Aston Martin, Girard-Perregaux partner for 18-example timepiece
Aston Martin revealed the first timepiece produced in partnership with Girard-Perregaux: the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges-Aston Martin Edition.
In its statement, the European luxury automaker claimed that the newest timepiece — limited to only 18 pieces worldwide — showcases the Swiss watchmaker's expertise combined “with Aston Martin’s unique knowledge of luxury and performance.”
In a release, Aston Martin said, “Both brands demonstrate a passion for refined craftsmanship and have been working together, sharing their understanding of design, materials, and technology."
“This latest model celebrates the iconic three bridges pocket watch from the 19th century in a decidedly contemporary way, down to the smallest details, including the strap. The latter is a world premiere, presented in black calf leather and featuring Rubber Alloy, an innovative rubber insert injected with white gold. The design of the strap is intended to evoke thoughts of Aston Martin racing cars of the past,” it added.
As with its other carefully crafted timepieces, the latest Girard-Perregaux model “skillfully plays with proportions and shapes much to the delight of aesthetes.”
The 44-millimeter case of the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges-Aston Martin Edition is made up of Grade 5 titanium—selected by Aston Martin for its lightweight properties—covered in black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon). The said ore was first discovered in Great Britain, the home of Aston Martin, by English clergyman William Gregor in 1791—the same year Girard-Perregaux was founded.
A sapphire crystal “coaxes light to illuminate the case interior” to increase readability. The iconic three-bridge signature of Girard-Perregaux is made of titanium with black PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) treatment and polished angles span the dial of the watch.
The airy appearance of the watch affords views of moving components that are usually hidden from sight.
“While Girard-Perregaux has a long history of making the invisible visible, in this instance it has ventured off-piste, creating a watch whose movement appears to levitate within the case. This is achieved by paring back the movement, causing the mainplate to seemingly disappear, thereby creating the illusion of the movement flying within the case. It was this particular characteristic that led to the term ‘Flying Bridges.'”
Same as with the company’s tourbillons dating back to the 19th century, the case of the latest tourbillon (measuring 10mm) has a lyre-shaped design. A blued hand pinned to the cage shows the running seconds. It is also made up of 79 components, collectively weighing only 0.25 grams.
“The barrel, positioned at 12 o’clock, is openworked, affording partial views of the mainspring. A white gold micro-rotor, positioned beneath the barrel, energizes the mainspring and, unlike most automatic watches, it grants unobstructed views of the movement. The car company’s name is engraved on the vertical flank of the micro-rotor and is filled with white luminescent treatment which appears blue in restricted light. Likewise, the indexes and hands are also treated with white luminescent treatment and, once again, emit a blue glow in dim light.”
Girard-Perregaux Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pruniaux is pleased with the partnership forged with Aston Martin.
“We are delighted to partner with Aston Martin, entrusting their team with arguably our most iconic timepiece, delivering a fresh perspective on Haute Horlogerie. Rarely do we work with others to reinterpret the Three Bridges, however, on this occasion, we have made an exception, mindful of Aston Martin’s prowess for design.
“When viewing the design of an Aston Martin, you will note the firm’s distinctive front grille, first seen on the DB Mark III of the late 50s. Likewise, the scoops and side strakes found on the company’s modern-day models are functional elements, intended to improve airflow while enriching the overall appearance of each car.
“At Girard-Perregaux we share a similar philosophy. For example, when the Maison released the now-legendary Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges in 1867, it transformed three functional elements into attractive aesthetic features and demonstrated an approach that we continue to employ today. Finally, this latest partnership provides a fascinating chapter in Girard-Perregaux’s 230-year history.”
Meanwhile, Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman shared Pruniaux sentiments.
"The greatest of the challenges we faced with the design of this new timepiece were those of scale, as you can imagine. We had to consider lines and proportion on a far smaller scale than we are used to in the realm of automotive design. That said, good design is good design, whether it is a watch or a car, the principles remain the same. I’m delighted with the finished watch and congratulate everyone who worked on this project as this collaboration has produced a timepiece of great beauty."
Photos from Aston Martin