slightly curved to better match the flowing lines of the rectangular body, allows you to see every part of the mechanism, while also providing enough contrast for the applied hour markers, three Arabic numerals, and the usual Dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands. All of the aforementioned elements are nicely machine-brushed. The choice of texture allows for an even more high-contrast display, while also accenting the mirror-polished case.
Only the rings above the moon-phase indicator and the “Girard-Perregaux” inscription are printed in a highly contrasting color.
Available both in stainless steel (ref. 25882-11-223-BB6B) and in a lot more expensive rose gold (ref. 25882-52-222-BB6B), the body with its stylish horizontal gadroons is still delivered in the same delightfully compact size measuring just over 36 millimeters in length and 35.25 millimeters in width.
Although the case is based on the 1945 design, it is still a lot larger than the original. I am not saying that it looks gargantuan compared to the original, but if you expect it to have the same experience as your grandfather back in the 1940s, you may be mildly disappointed. However, compared to many currently available “vintage-styled” models, this one still looks relatively small.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date, Moon-Phases Sapphire Dial specification
Price: MSRP, €13,750 (stainless steel, ref. 25882-11-223-BB6B) / €29,000 (rose gold, ref. 25882-52-222-BB6B)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber GP 03300-0105/0062, in-house, jumping date, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 32
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Movement decoration: Geneva stripes
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, big date, moon phase
Case: Stainless steel (ref. 25882-11-223-BB6B) / Rose gold (ref. 25882-52-222-BB6B)
Dimensions: 36.10 x 35.25 mm
Dial: Tinted sapphire, translucent
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Hour markers: Applied
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective