Girard-Perregaux is one of the most renowned producers of classic, premium timepieces. This Swiss company, which is also known as G-P, traces its origins back to 1791 making it one of the older watch manufacturing units in Switzerland.
Its present day name celebrates the marriage of watch maker Constant Girard with Marie Perregaux, and came into existence in mid-nineteenth century. Currently, the brand's various activities are housed in a group of buildings in the Swiss Jura town of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
What sets Girard-Perregaux as a class apart from the rest is its internal Research and Development department, which draws inspiration from its extensive watch making tradition and cutting-edge technology. In addition, ever since the beginning of its activities the company has been manufacturing the majority of movements used within the timepieces, instead of sourcing it from outside companies
The most famous timepiece developed by Girard-Perregaux is the “Tourbillon Under Three Gold Bridges” or Tourbillon Sous Trois Points d'Or., which is perhaps the most well known pocket watch within the world of horology. In fact in 1991, to celebrate its bicentenary, the company used its remarkable skills to create a miniaturized version of the highly celebrated Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges pocket-watch.
A notable landmark in Girard-Perregaux’s history was when Otto Graef, a German watchmaker and owner of MIMO (Manufacture Internationale de Montres Or), bought out Girard-Perregaux’s share capital. It was the year 1930, and for the first time in the company’s history more wristwatches than pocket-watches were sold.
This eventful movement took place almost fifty years after Constant Girard had anticipated it. Its significance lies in the fact that after this the world moved to wrist watches, an instrument we use to the present date. The brand grew rapidly under the leadership of Otto Graef in Europe and America. One of its most popular models at that time was the water-resistant Sea Hawk.
In 1945, the company came up with a curved rectangular watch that caught Europe’s fancy. The brand was recreated in 1995 as the Vintage 1945 collections, and became a rage both among men and women. The three other important collections from the house of Girard-Perregaux are Richeville and Classique Elegance and the Cat’s Eye line of watches that were launched for women in 2004.
Currently the Girard-Perregaux brand is owned by Italian entrepreneur, architect and former racing driver, Luigi Macaluso. Under his leadership, Girard-Perregaux signed a co-branding agreement with Ferrari and has also become involved in the America's Cup alongside the BMW Oracle Racing Team.