Girard-Perregaux celebrates 230 year anniversary by revisiting its icons (La Esmeralda, Laureato and the Cat’s Eye) and creating the Eternity Edition series. La Esmeralda, the famous prize-winning pocket watch made for the ‘Exposition Universelle’ in 1889, inspired La Esmeralda Tourbillon “A Secret” Eternity Edition wristwatch that pays homage to the Maison’s heritage and showcases its amassed know-how.
La Esmeralda Tourbillon “A Secret” Eternity Edition is ideal for a modern-day audience but respects La Esmeralda and seeks to capture its eternal charm. Three gold bridges span the dial, similar to those fitted to La Esmeralda of 1889. Horses engraved on the back case of the original pocket watch, are occupy the centre stage of the new timepiece. Two hand-engraved galloping horses form the right and left ends of the barrel bridge and tourbillon bridge. Each bridge features concave bevelling, mirror-polishing, flanks with horizontal ‘traits-tirés’ and rounded off arms. It requires 40 hours to finish all three bridges, while the additional engraving found on the barrel bridge and tourbillon needs an extra 50 hours to complete.
The new timepiece incorporates cutting-edge technology. The elaborately formed mainplate is made using a CNC-machine. Once milled, the mainplate is finished to the exacting standards befitting the term ‘Haute Horlogerie’. The mainplate (caseback side) is garnished with a new form of finishing. Where some high-end watches feature a bevelled edge, presented at 45°, spanning the surface and the flank, this model encompasses concave bevelling. This involves creating a curved recess between the surface and flank, catching light beautifully and transitioning from one shade to another.
By pressing the crown pusher, the secret cover reveals the self-winding movement, the Calibre GP09600-1506. Beneath the secret cover, the mainplate is fitted with a motion-work bridge and marking plate. Both are made from pink gold and incorporate traits-tirés and hand-polished angles. The motion-work bridge is marked ‘secret’. The inside of the hinged secret cover is hand-engraved with inscriptions, that can be personalized on request.
Both the barrel and the mainplate (dial side) are decorated with various guilloché patterns. The dauphine-type hour and minute hands are formed of pink gold and circumnavigate an intricate dial. Beyond its three iconic bridges and the guilloché dial, the watch features several additional attractions. The central area of the dial and mainplate is recessed, accommodating the barrel, centre wheel and tourbillon cage. Positioned in the upper portion of the dial, a rhodium plated barrel features golden engraved text. This detail recalls the text found on the barrel of the original La Esmeralda, declaring the model’s patented status.
A tourbillon cage, which is made using state-of-the art technology, is positioned in the lower portion of the dial. A blued steel hand is affixed to the tourbillon cage and serves as a small seconds display.
The pink gold case is hand-engraved, honouring the work of Fritz Kundert, the artisan who engraving La Esmeralda in the 19th century, as well as the dedication and skill of the modern-day artisans of La Chaux-de-Fonds. The bezel, caseband, lugs and buckle are engraved with a delicate leaf motif. The outerpart of the cover is adorned with a fluted pattern. Additional engraving graces both the inside and exterior of the secret cover.
The wristwatch pays homage to the eternal beauty of enamel. The enamelling was extended onto the outer case sides and lugs – all of which has been executed in-house. The enamel comprises a mixture of silica, minium, potash and soda which are ground into a powder. Additional metal oxides are then added to create different coloured enamels. The powder is dusted onto the dial and then fired in an oven that typically operates at about 800°C. To the rear of the watch, the back of the blue enamelled secret cover features three horses, again inspired by the original La Esmeralda and garnished with a sunray guilloché decoration and blue grand feu enamel.
The watch will be offered in seven different colourways, each produced on request for a maximum of eighteen pieces per color.