Constant Girard (1825-1903) and Marie Perregaux (1831-1912), whose surnames united in 1854 still form the Girard-Perregaux corporate name to this day, passed the baton to their son Constant Girard-Gallet (1856-1945), who in 1906 would buy up the Old Bautte Firm. The three brothers of Marie Perregaux, Henri (1828-1893), François (1834-1877) and Jules (1838-1903) also joined the business, Henri and Jules by representing it in the Americas, and François in Asia. Constant Othenin-Girard (or Girard) began his watchmaking career initially in partnerships, under a variety of collective names. In 1854 he married Marie Perregaux (1831-1912), the product of a watchmaking family from Le Locle, and together they founded the Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds which to this day bears their combined surnames (1856). The Girard-Perregaux Firm quickly became one of the market's biggest players. Among the pioneers in introducing the Swiss watch to the Americas, it set up offices there in various cities, in both the North and South. Constant Girard-Perregaux devoted long years to designing and crafting various escapement systems, particularly the Tourbillon escapement. The quality and beauty of his creations were rewarded by a number of prizes and distinctions at national and international exhibitions and competitions, and also at Universal Exhibitions. The culmination came in 1889, when his famous Tourbillon with three gold Bridges, established as the icon of the Girard-Perregaux Firm, won a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition.
The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Full Calendar ref. 49535-71-152-BK6A in platinum is a quintessential dress watch with one of the most iconic and elegant designs in the market. This watch reminiscent of the sixties and the Mad Men era is fitted with a platinum highly polished case measuring 40mm in diameter, this watch features a full calendar with moon phase indicator. The watch features an elegant perfectly balanced silvered dial with applied batons at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock, transferred black markers, day and month apertures with light blue font right above the central pinion, moon phase and date indicator at 6 o'clock and blued hands for the seconds and date indicator. The highly polished leaf-shaped hour and minute hands along with the polished gold moon and stars on the moon phase disc provide just the right amount of contrast. The light blue '31' on the date indicator is also very eye catching and another nice touch on the design of this fascinating timepiece.
The 1966 Full Calendar is only available in precious metals including white gold, pink gold and the platinum limited edition of which only 100 pieces are available. The platinum model features the same dial as the white gold model, which is somewhat confusing. Meanwhile, the white gold model comes with two dial variations, one like the one on the platinum and a dark grey/charcoal one. The highly polished case features a nice simple crown with the Girard-Perregaux engraving and four handy correctors to adjust every function on the watch without the use of the crown.
The beating heart inside this watch is the Girard-Perregaux automatic calibre GP03300-0009 with 27 jewels which provides a power reserve of 46 hours while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. The calibre is fully visible via the display case back and as usual it is very nicely finished with beveled edges around the bridges, circular Côtes de Genève, blued screws and perlage.
The watch is fitted with a nice matte black rolled edge alligator strap with pin buckle. The strap is very nicely done but unfortunately quite short. Anyone with a wrist larger than 7.5" in diameter would not be able to wear this watch, unless they force the strap into the last hole. In our case we had to wear the watch on the second hole, which causes for the buckle to be off-centered from the center of the back of the wrist.
On the wrist the watch wears quite comfortably and true to its size. If you are looking for a very special watch with a full calendar, this is a great option. Even though the watch comes with a ton of pedigree, superb craftsmanship and timeless design, we find it odd that there's no other way to differentiate this timepiece from its white gold counterpart than by looking at the engravings around the case.
Sticker Price $52,000 USD. For more info on Girard-Perregaux click here.