A few months ago, in February 2021, Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux announced a new partnership with one of the most respected brands in the car industry, Aston Martin. As CEO Patrick Pruniaux explained, the connection made a lot of sense, but there was not yet a dedicated watch to see at the time of the interview. Well, here it is, the first Aston Martin x Girard-Perregaux watch, a watch that is based on the modern Neo-Tourbillon concept, but still with the iconic three bridges of the brand. Here’s the new Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition.
In our interview, Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of the brand, emphasized that Girard-Perregaux already had a strong connection with the automotive world: “As you know, Girard-Perregaux has very strong ties with the automotive industry that were developed with different car brands. It started actually very early. You may know that we manufactured pocket watches for Shell in the 1930s. This is probably one of the earliest ties with the automotive industry.” The partnership between Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin will cover two aspects: first Formula 1 and racing and second road cars. Today, for its first double-branded watch, GP unveils a modern take on its iconic three bridges movement architecture reinterpreted in a contemporary and aerial way.
The watch is definitely a modern vision of Haute Horlogerie, just like the current Aston Martin car collection is a modern vision of the iconic DB cars of the 1950s/60s, faithful to their spirit of grand tourism, but with technological content and striking design. The new Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin is also faithful to the brand’s past and its vision for architectural movements, yet this has been interpreted in a way that leaves no doubt about the contemporary vocation of the watch.
The watch is housed in a large, 44mm case made of grade 5 titanium with a black DLC coating. With its lightweight properties, titanium was a natural material of choice in this car-inspired context. Fun fact: titanium was discovered in GB, home of Aston, in 1791, the same year Girard-Perregaux was founded… The shape remains in the vein of previous Neo-Bridges and Neo-Tourbillon watches, with soft curves and a complete absence of bezel that leaves an uncluttered view of what’s inside. The case is topped by a box-shaped sapphire crystal positioned high over the watch covering the entire “face” of this Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges. The watch isn’t per se thin, with a 15.5mm height, yet the construction with two domed sapphire crystals make the caseband relatively sleek.
The construction is rather impressive and positions the movement as an integral part of this watch. The mainplate sits between both panes of sapphire crystal; it is integrated into the central part of the case and feels like it is floating in mid-air. The most striking element of the design, besides this aerial feel, is the presence of the three “flying” bridges. In the context of this Aston Martin partnership, these bridges, like the rest of the elements of the movement/dial, are made of blackened titanium (with PVD coating). The bridges display a mix of matte surfaces and highly polished bevels, as well as visible screws.
The display mostly consists of two hands, made of solid gold and treated in black-or. These are paired with applied indexes inserted in the inner flange. Both are coated with luminescent material. As usual with watches from the Neo collection, the dial shows a pleasing symmetry and architectural construction, with all the elements aligned on a 12-to-6 axle. From top to bottom, you can see the barrel under the first bridge, then the gear train under the middle bridge and finally, the star of the show, the one-minute tourbillon held in place by the lower bridge. Concerning GP’s design, the tourbillon cage has a very thin, very delicate “lyre” shape (first made in the 19th century). A blued hand over the cage indicates the small seconds. Composed of 79 components, the whole tourbillon regulator weighs only 0.25 grams.
Powering this Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition is the in-house calibre GP09400-1683, which is surprisingly a self-winding movement. Indeed, turning the watch over, you’ll discover a micro-rotor made of white gold positioned beneath the barrel. It grants unobstructed views of the movement. Now, if you were wondering where Aston Martin appears on the watch, you’ll have to search a bit… The car company’s name is visible only once, in a very discreet way and is engraved on the vertical flank of the micro-rotor. It is, however, filled in white Super-LumiNova and will be easier to catch at night. For once, I almost regret that the connection between the two brands isn’t a bit more obvious…
The movement itself is superbly finished with a combination of modern surfaces and colours, with traditional decoration techniques such as anglages and straight graining. All the wheels also feature bevelled spokes, and the barrel drum is meticulously decorated with a modern, wheel-inspired shape. The movement runs at a 3Hz frequency and can store up to 60 hours of power reserve.
This Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin is worn on a black alligator strap with rubber effect (as photographed here) with a triple folding clasp in grade 5 titanium with black DLC coating. Also included (but not available at the time of our photoshoot) is a calf leather strap with a “Rubber Alloy” band, an innovative rubber insert injected with white gold – a world premiere.
Availability & price
The Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon With Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition will be a limited edition of 18 pieces. It will be priced at CHF 129,100. For more information, please visit www.girard-perregaux.com.