Few watches command an aura of nobility quite so much as the Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945 collection. Virtually unchanged from the graceful Art Deco inspired original from 1945, with its unmistakable square shape and the way the conical lugs taper, in some ways it owes more to classic stately architecture than accepted watch design, but no matter, thanks to this enduring mix of classic and modern styling cues, which actually transcends what could be called Art Deco, the Vintage 1945 collection has been a resounding success sine its rebirth in 2004.
Just announced is a new addition to this distinguished family tree, with the very tasty new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date and Moon Phases. Of course neither the large date, the moonphase, or indeed the combination of both are new to the range, but what is different is the use of a sapphire crystal dial, which opens up the elegance of the movement beneath, revealing the technical know-how behind this very nice timepiece.
Girard-Perregaux are partial to a little adventure, regularly adding subtle (or bold as brass) twists to their ‘standard’ fayre, and as a manufacture in the true sense of the meaning, their in-house movements are always interesting, so it’s a nice touch to see this – the GP03300-0105 automatic self winding movement where it looks best – at home in a Vintage 1945.
The arabic numerals and tapering hour indices have been applied onto the glass and are interspersed with printed white minutes which are set right up around the edge of the dial. The steel dauphine hands, like the numerals and indices are brushed directionally, giving a deep grained, silver-grey effect which contrasts against the immaculate polishing on the case.
Thanks to a dark ‘smoked’ tinting effect, the sapphire dial is not wholly transparent, meaning that although everything underneath it is certainly visible, such as the date discs and the moon phases, it is only when they pass through their respective apertures that they emerge from grey to appear clearly. Similarly, the steel mainplate with its directional grained finish appears stony grey, accentuating the broad Geneva striping.
Where the date rings interlock, a white-rimmed window below the 12 displays the large date, which jumps ahead at the passing of midnight, and by simply applying the date figures on the underside of the clear left-hand side disc, and with only a hair’s breadth between the markings on each disc, thus the numerals beneath appear seamless. Below, just above the 6, that delightful moon phase occupies the same space as the small seconds and its almost sixty-day cycle provides a captivating novelty.
Although face-on the Vintage 1945 does seem square and cut-off at first glance, a mere moment’s study reveals much softer curvaceous lines everywhere, and the 36.10 mm x 35.25 mm case is topped off with a domed sapphire crystal. Meanwhile underneath, the curvature of the case is pronounced to ensure maximum comfort, and a transparent window offers a view of the signed oscillating weight with circular Geneva striping, the brushed ribbing on the rear plates.
The Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date and Moon Phases is also available in 18Kt rose gold, and to complement the tone of the precious metal, the dial adornments such as the hands, numerals and indices are also gold, and the moon phase disc features bronzed moons and gold stars against a deep blue background, compared to the white on black offering which is better suited to the stainless steel variant.
And the cost of admission to this stately society? Well, the stainless steel model will set you back $16,000, or for gold membership, it will be a cool $33,800.
More info: www.girard-perregaux.com