To celebrate the 225th anniversary of the manufacture founded in 1791, Girard-Perregaux presented at Baselworld 2016 a brand new collection of racing inspired timepieces named 'Sports Competizione' —the word for competition in Italian. While Girard-Perregaux has a rich history making racing inspired timepieces like those from their partnership with Ferrari or with pieces like the GP Monte Carlo 1970, this new line —with all due respect to the latter—, looks very much like the Zenith El Primero collection from our friends from Le Locle. The new Girard-Perregaux sports competizione collection is composed of two new 12-hour chronographs: the 'Stradale' —road in Italian— we are reviewing in this feature and the 'Circuito' —track circuit in Italian— which we will publish separately. The new Girard-Perregaux Stradale chronograph is available on brown alligator strap or on matching stainless steel bracelet with a silvered or black charcoal dial.
Determined to preserve the time-defying legend of their specialized chronographs from the 60s and 90s, the new GP Stradale Chronograph is cased in a perfectly sized stainless steel case measuring 42 mm in diameter and water resistant to 30 meters. The caseband features long, subtly rounded lugs that follow the natural curve of the wrist. The new Girard-Perregaux Sports Competizione 'Stradale' Chronograph also features pump-pushers with mushroom tops reminiscent of the golden era of sports chronographs. The case features a satin-brushed case band with mirror polished bezel and lugs. The watch is equipped with a screw-down winding crown that is signed with the GP logo and that is very easy to manipulate.
Both the silvered and the black charcoal dial are beautifully finished with a satin-brushed finish and with a very clean layout with applied hour markers. The dial features slightly sunken/recessed snailed registers for the running seconds at 3 o'clock, the 12-hour chrono register at 6 and the 30-minute register at 9 o'clock. A relatively small date aperture is found at 4 o'clock and the long central sweeping chronograph seconds hand is perfectly accentuated in a bright burnt orange/crimson red.
The beating heart inside the new Girard-Perregaux Stradale chronograph is the automatic in-house movement GP03300. Comprised of 435 components and 63 jewels, the movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph while providing a power reserve of 46 hours when fully wound. The movement is visible via the partial display case back; however, due to the very small size of this calibre —only 25.6 mm wide— cased in such a large case size, the amount of metal on the case back surrounding the sapphire crystal is really wide. Honestly, a 25.6 mm movement inside a 42 mm case is somewhat of a stretch and the brand should've reworked this calibre a while back to make it fit better as case sizes continue to grow.
On the wrist, the watch wears really nice whether its on the brown alligator strap with folding clasp or on the stainless steel bracelet. Its wrist presence, transports you back in time to the golden era of rally racing and the times were those early 911s and Alfa Romeos where conquering races throughout Europe. A nice execution of a vintage inspired chronograph that comes with strong pedigree and that won't break the bank.
Sticker Price CHF 9,820 Swiss Francs on bracelet and CHF 9,170 Swiss Francs on strap. For more info on Girard-Perregaux click here.