The Nineteen Seventies was a decade of revolutions. So far as watches are involved, it’s the interval of the appearance of the quartz watch, which had a significant affect on the business. If you’re a fan of mechanical watches, you may assume that it wasn’t for the nice… Certainly, the recognition of the brand new, correct quartz watches plunged the Swiss watch business in a deep disaster. Nonetheless, quartz watches had been a technological breakthrough, permitting to supply watches that had been cheaper and extra correct than anything earlier than. It additionally gave delivery to putting designs with new seems to be, types and functionalities. Amongst these is the 1976 Girard-Perregaux Casquette and its driver-type LED show. Practically half a century later, this emblematic creation is again. Meet the Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0.
The race to develop quartz watches
The Sixties and Nineteen Seventies had been an period of fast developments in know-how and the appearance of electronics sparked a revolution in watchmaking. The primary electrical wristwatch was offered in 1957 by Hamilton. Though quartz know-how had already been in use for a number of years for giant precision clocks, the true problem was to miniaturize this know-how. Within the Sixties, Swiss, American and Japanese watchmakers launched into a race to develop the primary purposes of quartz know-how for the wristwatch.
Swiss watchmakers undertook mixed analysis through the Swiss Watchmaking Analysis Laboratory (LSRH), after which with the Watchmaking Electronics Centre (CEH) from 1962. This consortium offered the primary prototype quartz wristwatch in 1966. For its half, Girard-Perregaux launched into the quartz journey by itself. The corporate had fairly an lively R&D division on the time and employed a younger electronics engineer from the Lausanne Polytechnic Faculty, Georges Vuffray, to develop its personal quartz actions. An Electronics analysis division was then arrange in 1966 and would give delivery to attention-grabbing developments. Girard-Perregaux accelerated its work, turning to collaboration with international corporations, through a partnership at first with Thomson CSF.
The primary quartz wristwatch to hit the market got here from Japan. In December 1969, Seiko introduced the launch of the Astron – the identical yr the primary automated chronographs got here to the market too. Just some weeks later, a number of initiatives had been offered on the 1970 Basel honest: the Swiss Beta 21 (CEH consortium), the Longines Extremely-Quartz and… the Girard-Perregaux Elcron. The next yr noticed the presentation of a second era of Girard-Perregaux quartz watches with an built-in circuit produced by Motorola. The calibre GP 350 quartz oscillator used for the primary time a frequency 32,768 Hz, adopted since then as a common normal. Girard-Perregaux met nice industrial success primarily based on probably the most superior technical designs, its capability to industrialize this innovation and a aggressive worth.
LED shows – the digital age
Apart from analog show watches, the quartz know-how introduced revolutionary designs with new types and functionalities. In 1970, straight out of science fiction, the Hamilton Pulsar got here with no palms and dial, changing these for the primary time ever with a digital show. Pushing a button made the time flash in pink LED (Mild Emitting Diodes) numerals on the darkish display screen. The LEDs had been so energy hungry that to keep away from depleting the battery, the time couldn’t be displayed completely.
One of many coolest watches with LED show created throughout the Nineteen Seventies is, indisputably, the Girard-Perregaux Casquette, with its driver-type show. In keeping with the model, a complete of 8,200 examples of this sought-after mannequin had been produced between 1976 and 1978. It was offered in chrome steel, in yellow gold-plated or in a cool gentle and sturdy composite materials known as Macrolon. This Nineteen Seventies space-age watch design was not formally known as the Casquette, nonetheless collectors nicknamed the watch with this moniker, which has since remained a part of horological parlance. Just like the Hamilton Pulsar, a push-piece allowed to activate the show to keep away from depleting the battery. A single press for the hours and minutes, a double press for the day and the date (or date just for some fashions), a triple press for the seconds.
The Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0
For the re-creation of this retro futuristic design, this time Girard-Perregaux has formally adopted the title Casquette including the caption 2.0 to remind that we’re speaking a couple of watch from the twenty first century.
The Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0 is a loyal copy of the unique design. The modern, tapered case measures 42.40mm in size, 33.60mm in width and has a most thickness of 14.64mm. It’s now offered in a case manufactured from scratch resistant matte black ceramic, with a grade 5 titanium caseback. The pusher and the GP badge on the case are additionally in titanium. The ceramic bracelet includes a rubber inside and the folding buckle is in titanium. Using these light-weight supplies ensures a complete weight of simply 107 grams. On the wrist, it wears tremendous comfy… whereas the space-like design will likely be a wonderful dialog starter.
As you’ll count on, the motion is totally new and upgraded with trendy know-how, which is an efficient factor given the quick battery lifetime of the unique one. The caliber GP03980-1474 shows the hours, the minutes, the seconds, the day and the date identical to the Nineteen Seventies motion (though totally different modules had been used again then) but it surely include further functionalities: the month, the yr, a chronograph, a second time zone and a secret date. The later permits you to save a memorable date of your selection that will likely be displayed as soon as a day at a particular time. Time is displayed on demand, and the battery life is of two years assuming that the pushers are pressed about 20 occasions a day on common.
The Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0 is launched in a restricted version of 820 watches (a nod to the 8,200 watches produced throughout the Nineteen Seventies). It retails for EUR 4,700, CHF 4,500 or USD 4,700. Pre-orders will open on the model’s web site as of at present, 22.02.2022.
On the event of Solely Watch 2021, Girard-Perregaux had launched a singular piece in solid carbon and titanium prefiguring the Casquette 2.0. The watch was auctioned for CHF 80,000.
For extra info, please go to www.girard-perregaux.com.