The Girard-Perragaux 1966 Minute Repeater‘s most significant feature is also its loudest. The watch’s innovative GPE09-0001 manual movement strikes a tone on the hours, quarters and even the minutes. This is sure to please watch enthusiasts as it is reminiscent of the repeating watches in the time before electricity, where the repeating watches’ chimes used to indicate the hour for functionality when light was scarce. But the most impressive and innovative feat of this watch is the sheer intensity of the sound. Where as most repeating watches are only moderately audible, the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater boasts an impressive level of audibility. Girard-Perragaux (one of the oldest watch companies in the world with an origin going back to 1791) achieves this with a striking dedication to the craftsmanship and design of this watch.
Its starts with a typical repeater construction of twin circular metal gongs coiled inside the case. There are several aspects of the case construction that Girard-Perregaux paid special attention to which is important in a repeating watch given that case’s amplification of the gongs should be enough to achieve audibility. The first thing Gerard-Perregaux did was to ensure that the interior diameter of the case and the diameter of the case are well balanced for peak resonance. The second thing they did was to create a curvature in the case-back to increase the volume of air between the case and movement which is supposed to greatly improve the spread of the sound. The third aspect that Girard-Perregaux paid extra attention to was case-back, which was diamond-polished to reduce acoustic interference. They also take particular care to ensure the vibrations from the gongs and hammers are tuned to create a sound as close to perfection as possible. Girard-Perregaux combines these features to help create an unparalleled level of audibility in a repeating watch.
The GPE09-0001 movement is visible through the sapphire-crystal case-back and is a stunning sight to behold with 317 components. The balance cock, visible through the back-case, takes the form of an arrow reminiscent of the brand’s famous gold bridges. This signature part is exactingly finished by Girard-Perregaux’s craftsmen using stones, bluffs, pegwoods and diamond pastes to achieve a perfect rounding and finish. This manually winded movement also has a reported life-span of over four days.
The watch in its entirety is elegant in its simplicity with an understated sense of nobility. This is achieved with through the careful craftsmanship of every aesthetic detail, easily evident through the care taken in construction and application of the white enamel dial, the leaf shaped blue hands and the 42mm pink gold case. The black matte alligator strap with its pink gold ardillon buckle round out the stunning visual features of this watch.
While not a limited edition, Girard-Perregaux can only craft about 15-20 of these timepieces per year so they should be highly sought after by watch enthusiasts everywhere; rightly so, as the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater matches its elegant visual design with an innovative movement and construction that creates an exceptional watch to see and, possibly more importantly, hear.