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First Look

THE TOURBILLON WITH THREE FLYING BRIDGES – A MASTERPIECE OF HAUTE HORLOGERIE

By Amanda Evans | 3 minute read

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When Girard-Perregaux unveiled its Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges back in 1867, it cemented itself as an icon in the history of watchmaking and became known for making the invisible visible. Now, in celebration of the brand’s 230th Anniversary and in line with Geneva Watch Days, Girard-Perregaux has revealed its Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges.

The Three Flying Bridges model is the final sub family to add to the brand’s collection of bridges watches. The three bridges, characteristically hidden from view in watchmaking, are an illustration of perfectionism and incredible craftsmanship that undoubtedly should be on show for all to see. With a philosophy that turns function into a design aesthetic, the three bridges have embraced a contemporary appeal that demonstrates a bond between Girard-Perregaux’s roots in the past with a bridge to the vision of the future.

We wanted to create a watch that provides a bridge to our past but also demonstrates our vision for the future. It draws on the talents of our artisans and watchmakers, pairing traditional methods with innovative techniques.Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux

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A Vision of Horological Beauty

When the inner craftsmanship of a watch is revealed, you know that you are looking at something quite special, that it’s almost humbling to be given the key to the door of the most exquisite work by artisans who strive for nothing other than perfectionism. The Three Flying Bridges model evokes this and more. For the first time all three Neo bridges are crafted in pink gold. The upper and lower surfaces of the bridge have a black PVD coating and only the slender vertical flanks of the bridges are exposed, presenting a nod to their superior composition. Superbly discreet, only those who are inquisitive enough understand how precious they are. The bridges appear like a modern architectural structure, seemingly floating in mid-air, defying all gravity, yet supporting the geartrain, barrel and tourbillon they also perform as the mainplate. Whilst the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges appears contemporary, its artisanal roots synonymous with Haute Horlogerie are still very much upheld.

Where our team has chosen to add a slight twist is by making the bridges from gold and then shrouding them in black PVD, save for their sides. It seems wonderfully indulgent, a trait synonymous with luxury, that will remain a secret to most people, except those in the know.Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux

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A Three-Dimensional Masterpiece

One of the most notable elements of this timepiece is the play on three dimensional forms. Dial elements are positioned at varying heights, an imitation of some of the most superb architectural structures. Yet despite its complex look, the dial remains clear and uncluttered with the barrel, gear train and tourbillon arranged along a north-south axis. Demonstrating Girard-Perregaux’s attention to the most minute detail, the rotors are even engraved with the name of the watch model along the vertical side. The tourbillon has a historical design but now manufactured from Grade 5 titanium and within a cage weighing a mere 0.25 grams it is remarkably delicate. Eschewing a conventional bezel, the sapphire crystal has a curved aesthetic that runs to the outer edge of the case, using four to five times as much material than a regular sapphire crystal and necessitating expert polishing to ensure that it is flawless.

The Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges surely is a sight to behold.

Discover more from Girard-Perregaux here at Watches of Switzerland.