Girard-Perregaux have just released an enlarged version of the über-classic and always elegant 1966. Its case size grew from 38 mm to 41 mm in diameter and it also got a new engine, caliber GP4500, that delivers more power reserve.
Earlier this year Girard-Perregaux already launched the 1966 Chronograph with an increased case size (40 -> 42 mm). While Jaeger-LeCoultre is trimming down the case size of the Master collection, it looks like Girard-Perregaux, also one of the beautiful classic watch brands, is doing the exact opposite.
The new GP1966 comes in either white gold or pink gold and inherited the same looks as its smaller sibling. One thing that caught my attention, is that the date window has moved slightly more to the edge of the dial and the 3 o’clock marker is half the size of the marker at the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock position.
The reason for this is the new caliber, that is also larger then caliber GP3300, the movement used in 38 mm version of the GP1966. Caliber GP4500 has already been used in some models of the square shape 1945 collection. To get more power reserve, Girard-Perregaux had to use a larger main spring and main spring barrel. In order to create enough space, they applied an idea that was already developed by GP’s sister JeanRichard in their JR1000 movement.
The idea is a double third wheel, that allows for a smaller 4th wheel and thus creates more space for a larger main spring barrel. This construction also makes it possible to position the seconds hand either central (like in this GP1966), at the 9 o’clock position or even at the 10:30 position. Girard-Perregaux used caliber GP4500 in an older version of the Vintage 1945 with a small second sub dial at the 10:30 position, that is not in the current collection anymore.
All together the movement’s diameter increased from 26.20 mm to 30.60 mm, the height increased from 3.20 mm (which is very flat by the way!) to 3.97mm for caliber GP4500. And that all to increase the power reserve from 46 hours to 54 hours. I’m convinced of the versatility of caliber GP4500, however in this case caliber GP3300 had the advantage of being extra thin, something which really suits a classic watch like the GP1966 very well.
While the position of the date window is different, most of the design remains unchanged. So we still see the beautiful leaf-shaped hands for hours and minutes, a central seconds hand in blued steel and applied baton-style markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. As I already mentioned, the date window is at 3 o’clock and the baton index at that position is half in size compared to the other baton-style markers.
The other hour markers are painted on the slightly curved, opaline dial. The brand’s name, logo and the word “automatic” are also printed on the dial. The case features the ever-elegant curves, very short lugs and the beautifully fitting stitch-less alligator strap, all of which contributes greatly to the dressy looks.
No images to support this, however the beautifully adorned caliber GP4500 with its pink gold rotor can be seen through a sapphire crystal in the case back. With this new GP1966 41mm Girard-Perregaux presents a larger, yet still very classy and elegant dress watch. The price will be € 13.400 Euro including taxes.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.