The new Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Tourbillon with Gold Bridge (Ref. 99490D53P703-CKHA) delivers a clever mix of precious stones (more than three hundred of them), beautifully decorated mother-of-pearl and finely sculpted white gold. In fact, this new model looks like one of the most exciting offerings released by the Swiss brand during the last couple of years. If price is not an issue, this gorgeous wristwatch will probably make a very good Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one.
As you might have already guessed, this timekeeper is based on another model that has been here for some time already. Judging by the looks and specs, this new Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Tourbillon with Gold Bridge (Ref. 99490D53P703-CKHA) is yet another variation of the beautiful Cat’s Eye Tourbillon Haute Joaillerie model that was first presented back in 2011.
Compared to the original, a high-jewelry model that, as the name implies, had every square millimeter of its surface (well, perhaps except for the sapphire crystal) paved with hundreds of diamonds, this new watch features a lot fewer diamonds, but, from where I sit, looks a lot more interesting and refined.
The first of all, the large baguette-cut diamonds are replaced with more than three hundred smaller brilliant-cut white diamonds that are not only more elegant (well, that’s a matter of personal preference, I know), but are also visually lighter.
Even despite the fact that the new model features roughly the same dimensions (37.30 x 32.30 mm of the new model vs. 38.42 mm x 32.9 mm of the 2011 version,) it looks a lot more delicate and sophisticated.
The effect is partly achieved thanks to the way its dial is decorated. Now crafted from white mother-of-pearl (and, by the looks of it, it is one of the best breeds of MOP one can find, clearly not some second-grade job we often see on so called affordable and mid-range-priced timekeepers), it has been decorated with relief engraving technique featuring simple, but beautiful floral ornament that very nicely corresponds the pair of leaf-shaped hour and minute hands crafted from white gold.
However, the piece de resistance in this particular case -the gorgeous hand-built and hand-decorated Gold Bridge Tourbillon- is still here in its white gold glory. Also serving as a very expensive small seconds indicator, the tourbillon escapement looks surprisingly in place here: quite a rare thing when it comes to timekeepers designed with ladies in mind. Again, thank the wonderful dial for that.
The hand-wound Caliber GP09700-0012 is still almost the same hand-built, hand-finished job that we have seen on the aforementioned Cat’s Eye Tourbillon Haute Joaillerie timepiece. Comprising 174 components and built on 20 jewels, this slow-beating movement offers at least 70 hours of power reserve, which makes using this lovely trinket a lot more pleasant.
Frankly, I tried quite hard to find a single flaw in this gorgeous watch, but wasn’t able to. And you know what? Actually I glad I didn’t: the world needs beautiful things like this one.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Tourbillon with Gold Bridge (Ref. 99490D53P703-CKHA) watch specification
Price: €40,500 (MSRP)
Movement: Manual, Caliber GP09700-0012, in-house, 174 parts, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 20
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 70 hours (minimum)
Movement decoration: Rhodium-plated, Geneva stripes on the bridge, white gold tourbillon bridge, hand-decorated
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, tourbillon
Case material: White gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Oval
Bezel shape: Oval
Case size: 37.30 x 32.30 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: White mother-of-pearl, engraved
Hour markers: None
Hands: White gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Deep black or Red alligator leather strap with gold folding buckle set with 14 diamonds (0.118 carats)
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, transferred GP logo
Case back: Sapphire