Hands-On With Girard-Perregaux’s 1966 Blue Moon: Classic Horlogerie Meets Modern Poetry
The 1966 line is Girard-Perregaux’s most classic line. With the unveiling of their "Earth to Sky" theme at this year's SIHH, the La Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture presented these key pieces in deep blue tones bringing a very modern touch. A week with the new 1966 Blue Moon brings irrefutable proof.
Founded in 1791, Girard-Perregaux is one of those few fine watchmaking manufactures with a very, very long past. The 1966 collection is characterized by classicism and is the representation of the "dress" watch par excellence. In 2019, the brand has profited from modernism, freshness, and character. But, released this summer, the Blue Moon adds an emotional poetic note to Girard-Perregaux’s portfolio.
Classic Finesse and Modern Character
At first glance, the 1966 Blue Moon has all the characteristics of pure horological classicism. Its size of 40mm is modest and its thickness is contained to 10.8mm with delicate and refined curves. The two central hour and minute hands are slender in the shape of "leaves" and the seconds are ginned by a thin stick-type hand and its elegant counterweight.
A real classic, but it's the color that changes everything. Almost black at the edge of the rounded dial, the color gradually lightens with the blue gradient of the "Earth to Sky" theme.
This, in turn, creates a sunburst effect that adds dimension to the dial. Depending on the angle, light constantly plays off the shades of deep blue and electric midnight blue. The sunburst effect is subtle and refined, giving real character to the timepiece.
The case also helps give this piece a strong personality. Despite the slim dimensions of the bezel, the slender curves and clean lines of the brushed steel with black DLC finish gives the watch a potent presence.
Moon Phase and Hand Finishes
The deep hue of the dial artfully highlights the elongated "baton" hour indices, applied by hand and mirror-polished at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock, and doubled at 12 o'clock. The characteristic hands of the collection - also mirror-polished - stand out perfectly against the dark background offering optimal readability.
The sub-dial at 6 o'clock includes the date, indicated by a discreet little leaf hand, as well as an elegant moon phase. Displayed in a traditional window, the moon and stars are mirror-polished so they sparkle in the sky, animating the face of the watch. Finally, the 31st of the month is done in red and brings a colorful note to the meter. Overall, it's legible, aesthetic, and evocative.
Haute Horlogerie Movement
What more could be asked for? A very high-quality caliber, of course. Thus, Girard-Perregaux chose its GP03300-0115 movement with its proven reliability. The mechanical caliber with automatic winding beats at a frequency of 4 Hz and is impeccably precise, providing a week of wear without requiring adjustment.
The movement finishes are also worthy of the Girard-Perregaux name with Côtes de Genève, perlage, and beveling on the main plate and bridges. The only downside is that these haute horlogerie finishes are barely visible through the sapphire crystal due to its smoky finish. And, although this adds a sense of mystery, it's a little frustrating when you know the beauty and precision of the GP engine.
Ultimately, Girard-Perregaux’s 1966 Blue Moon is a timepiece combining classicism and originality. Although discreet, it certainly does not go unnoticed as many watch lovers spotted it on my wrist throughout the week.
With its dynamic color, elegant finishes, and haute horlogerie caliber the 1966 Blue Moon has many assets that appeal to discerning aficionados.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)