Wowzers! Impressed by La Esmeralda, the model’s prize-winning pocket watch made for the ‘Exposition Universelle’ in 1889, the Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon “À Secret” Eternity Version watch is as a lot a mouthful as it’s an eyeful. Having seen it in individual, I’m fairly thrilled to have the ability to current it to you in real-world photos as a result of, my goodness, is it a factor to behold in individual.
The craziest factor about it? Nope, not the engraved enamel and gold case, not the horses, not even the 323-part motion… To me, it’s the dimension. Measuring in at 43.00mm by 15.10mm, it’s giant, however someway so fantastically proportionate and condensed that the La Esmeralda Tourbillon truly feels not less than a number of millimeters smaller than that determine would recommend. And whereas I’m passionate about massively difficult enormous watches, the truth that they’re usually unwearable takes a giant chunk off their edge. In contrast, the Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon in its wristwatch type seems to be prefer it’s been shrunken by the sheer weight of all that gold, enamel, and outrageousness.
Even on my slim 17cm-circumference wrist, it regarded like a watch with its roots set someplace within the realm of timeless gown watches than within the no-holds-barred sport of outsized six-figure-priced wrist monsters of the twenty first century. So, that’s one thing I did discover refreshing. In different phrases, if I noticed this on an oligarch, oil rig/coal mine proprietor, newbie cosmonaut, or president, I’d assume not less than just a little bit larger of his/her style, than in the event that they wore one thing equally outrageous – that can be visibly method too giant for cozy put on. Oh, and why “president?” As a result of the unique La Esmeralda pocket watch was offered to Porfirio Diaz, then president of Mexico (1830-1915) and the world isn’t precisely brief on presidents whom we may think about rocking one thing like this. Some even like horses very a lot.
Even when worn in a golden presidential workplace, the Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon “À Secret” will efficiently draw consideration to itself – just for it to then punch spectators straight within the eye. It’s simply a lot watch. Wrapped in fully hand-engraved 18k pink gold – similar to the 56mm pocket watch of 1889 – it mixes the brilliant glow of gold with the endlessly various shadows of the tons of of leaf-pattern engravings. The case profile can be engraved gold, which is then coated in enamel that contains a mix of silica, minium, potash, soda, and numerous steel oxides to present it its coloration, all fired at round 800 °C (~1,500 °F). This unashamedly vintage-looking band (that appears prefer it may be on an opulent piece of previous tableware) does quite a bit in the way in which of minimizing the obvious thickness of the case, too.
The dial can be in engraved gold with blue enamel over it, though numerous it has gone lacking to make room for the brilliantly simple format typical to the Girard-Perregaux Triple Bridges: a mainspring on the prime, an enormous golden wheel within the middle, and a fantastically completed tourbillon on the backside. The tourbillon consists of 78 elements and weighs a complete of simply 0.3 grams. All of the bases of all three bridges are excellently mirror-polished (which, come to consider it, is the one option to do mirror sharpening). That’s a giant deal as a result of these surfaces are completely huge and due to this fact an utter chore to get proper: Mirror sharpening is completed by hand because the craftsperson applies the evenest quantity of strain to the piece whereas shifting it over an abrasive floor often in a figure-eight sample. The little screw-heads are additionally mirror-polished with flanked and polished edges, in fact. In keeping with the model, “It requires 40 hours to complete every bridge, whereas the extra engraving discovered on the barrel bridge and tourbillon takes an additional 50 hours to finish…”
…That’s 40 hours, or a full week, in labor simply to complete the three bridges for one watch. No strain, then, on whoever is putting in these screws.
“Regardless of having intensive archives,” Girard-Perregaux admits to “discovering no report concerning the importance of stated horses [seen on the original 1889 pocket watch]. Certainly, the horses have now turn into generally known as the equine thriller.” Anyhow, the galloping horses add newfound vitality to the Triple Bridges format, and whereas luxurious manufacturers usually get animal-themed watches tremendous tacky in terms of proportions and use of colours, right here these 1.5-or-so centimeters (0.6-inch) horses do handle so as to add to the entire slightly than making all of it ridiculous.
On the caseback, the theme continues as a mixture of cloisonné enamel (for the horses) and engraved enamel (for the remainder of the case again) come collectively. The entire thing feels comfortable and fantastically made to the contact, wrapped by the intricately fluted periphery of the gold case again. At instances the enamel seems virtually black and a shiny, singular floor, whereas if gentle finds its method by means of it, the increasing engraved sample beneath reveals itself. We’re speaking correct old-money-heirloom stage of issues right here.
From the picture above, you’ve most likely already guessed why this epic watch is known as the Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon “À Secret” – it’s for its hunter-style caseback that contains a hinged outer lid which could be opened by urgent the crown pusher to disclose a sapphire crystal (absolutely sealed) caseback which in flip reveals the GP09600-1506 self-winding motion. “Self-winding?” I hear you ask. Though there isn’t a huge rotor to be seen over the motion, nor a peripheral motion alongside the sting, the GP09600 tourbillon motion is, certainly, automated: a white-gold micro-rotor sits beneath the barrel, out of sight, energizing the mainspring with, in keeping with Girard-Perregaux, “minimal person enter.”
Completed to an especially excessive commonplace with extra mirror-polished elements, beveled spokes on wheels, beveled edges elsewhere, polished screw-heads and countersinks, together with a brand new type of ending that the model claims is an industry-first unique to Girard-Perregaux. This is able to be concave beveling that entails making a curved recess between the floor and flank, that transitions from one shade to a different. All in all, it’s a spectacular, albeit not precisely neatly balanced, motion – its absolute absence of symmetry stands towards the signature equilibrium that’s the dial aspect of the Triple Bridges caliber.
A very spectacular watch instructions a really spectacular value: The Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon “À Secret” Eternity Version is priced at 360,300 Swiss Francs. You possibly can be taught extra on the model’s web site.