We’re continuing down the rabbit hole, pursuing odd and interesting watches found within the listings in eBay’s authenticate program, and once again we’ve stumbled across an affordable gem. This go around, it’s a cushion-cased beaut from Girard-Perregaux that launched back in the 1990s. Possibly a reissue that was a bit ahead of its time, the Vintage 1960 chronograph has the same sort of historical charm as things like the Vacheron Constantin Cornes de Vache, and yet it continues to trade hands for quite the bargain on the secondary market. This example in particular is presently listed at $2,158.20.
I’ve personally been looking at older GP watches (and added a Laureato Evo3 to the personal collection this year) because they deliver HUGE value on the secondary market. They’re just one of those brands that never manage the same kind of buzz as a Patek, Audemars Piguet, or other notorious household names, and though their manufacturing and finishing can keep up with many other high-level brands, they never seem to hit the same level of collectibility as their competitors. Though it’s unfortunate for the brand, it’s also a win for collectors, as it makes a good number of well-executed complications surprisingly affordable.
In the case of the Vintage 1960 Chronograph, in this case the reference 2598, the piece measures a very wearable 38mm across, made to feel slightly more hefty on account of its cushion case design. Its bi-compax subdial layout is familiar, however it doesn’t operate as your typical chronograph would. Its right subdial displays running seconds, whereas its left subdial is a 24h/day-night indication tied to the current hour. Accordingly, both chronograph seconds and minutes are recorded by central hands—a design most commonly seen from Lemania-based calibers, as well as modular chronographs that run a Dubois-Depraz module. In this case, you’re looking at the latter.
It can be argued that the black dial variant of this piece is a touch more contemporary in its design, however there’s a real charm to the combination of an ivory dial, dauphine hands, and gold applied numerals. In a smaller casing I’d entirely understand this piece being a total flop in today’s market, but given the seemingly never-ending love of vintage-inspired watch design these days, there’s an obvious reason for my earlier mention of the piece being ahead of its time in terms of launch date.
We noted a few very minor dings and scuffs on this one, but nothing too terrifying overall. Its strap is an aftermarket replacement, which is of little surprise. If you’re really adventurous and enjoy a serious hunt, there are a few versions of the 1960 Chronograph that were sold on a steel oyster-style bracelet. It would take some serious digging, but finding the bracelet to match this piece wouldn’t be impossible. That said, there are a good number of 21mm leather and rubber straps out there that would fit this reference perfectly.