A Trip Up The Coast With Girard-Perregaux And Aston Martin
A beautiful watch, car, and coastline; what could be better?
Characterized by foggy mornings and balmy evenings, locals will tell you there’s nothing like August along California’s coast. Sliding into a 2021 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster, with its warm, bright yellow tang exterior juxtaposed against a cool morning mist, I depart Cannery Row, San Francisco and head south. Girard-Perregaux’s Neo Bridges Earth to Sky Edition watch is on my wrist, as I begin to feel the raw power of the Aston Martin's 503-horsepower motor. At 45mm it could easily overwhelm, but its lightweight titanium case and skeleton-esque dial give the illusion of a smaller watch.
A few miles into the drive, I dropped the top of the two-door convertible and careened toward the Pacific Coast Highway. Monterey pine forests quickly changed to rugged stretches of seaside cliffs, as the road narrowed and I crossed through Big Sur, down to Ragged Point, and onto San Simeon.
About the Neo Bridges Earth to Sky Edition
Faithful to the DNA of Girard-Perregaux, the Neo Bridges Earth to Sky Edition is inspired by the brand's Neo-Tourbillon models. It features a self-winding movement powered by a visible micro-rotor located at 10 o’clock. A welcome addition to the drive, the layout of the watch felt thoughtful without over-complication, much like the offset stitching on the accompanying alligator leather strap (paralleled by the interior of the Vantage Roadster).
The color-matched dials caught the midday sun, as I pulled to the side of the road, snapping photos of the cobalt-hued Pacific Ocean. Those shades of blue clearly resonated; I quickly found myself eating a purple and white, rainbow-sprinkled donut in the quaint town of Solvang. Known for its Danish-style architecture, I stretched my legs after passing the midpoint of the journey, wandering down alleyways reminiscent of Europe.
Winding Down the Day
It’s a short jaunt through the hills to Santa Barbara, where sprouted sandwiches and kombucha were on the menu. The essence of Golden State freshness, my late lunch hailed from California’s central valley, which produces a quarter of America’s food; I rightly raised my glass in a toast. Eye-catching in its design, the waiter praised my watch, which beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour and boasts a power reserve of exactly two days.
I chose to bid the day adieu at Butterfly Beach in Montecito, a little over an hour north of Los Angeles. As the name implies, it’s fairly common for a pastel sunset to be accompanied by some winged friends, and offset by a row of wind-shaped palm trees.
(Photography by Chris Meugniot)