Following on from the successful reboot of its Laureato collection at last year’s SIHH, Girard-Perregaux has turned its attention to another of its celebrated bellwethers for SIHH 2018: the Three Bridges tourbillon.
GP’s initial Three Bridges was produced in 1860 in the form of a pocket watch movement with a trio of namesake parallel bridges holding the barrel, centre wheel and tourbillon, respectively. Early accolades for the Three Bridges include the Neuchatel Observatory’s ‘first class’ chronometry award in 1867 and a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. A patent for the design was first submitted on 25 March 1884 to the United States Patent Office.
Sticking to the logically straightforward configuration of the original calibre and its bridges, Girard-Perregaux has gone on to produce numerous iterations of its Three Bridges concept over the years and in 1991 – the manufacture’s bicentenary year – released its first wrist-worn Three Bridges. Four years ago GP updated the Three Bridges again with its inaugural Neo Tourbillon and its milled titanium, arched bridges instead of the customary flat, gold bridges.
Girard-Perregaux’s 2018 SIHH version has been christened the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton, a skeletonised (as its name suggests) 45mm titanium-cased wristwatch proudly displaying its movement through expanses of convex sapphire crystal. Whilst not the first skeletonised Three Bridges, it is the first skeletonised Neo Tourbillon. Aesthetically, the architecture of the Three Bridges movement lends itself well to skeletisation, it’s certainly a movement worth showing off, and draws one’s focus to the eponymous bridges perhaps more than ever; helped here in no small part by the black-PVD coating against raw-metal.
Despite its “Three Bridges” moniker the Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton in fact features five bridges – with the additional two found at the rear of the movement, directly opposite the tourbillon and centre wheel, taking the place of a base plate.
Boasting a 60-hour power reserve, the GP 9400-0011 movement is self-winding and employs a white-gold micro-rotor coaxial with the barrel. Like the bridges, the 80-piece tourbillon carriage features titanium construction and clocks in at a featherweight 0.25 grams. Completing one full rotation every 60 seconds, the tourbillon also severs as a somewhat rudimental but charming small seconds indicator.