2017 GPHG Mechanical Exception Category Finalist
The watches of Girard-Perregaux have been popular among the GPHG jurors in recent times, but will its beautiful and complex Planetarium Tri-Axial continue that winning trend?
Girard-Perregaux has enjoyed a very successful run at the GPHG in recent times, with wins in 2016 for its La Esmeralda Tourbillon in this same Mechanical Exception category, 2015 in the Striking Watch prize with the Minute Repeater Tourbillon with Gold Bridges, and best of all, the outright gala win and the cherished Aiguille d'Or award for the Constant Escapement L.M. back in 2013. If there's a point here, it's that they know how to turn it on for the biggest night of the watchmaking year.
This year the grand old company returns with another spectacular piece, featuring nothing less than a triple axis tourbillon, as well as a rotating globe to indicate in a graphic visual the time zones and day/night as it spins through 360° once every 24 hours.
At 48mm across and 18.66mm tall the Girard-Perregaux Planetarium Tri-Axial is a watch which, in virtually every respect, commands attention. The mechanical acrobatics of its tourbillon as it contorts through its three motions in thirty seconds, sixty seconds and two minute increments are simply absorbing, and its frenetic activity is held in contrast to the imperceptible advances of the rotating globe and the moon phase display either side of the hours and minutes dial.
To accommodate the dimensions of the tourbillon and the little hand painted globe, the sapphire glass has a pair of domes which also enhances the three dimensional experience even further, and from both front and rear perspectives both can be appreciated fully.
It is elegant, beautifully appointed and highly sophisticated, but is a three-in-a-row GPHG hat-trick on the cards for Girard-Perregaux? While it's perfectly possible, and the Planetarium Tri-Axial more than eligible for honours, it's up against a very diverse and formidable collection of rivals, all legitimately vying for the spoils of victory, and I just get the feeling that the Aiguille for the GPHG 2017 Mechanical Exception category will be going to another this year.
The Watch Press prediction
No. I have to qualify that opinion by saying that choosing any one of these six contenders is nigh on an impossible task. Each one has winning credentials, but of course only one name will be called out, and that means that five will not.
CASE: Rose gold
BUCKLE: Folding clasp
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 60 h, 21'600 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Moonphase, Second Time Zone, Tourbillon
SIZE: ø 48 mm
THICKNESS: 18.66 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 30 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: 273'100 CHF