Designed by the watchmakers of the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture as an ode to fine mechanics, the 1966 Skeleton offers a glimpse deep into the heart of its magnificent automatic caliber thanks to its impressive openworked components, all decorated by hand in an original and contemporary manner.
Catching the watchmaking connoisseur’s educated eye is a difficult task as it involves finding the right balance. To reveal the magic of a watch’s mechanics today, it is no longer enough to simply skeletonize a movement to let in the light. One needs – as the Girard-Perregaux artisans have done – to establish a clear vision of the stylistic identity of the manufacture and its interpretation of the art of watchmaking.
This identity is a continuation of that implemented by Jean-François Bautte, the watchmaker whose company, launched in 1791, and would give rise to the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture. From this point of view, the time becomes a pretext for revealing the potential of the mechanical watch as a work of art. Delicate and complex, the openworked structure of the large 1966 watch movement with automatic winding, measuring 13 ¼ lignes (30.00 mm), invites contemplation of its bridges and plates. In this exposed millimetric design, gears, levers, bolts and other usually invisible components can be glimpsed within the openings – chamfered, polished, satin-brushed and hand-finished by the watch artisans. Their expertise has enabled them to push back the structural limits of the material and infuse it with a sublime character by skeletonizing the mechanics, the leaf-shaped hands of which are, along with the balance wheel judiciously placed at 12 o’clock, the defining graphic feature.
Discover the heart of the matter
This movement, derived from the famous GP1800 caliber, is treated using a galvanic process (anthracite gray ruthenium) and worked like a metal net. It enables the eye to follow the movement of energy thanks to the rhodium-plated geartrain. During this voyage of discovery into the heart of a mechanical labyrinth comprising 173 components, including 25 jewels, the eyes come to rest on the sweep seconds at 10 o’clock carried by the seconds wheel. They are then in turn captivated by the quick oscillations of the regulating organ featuring a “Microvar” variable inertia balance exclusive to Girard-Perregaux, pulsating at 4 hz (28,800 vibrations per hour). To further enhance this 13 ¼ ligne caliber within the 38 mm diameter 18k pink gold case, Girard-Perregaux chose to skeletonize the oscillating weight which, visible through the sapphire crystal case back, has been crafted in gold. Magnificently balanced, this rotor ensures optimal winding of the barrel destined to guarantee autonomy of more than 54 hours.
The timeless design of the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton confirms the manufacturer’s aesthetic sensibility, the virtuosity of its artisans and watchmakers, and also highlights its exceptional mastery of the art of finishing and decorating movements. This perfect piece is worn simply on a black alligator strap fastened by a pink gold pin buckle. The year celebrating the 225th
anniversary of the Manufacture showcases the search for sophistication initiated by Jean-François Bautte in the 18th
century. The Manufacture continues this centuries-old expertise and preserves its legacy through elaborate finishes and magnificently accurate creations.