At Miami Watches & Wonders exhibition in 2019, Girard Perregaux unveiled Quasar, a high complication timepiece featuring a case entirely made of sapphire crystal.
Just one year ago, Girard-Perregaux introduced the Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton. In this new creation, the intricate inner workings the new Neo-Tourbillon with Three bridges movement are fully revealed through a case entirely made of sapphire crystal – a first for the iconic Swiss watch Manufacture.
Based on the “Earth to Sky” theme, this complication model is named after the most brilliant of astronomical entities, the quasar. Thus illuminated, this tourbillon with its contemporary spirit enters the light spectrum with a case entirely made of transparent sapphire crystal. Through these crystalline walls, Calibre GP9400-1035 reveals its open-worked construction much like a star viewed with a telescope.
Quasar embodies a natural application of the four principles governing the Girard-Perregaux universe.
The first is the 1884 patent for three gold bridges visible on the dial side, the unique signature of the Maison. The second is the skeleton work hand-finished in the workshops of La Chaux-de-Fonds. The third is the 2015 birth of the Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges. The latter were neither straight nor made of gold, but instead arched, skeletonised and black. The fourth is the use of sapphire serving a function that is more technical than that of mere watch glasses. With the Laureato with Three Sapphire Bridges presented in 2007, crystal corundum had found its place in the very structure of a Fine Watchmaking calibre. These four vectors converge to create Quasar.
The 45 mm diameter Quasar case is entirely made of sapphire crystal. A chimney-style glass covers the movement bridges like a telluric dome. Its all-of-a-piece caseband features curving sides and angular lugs.
Calibre GP9400-1035 is a modified version of Calibre 9400, from which the mainplate has been removed. Almost as if this had created a vacuum, the movement finds itself in an almost weightless state. Only physically essential anchoring points remain, as if providing a demonstration of aerial technique.
The bridges visually contribute to Quasar’s overall transparency effect. They are made of titanium, sandblasted and then blackened by a PVD treatment. Their shape is so complex in all three dimensions, composed of interior angles, arches, returns and overhangs, that machining them represents a true watchmaking feat.
Case and dial
Material: sapphire glass
Diameter: 45 mm
Height: 15.25 mm
Glass: anti-reflective sapphire
Case-back: sapphire crystal
Dial: no dial
Hands: skeletonised, white gold, ‘Dauphine’ type, with luminescent material
Water resistance: 30 meters (3 ATM)
Functions: Tourbillon, hours, minutes, small seconds on the tourbillon
Power reserve: min. 60 hours
Number of components: 260, of which 27 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 Vib/h – (3 Hz)
Diameter: 36.00 mm (16’’’)
Thickness: 9.54 mm
Tourbillon carriage composed of 80 components weighing only 0.250 grams
Material: hand-sewn black alligator leather
Buckle: titanium triple folding clasp