Introducing: The Girard-Perregaux Esmeralda Tourbillon

The tourbillon known as “La Esmerelda” has had an interesting life. La Esmeralda – Girard-Perregaux tourbillon no. 168230. La Esmerelda was and is well known for its beauty – the characteristic, arrow point golden scaffold configuration was invented by Constant Girard, and was the subject of a U.S. patent in 1884 – but in addition to being extremely beautiful, she was, similar to all tourbillons planned by Constant Girard, intended to be an intense timekeeper in reality, and, in addition to being granted a bulletin at the Neuchâtel Observatory in 1889, she likewise won a gold decoration in Paris at the Universal Exposition in the exact year; Girard Perregaux tourbillons are said to have performed so well that in 1901 the Paris Exposition stopped accepting Girard-Perregaux 3 Golden Bridge tourbillons on the grounds that they won so frequently, it was thought uncalled for to permit them to enter.

You may review our past inclusion of an early Girard-Perregaux tourbillon under three scaffolds, from 1860 – GP records are unfortunately incomplete for this period, but the first such tourbillon was for sure made in 1860 and it’s conceivable this one was the very first.

Movement, Girard-Perregaux tourbillon under 3 extensions, 1860

The three scaffolds tourbillon configuration has been utilized extensively by GP in recent years. After 1901, for different reasons (most likely including everything the ascent of the wristwatch to the monetary emergencies of the 1930s, to the advent of two World Wars) production stopped, but it started again in 1982 when Girard-Perregaux undertook to construct, as a limited arrangement, 20 pocket watches under 3 golden extensions. The arrangement is still not complete but we can say that those pocket watches were built as accuracy timekeepers just as show-stoppers; no. 14 of the arrangement was tested by the COSC (Swiss office of chronometer certification) in 1987 and 1993, with excellent results.

The La Esmeralda Tourbillon wristwatch is, with a specific goal in mind, a return if not to essentials, certainly to fundamentals. There is no experimentation with exotic materials or irregular plan here: the La Esmeralda wristwatch has all the visual excitement of Girard-Perregaux’s tourbillons under three golden extensions from the mid to late 19th century. The plan is in each key respect identical, to all intents and purposes, to the La Esmeralda pocket watch – the solitary significant distinction, in fact is that the La Esmeralda wristwatch is self-winding. The automatic winding rotor is mounted co-pivotally with the origin barrel, and the bigger size heart this permits gives the watch a total force save of 60 hours.

Other than that technical detail, the La Esmeralda wristwatch is a lot of a purist’s tourbillon, right down to the characteristic lyre-molded tourbillon carriage so characteristic of Constant Girard’s work – it’s a respect to a significant part of watchmaking history, and the history of Girard-Perregaux, and all it’s inchs a piece of history itself.

The Girard-Perregaux La Esmeralda Tourbillon: movement, Girard-Perregaux type GP09400-0004, 16 lignes/36.60 mm, height 8.41 mm. Self-twisting with 60 hour power hold. Tourbillon carriage: GP “lyre” configuration, steel, weight 0.305g. Case, 44 mm x 14.55 mm, pink gold, 30 m water resistant. Visit Girard-Perregaux online here .

Read our inclusion from recently of two striking pocket watches from the Girard-Perregaux historical center, including what might be the first tourbillon under three extensions, here.

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