BOUCHERON AND GIRARD-PERREGAUX:WHEN HAUTE JOAILLERIE MEETS HAUTE HORLOGERIE.
Meetings that give rise to great stories are seldom fortuitous. The relationship between Boucheron, founded in 1858 and the first jeweller to establish itself in place Vendôme, and Girard-Perregaux, the Swiss Haute Horlogerie watch manufacture dating back to 1791, has its roots in a shared passion for creating exceptional objects.
The links between Parisian jewellers and Swiss watch manufactures are age-old. The most prestigious Maisons in place Vendôme have a long history of working together with their Swiss partners to produce their watches. Their watchmaking creativity and enterprise have thus for decades been primed by Swiss precision mechanics. The Maison Boucheron has been producing watches since its inception, earning it the honorary title of “bijoutier du temps” in recognition of its talent for creating exceptional timepieces. As far back as 1867, Boucheron was commended by the jury at the Paris Universal Exhibition for presenting an “intriguing and fabulous” fob chain.
In a historical coincidence, the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture also received recognition at the same exhibition for a pocket watch equipped with a tourbillon. Paris simultaneously celebrated the outstanding talents of Frédéric Boucheron and Constant Girard-Perregaux in their respective fields of jewellery and watchmaking. Did the two men ever meet? Nobody knows. Nevertheless, more than a century later, the paths of the two Maisons, living embodiments of the ingenuity of their founders, would cross definitively…
Boucheron and Girard-Perregaux are two Brands at the very forefront of their field. The unique character of their products is the result of a fine balance between expertise honed through generations and a resolutely contemporary approach. Authenticity, extreme attention to detail, the use of the very highest-quality materials and a passion for beautiful craftsmanship are the beating heart of their business.
Several years ago, the two Maisons formed a working partnership based on these shared values. In March 2010, this partnership culminated in the unveiling of a remarkable creation, the marriage of their respective talents and the fruit of their combined passion. The Ladyhawke Tourbillon, a falconencircled watch brought to life by the Tourbillon with three gold Bridges movement, sees Boucheron’s unrivalled jewellery expertise complemented superbly by Girard-Perregaux’s iconic movement - the first of its kind produced by the La Chaux-de-Fonds Haute Horlogerie Manufacture for another Brand…
Girard -Perregaux presents an exclusive limited edition model in tribute to Boucheron.
October 2010. Boucheron and Girard-Perregaux are today celebrating a new chapter in their relationship by launching an exclusive limited edition which remains faithful to their shared values. The two Maisons share an uncompromising obsession with the very finest craftsmanship and a ceaseless desire to create exceptional objects.
For this occasion, Girard-Perregaux has created a model that combines both elegance and watchmaking virtuosity. The natural choice was a round case, expressing a modern yet timeless character, and designed by Luigi Macaluso in 1985 for the Manufacture’s Haute Horlogerie models. Its form incorporates a chamfered bezel featuring a light satin finish, paired with a middle whose exquisite curves extend into lugs providing exceptional comfort on the wrist.
A true Girard-Perregaux classic, the self-winding mechanical movement includes moon phases and large date displays (patented system for optimal readability with no separating line between the tens and units). Beautifully symmetrical, the perfectly balanced dial proudly bears the name of the two Brands as well as Boucheron’s address: 26, place Vendôme. It is enhanced by elegant ‘Dauphine’ hands, with the moon phases visible in a window at 6 o’clock.
GIRARD-PERREGAUX POUR BOUCHERON
Case Material: pink or white gold
Diameter: 41.00 mm
Height: 10.40 mm
Case-back: sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 3 ATM
self-winding mechanical movement
Frequency: 28,800 vib/h (4 Hz)
Power reserve: min. 46 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, large date, moon phases indicator, small second
Black alligator strap, ardillon buckle
Available in pink gold or white gold, in two limited editions of 50 pieces
Girard-Perregaux’s patented large date system
The large date display mechanism, patented by Girard-Perregaux, is among the most elegant and sophisticated of its kind. The originality of this system lies in its use of two discs, one of which is transparent, allowing the tens and units of the date to be displayed respectively. To be virtually invisible, this disc has to be incredibly thin: it measures just 0.10 millimetres - as thin as a sheet of paper! Another interesting characteristic of this movement is the instantaneous date change mechanism: the date jumps in 15/1000ths of a second!
For over 150 years, Boucheron has been creating jewellery, watches and fragrances. The Maison is renowned as much for its daring, innovative spirit as for the sumptuous luxury that has continued to characterise its pieces. With a clientele that includes celebrities, writers, artists, maharajahs and multimillionaires, Boucheron has always held a particular attraction for those whose fame and prestige is echoed in the magnificence of its creations. Through its stunning collections, combining an extravagant imagination with provocative sophistication, Boucheron jewellery shapes the promise of exquisite luxury and seduction which borders on the disconcerting... A magician who turns the selection of gemstones into an art, the master jeweller at place Vendôme plays with his palette to combine the flamboyant colours of the rarest and most coveted precious stones. The continuous reinvention of this world of freedom and daring, which transcends fashion, elevates it to the exclusive ranks of sublime elegance. There are currently more than 50 Boucheron boutiques worldwide, and an on-line sales site to cater for lovers of fine jewellery and watches, wherever they may be.
The Girard-Perregaux Manufacture is one of the jewels in the crown of Swiss Haute Horlogerie. With origins dating back to 1791, the Brand has been preserving and enriching its unique expertise for more than two centuries. Some of the most innovative designs and movements first created by Constant Girard-Perregaux in the 19th century, like the Tourbillon with three gold Bridges, are still being created today in their workshops. Girard-Perregaux designs, creates, develops and produces its watches, including the movements, aiming to reach perfection every time. Their integrated Manufacture approach has enabled the Brand to create one of the most comprehensive portfolios of movements in the watchmaking universe. Girard-Perregaux will celebrate its 220th anniversary in 2011.
Temporary watchma king at Boucheron
Since opening in 1999, the Girard-Perregaux Museum has exhibited many important collections of watches from the past which have served to illustrate the history of one of the oldest and most prestigious Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufactures. Currently undergoing renovation following a burglary, the Museum has organised a temporary exhibition in Paris,
presenting part of its collection at place Vendôme on the premises of Boucheron, a friend of the Brand and a partner in various projects. An opportunity to discover some of the Brand’s landmark creations, including the famous Tourbillon with three gold Bridges, back in Paris, where it was awarded the gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in 1889 for its exceptional character. The Girard-Perregaux Museum will reopen its doors in La-Chaux-de-Fonds in 2011 to mark the Brand’s 220th anniversary. This three-part exhibition will open with an exploration of the ties that bind Parisian jewellery and Swiss watchmaking, as well as the history of the Maison Girard-Perregaux from its inception to the present day; the research undertaken by its founder Constant Girard-Perregaux (1825-1903), with particular regard to the movement of a pocket watch which would become the Brand’s icon, the celebrated Tourbillon with three gold Bridges; its participation in the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889 and the recognition it received there. The second exhibition space will be dedicated to the Genevan watchmaking and jewellery House Bautte, which was taken over by Constant Girard-Perregaux’s son early last century, and to its founder, Jean-François Bautte (1772-1837). Known only today by a few specialists, Bautte was the most famous Genevan watchmaker-jeweller of his time. Visitors will be able to admire numerous dress watches and archive documents, and become better acquainted with the man whose boutique Alexandre Dumas described as “the most fashionable jeweller’s boutique in Geneva”. The third part of the exhibition will cover a number of themes: a model of the Villa Marguerite, the Girard-Perregaux Museum, situated in an urban environment, attesting to the classification of the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds as a UNESCO world heritage site. Visitors will also be able to discover the origins of our time zone system, against a backdrop of old watchmaking tools and machines. The numerous awards received by Girard-Perregaux from the Neuchâtel Observatory will also be on display. The final exhibition space will reveal the links between two of the Brand’s icons: the Tourbillon with three gold Bridges and the Vintage 1945 model.
Constant Girard -Perregaux ’s masterpiece, back in Paris after more than 120 years…
True technological showcases, the Universal Exhibitions, of which the first took place in London in 1851, were huge events that enabled exhibitors from various countries to compare their developments. Awarding prizes, medals and distinctions to the most deserving creations, they contributed much to progress during the industrial revolution. At the 1867 Exhibition held in Paris, Constant Girard-Perregaux, founder of the eponymous brand, presented for the very first time a watch of a particular calibre featuring straight bridges with pointed ends. Following this he went on to make countless improvements to the piece until, in 1889, his famous Tourbillon with three gold Bridges, the icon of the Maison Girard-Perregaux, was finally awarded a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition. In the meantime, to protect the design of his movement with three arrow-shaped parallel bridges, Constant Girard-Perregaux had prudently applied to the United States Patent Office (no such competent body existed at the time in Switzerland) for a patent. The patent was awarded to him on 25th March 1884. Numerous reports from the 1889 Universal Exhibition, also held in Paris, make reference to the exceptional appearance of the Maison Girard-Perregaux displays, and to the presence among them of a high-precision chronometer whose beauty no visitor could ignore. Just like its movement, a technical tour de force featuring unique architecture, the rich decoration adorning its case represented a masterclass in engraving. Indeed, its creation called for the application of almost all the techniques used in the art. Playing with the effects of light, the engraver revealed a virtuosity in pattern composition and the treatment of various depths, as well as in the creation of contrast between gloss and matt surfaces.
This piece, whose tourbillon escapement mechanism is equally a source of tireless fascination, was the pocket watch that would later become known as “La Esmeralda”. Having achieved remarkable results during tests carried out in the preceding months at the Neuchâtel Observatory in Switzerland, it was awarded a Bulletin de Marche by the institution. For the jury at the 1889 Universal Exhibition, a gold medal was deemed the award befitting the perfection, both technical and aesthetic, of this extraordinary timepiece. Bearing the name of the luxury boutique in Mexico owned by the agents Hauser and Zivy, to which it was entrusted for a while, “La Esmeralda” then became the property of Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915), president of Mexico from 1876 to 1911. Acquired in the late 1960s from the head of state’s great-grandson, this pocket chronometer is now the iconic model of the Girard-Perregaux Museum’s collections.
« La Esmeralda »
pocket watch - 1889
Constant GIRARD-PERREGAUX (1825-1903)
Gold medal at the 1889 Paris Universal Exhibition “Savonnette” type case in pink gold, richly engraved, bearing the “CG” monogram on one face and a cartouche containing three galloping horses on the other. “Grand feu” white enamel dial with painted Arabic numerals and offset seconds disc; fine “Poire Stuart” type hour and minute hands in polished blued steel; bolt time setting. 20-ligne movement with three parallel gold bridges, chamfered and “bassine-shaped” with arrow-shaped ends; jewels mounted in screwed gold settings; 1 minute tourbillon, very finely cut cage, chamfered and polished, equipped with a pivoted detent escapement with gold spring blade; Guillaume type self-compensating bimetallic balance with gold adjustment screws; Phillips-type terminal curve hairspring; all wheel platforms in gold; barrel engraved with the inscription “Girard Perregaux/*PATENTED */MARCH 25th 1884”, main plate engraved with “DÉPOSÉ”.