About Girard-Perregaux Watches
The origins of Girard Perregaux date as far back as 1791 with Jean-Francois Bautte, a Geneva-based jeweler and watchmaker. In 1906 Girard-Perregaux acquired his business, operating out of the watchmaking metropolis La Chaux de-Fonds. The city was perfectly established to allow watchmakers to master their craft from an early era. The streets and buildings were built to allow watchmakers access to the best light that the sun could provide, and in a time that pre-dates electricity, this was crucial to their success.
Girard Perregaux seeks perfection through each watch’s movements and aesthetic appearance, emanating an outstanding luxury. Such construction is evident in the Three Gold Bridges piece, which was presented in 1889 at the Universal Exhibition in Paris to great acclaim, winning a gold medal. It is still a creation for which the company is well known.
As the second half of the nineteenth century hit, the company set off for new, far-away markets. Girard’s brother in law, Henri Perregaux, set off for Argentina. Another brother in law, Francois Perregaux, went to Singapore and then to Japan. Due to differences in timekeeping culture, he couldn’t sell watches based purely on their functionality. He could, however, market them as exotic objects of distant curiosity, which proved a successful tactic when used with the Japanese aristocracy.
During the time of the pocket watch, Girard revolutionarily introduced the wristwatch, which was used by German naval officers in the late 1800s. It wouldn't be until much later, however, that wristwatches would find marketable success among the general populace. It was in 1930 when the sale of wristwatches finally exceeded the sale of pocket watches. In 1945 the company introduced an art-deco styles wristwatch that was rectangular in shape.
Beginning in the 1960s, the brand continued to develop in the realm of research and development and was, in fact, one of only a few manufacturers who had their own department dedicated to this. It was because of the research and development team that Girard-Perregaux was able to introduce a high-frequency movement of 36,000 vibrations/hour.
In addition, the research team was able to make develop the use of quartz movements, which they launched for the first time in 1970; however, the company returned to the challenge of traditional mechanical manufacturing shortly after. The brand then developed the Constant Escapement L.M., which solved one of the watchmaking industry's greatest problems — that of continuous force.
The company has continued to develop high-quality watches with innovative technology as the years have progressed, producing pieces dedicated both to accuracy and complexity. In 1975 the company released the iconic Laureato, which then made a comeback in 2016 as a highly successful limited edition. In 2017, they expanded upon the original Three Gold Bridges, creating modern wristwatch versions of the historical piece.
Girard Perregaux combines the most innovative technology and groundbreaking research with traditional methods of construction. Today, the company is one of the few remaining Swiss watch companies to adhere to original manufacturing principals. Even its more simplistic designs possess a meticulously created interior that was comprehensively completed.