A Closer Look at the Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer BLUE
Girard-Perregaux adds an eye-catching, cobalt-colored edition of its architectural tour de force to Bucherer’s exclusive line of blue-accented creations.
Shortly after, the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based outfit followed up that stunning skeletonized take on its emblematic movement when, together with leading family-owned retailer Bucherer, it unveiled the Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer BLUE.
An azure-tinged edition of Girard-Perregaux’s sapphire-cased Laureato Absolute Light, it quickly established itself as one of the most coveted creations within the Bucherer Blue line of blue-accented timepieces, jewelry, vehicles, and lifestyle products, exclusively available at Bucherer boutiques and on its e-commerce platform.
This fall, Girard-Perregaux is back with another striking interpretation of its Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges (and it’s another exclusive Bucherer BLUE edition to boot), introducing: the Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer BLUE.
Iconic Movement Design
One of the world’s oldest watch movements still in production, Girard-Perregaux’s Tourbillon with Three Bridges has its roots in Constant Girard’s pocket watch tourbillon, developed over the 1860s. The brand co-founder’s iconic movement design featured a triumvirate of parallel, arrow-headed bridges: one for the barrel at 12 o’clock, one for the center wheel, and one for the tourbillon at 6 o’clock.
Over the past decade, Girard-Perregaux has refined those bridges, moving from a solid and angular shape to something more openworked and sculptural, its so-called “Neo” design.
Last year, the brand took that more contemporary architecture to another level when it stripped away the movement mainplate like never before to create a mind-blowing, ultra-skeletonized structure. First, for the inaugural watch of its partnership with Aston Martin, the brand used black titanium front and back bridges housed in a black titanium case.
With the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer BLUE, we see the return of the highly pared-back movement that seems to float within its case; although this time, it fittingly boasts a cobalt colorway in keeping with the Bucherer BLUE series that began in 2016.
Specifically, both the front and back flying bridges – all in titanium – have been blued via Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), making the structurally strong, visually light bridges really pop against the steel, white gold, and rhodium-treated components beneath.
Likewise, at 12 o’clock, the copper beryllium barrel is adorned with blue-lacquered engraving. The sizeable barrel is openworked, affording views of the long mainspring inside, which is wound by a white gold micro-rotor – concealed underneath the barrel – to offer a minimum power reserve of 60 hours.
Contributing further to that healthy power reserve is the lyre-shaped tourbillon cage, at 6 o’clock, which has been made in titanium to weigh just 0.25g, helping to reduce energy consumption.
Of course, the blue theme naturally carries over to the indications, with the white-gold hour and minute hands and titanium hour indices all treated with a Super-LumiNova that is an off-white in daylight but emits a cool blue glow in the dark. Meanwhile, a blued hand on the 60-second tourbillon serves as a captivating small-seconds display.
A Showcase on the Wrist
To bring out the best of its eye-catching movement, Girard-Perregaux has designed the case of this Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges to act like a showcase on the wrist. As such, the brand has essentially dispensed with a traditional bezel and caseback, instead sandwiching a 44mm natural titanium caseband between two domed “glass box” sapphire crystals.
This “glass box” construction not only helps to draw in more light, it also puts further emphasis on the movement – and the void around it – increasing the feeling of airiness and reinforcing the suspended nature of the mechanics.
There’s a deft mix of finishes on the titanium case parts, too – from a gleaming shine to a gentle sheen to a light-absorbing matte texture. Indeed, the caseband and lug sides are satin-finished, and the top and bottom of the lugs are polished, while the sandblasted crown features satin-finished notches.
As for the strap offered with this model, Girard-Perregaux has opted for something simple yet subtle: A gray calf leather strap with light gray hand-stitching.
Price & Availability
Priced at $167,000 and limited to just 18 pieces, the Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Bucherer BLUE is available through Bucherer's e-commerce platform and Bucherer boutiques. In the US, it is also available online and in-store at Tourneau, which Bucherer owns.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)