Girard-Perregaux presents La Esmeralda Tourbillon in white gold. This timepiece is directly inspired by the famous pocket watch created by Constant Girard, which won a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889.
A worthy heir to the prestigious timepieces that have enabled Girard-Perregaux to build a reputation for excellence, the Esmeralda Tourbillon tells a story of passion for aesthetics and precision.
Since the founding of his Manufacture and even more so with the 1860 development of his first Tourbillon with Three Bridges timepiece, Constant Girard was drawing ever closer to watchmaking perfection. He then worked on the structure of the tourbillon and the shape of the components. A revolution in the history of watchmaking, establishing for the first time the mechanism of a watch as a design element in its own right, above and beyond its technical function.
This almost minimalist construction won a first prize in chronometry in the Neuchâtel
Observatory competition in 1867 and would later enable Girard-Perregaux to win a gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889. Following the latter, the famous jeweller and watch retailer Hauser, Zivy & Cie, owner of the “La Esmeralda” boutiques in Paris and Mexico was appointed to sell this exceptional pocket watch, hence the name of today’s watch.
In 2016, when celebrating its 225th anniversary, Girard-Perregaux presented a pink gold Esmeralda Tourbillon inspired by this famous pocket watch. Winner of the title of the 2016 Tourbillon Watch Prize awarded by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, it is a magnificent mechanical expression of an aesthetic quest dedicated to the ultimate precision that the House aims to achieve.
Transcendent and majestic, with its inimitable and unequalled design, the Tourbillon with Three Bridges calibre has established itself in the history of the trade as the oldest watch movement still in production, since its general structure has remained unchanged since 1860.
In a clever blend of aesthetic, technical and symbolic principles, the mainplate is fitted with solid gold bridges, barrel, gear train and tourbillon. Their double arrow-shaped designs are entirely hand-decorated and are perfectly inspired by the bridges of the historic Esmeralda.
The surface of the arrows is mirror-polished, the edges are hand-bevelled and the sides are straight-grained.
To increase visual contrast and better catch the light, the bridge arms are carefully rounded by hand using a burnisher. In their centre, the diamond-polished chatons, held in place by two screws, require the barrel, the centre wheel and the tourbillon carriage to be aligned on the same plane.
The 80-component carriage is entirely hand-finished and requires extreme skill on the part of the watchmaker assembling it. With its characteristic hand-polished lyre shape representing the signature of the Manufacture, this perfectly balanced organ with its almost mesmerizing revolutions houses a balance wheel with a high moment of inertia oscillating at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz).
This 16-ligne calibre (36.60 mm in diameter) measuring 8.41 mm thick requires one month’s work to assemble its 310 components. The ternary structure of the mainplate is perceptible at first glance.
The unidirectional automatic winding system uses a micro-rotor concentrically placed beneath the barrel and no longer around its rim. Thanks to this ingenious construction, watchmakers were able to increase the diameter of the barrel drum and thus lengthen the spring so as to guarantee a power reserve of at least 60 hours.
Model: La Esmeralda Tourbillon
Case and dial
Material: white gold
Diameter: 44.00 mm
Thickness: 14.55 mm
Glass: glare proofed box-type sapphire crystal
Caseback: sapphire crystal
Hands: Dauphine type
Water resistance: 3 ATM ~ 30 metres
Tourbillon, hours, minutes, small seconds on the tourbillon
Movement: GP09400-0016, mechanical self-winding
Diameter: 36.60 mm (16’’’)
Thickness: 8.41 mm
Frequency: 21,600 Alt/h – (3 Hz)
Number of components: 310
Power reserve: min. 60 hours
Tourbillon: Tourbillon carriage comprising 80 parts, weighing 0.305 g
Hand-sewn black alligator leather strap
White gold triple folding clasp