Wednesday, April 9, 2008

SIHH 2008 Preview: Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon Chronograph with Rattrapante and Foudroyante

Girard-Perregaux presents a world premiere: the first Tourbillon Chronograph with Rattrapante and Foudroyante. A remarkable tribute to the Manufacture's heritage, this timepiece reveals an unprecedented combination of some of the most sophisticated complications.

In around 1880, Constant Girard would develop one of the most effective and most accurate time measurement instruments of its era: a Rattrapante Chronograph with Foudroyante second, housed in a pocket watch. Nine years later, he would pull off another feat: his Tourbillon with three gold Bridges, a prize-winner at the Paris Universal Exhibition. In 2008, Girard-Perregaux is once more making use of these complex mechanisms, taking on a new challenge: combining all these complications in a perfectly proportioned wristwatch.

Only thirty-three connoisseurs will be able to own this uncommon watchmaking combination. Mass production has no place in this exceptional field: some five hundred and seven components are assembled by hand to make up the complete movement housed in the pink gold case, following the stringent rules of a watchmaking art that prizes special achievements.

In presenting this timepiece, Girard-Perregaux is remaining true to its tradition, and is continuing the development of its models with rattrapante and foudroyante second, which are among its most spectacular Haute Horlogerie creations. The rattrapante chronograph can register split times, during sports events for example. In this case it is supplemented by a foudroyante second, which runs in a counter at 9 o'clock: the hand makes a complete turn of its dial in one second, while imperceptibly marking a stop time every sixth of a second.

Lit up by the graceful Tourbillon with gold Bridge, the design of this timepiece is the be-all in elegance. Its host of complications blends into a harmonious dial which takes the expertise of the master-watchmaker, who knows that perfection is concealed in the most delicate details. The fine chronograph and rattrapante hands are superimposed when stopped. The rattrapante function is made especially discreet by the model only having two push-pieces: the one at 2 o'clock controls the rattrapante hand, while the one at 4 o'clock starts, stops and resets the chronograph. To complement the creation, the case lugs ensure a perfect fit on the wrist.

There are other sophistications specific to this movement. Girard-Perregaux improves the chronometric developments by equipping the rattrapante with an isolating device that ensures a constant balance amplitude. The foudroyante second mechanism is also ingeniously designed, to enable it to be combined with a Tourbillon.


Pink gold case

- Diameter: 44 mm
- Height: 17.10 mm
- Sapphire crystal
- See-through case-back secured by 6 screws
- Water resistance: 30 metres

Girard-Perregaux movement GP9973 mechanical with manual winding

- Tourbillon with gold Bridge, chronograph with rattrapante and foudroyante
- Calibre: 14 ½ ’’’Height: 9.30 mm
- Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour (3 Hz)
- Jewels: 43Power reserve: minimum 96 hours (4 days)
- Tourbillon cage: 69 components, 0.4 grams
- Functions: hour, minute, small second on the Tourbillon, date, chronograph with rattrapante and foudroyante
- 507 parts
- Alligator strap with folding buckle

Limited and numbered edition of 33 pieces.

Info via Girard Perregaux press file.

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