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Girard Perregaux Competizione Stradale Chronograph: an experience report

Girard Perregaux Competizione Stradale Chronograph: an experience report

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When you look around on social media including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, you see a lot of people posting a lot of “nice” expensive watches.  Often watches that are unobtainable for most of us, simply due to their pricelevel.  However, any photos can never convey the true feeling of wearing a watch on your own wrist.  Of holding the watch in your own hands, of touching the buttons and setting the time and date.  Nothing beats the real experience.  That is one reason why I like to attend big fairs such as Baselworld.  Sometimes I am lucky and certain manufacturers give me the opportunity to shoot their watches in privacy at home.  So this time, a very famous and old manufacture did exactly that.  And it will not be the last time.

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Girard Perregaux was founded in 1791 and has its 225th anniversary in 2016.  To my knowledge, Girard Perregaux belongs to the few manufactures which has operated without interruption since its foundation.  225 years in business is a long time, and Girard Perregaux, like most others, was pretty much forced to introduce a quartz watch when the crisis started.  Girard-Perregaux presented its first wristwatch to the world to be equipped with a quartz movement in 1970 and the following year a second one which vibrates at 32,768 hertz, the frequency remaining the universal standard for quartz watches today.  Girard Perregaux belongs to Sowind, a subsidiary of Kering Group which also owns Ulysse Nardin.

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This year, I tried to visit Girard Perregaux at Baselworld, and unfortunately the manufacture based in La Chaux de Fonds was so incredibly busy that they could not accomodate my appointment.  Nevertheless, I stayed in touch with the German PR people and received a wonderful Girard Perregaux Competizione Stradale Chronograph, inspired from Italian car racing. This automatic chronograph presents itself in a timeless and elegant demeanor and was just introduced at this year’s Baselworld.  It is part of the “Sport Competizione” collection which brought two new chronographs at Baselworld.  One is this “Stradale”, the other is a new more sporty looking “Circuito” chronograph.  Stradale is the Italian word for street, so you can interpret this chronograph as the “street competition” chronograph while the other chronograph, the “Circuito” translates into racing track.

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Girard Perregaux Competizione Stradale

I am only presenting the “Stradale” chronograph here.  I took the time to shoot it in different settings, inside and outside.  Trying to capture its timeless elegance, and while some may question classic elegance in a 42mm large case, this watch wraps around your wrist like a charm due to its curved lugs.

Chronographs are not only stopwatches, but they can help measure speed or distance, or time the pulse of a human (these watches are often referred to as “doctor’s watches”).  This chronograph has a tachymeter which is used to compute “speed based on travel time or measure distance based on speed” (from Wikipedia).

Tachymeter
Tachymeter

Despite its modeular inhouse movement, and the winding crown sitting lower than the pump pushers, the watch sits very well on the wrist, and the crown is not digging into your skin, at least not if you wear it on your left wrist.

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Sorry for the shake, and I cannot repeat this photo.  Just to show how the crown sits away from your wrist.  It was hard to photograph your wrist in this angle with your camera, and I had noone else at hand to put the watch on their wrist.

 

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This chronograph has a 42mm steelcase.  Height is 13.75mm.  You can have it either with a silver dial or a black dial.  The crown screws in and is waterproof to 3atms.

The caliber GP03300-0031 (silver dial) or GP03300-0122 (black dial) is a modular inhouse automatic caliber: 

Movement of GP Competizione Stradale
Movement of GP Competizione Stradale

Movement details:

Diameter: 25,60 mm (11 1/2’’’)

Height: 6,50 mm

Frequency: 28.800 A/h – (4 Hz)

Powerreserve: at least 46 hours

Components: 435

Jewels: 63

Functions: hours, minutes, small second, date and chronograph

IMG_0793 beauty

Pricing for Germany and Austria:

Silver dial:

Ref. 49590-11-111-BBBA brown alligatorstrap

Listprice in Germany incl. VAT: 9.600,- €

Ref. 49590-11-111-11A steel bracelet

Listprice in Germany incl. VAT: 10.300,- €

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Black dial:

Ref. 49590-11-611-BB6A schwarzes Alligatorlederarmband

Listprice in Germany incl. VAT: 9.300,- €

Ref. 49590-11-611-11A Edelstahlarmband

Listprice in Germany incl. VAT: 10.300,- €

IMG_0650 GP1

Girard Perregaux offers a service to repair and overhaul their vintage timepieces as well.

Girard Perregaux has their place in the world of vintage watches with many beautiful chronograph timepieces that most of the time carry beautiful movements, such as Excelsior Park movements.

This modern interpretation clearly shows where Girard Perregaux is coming from, you see the luminous dots on the dial similar to Tritium or radium dots in the past.

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The case has beautifully finished highgloss areas as well as satinated matte areas.

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While some people may ask is it worth it, the answer is that only you can decide.  If you want a beautiful chronograph from one of the oldest manufactures in Switzerland, with an inhouse movement, then you are right here.  The finish and feel are very upscale, the watch exudes an aura of elegance and style.  Timelessness.  Something you cannot find on every watch.  Yes, there are plenty of alternatives, and tastes are different.  Which is a good thing.  This is a watch for a connoisseur, someone who knows what he has on his wrist, but which doesn’t scream “look at me how rich I am”.  Only you know how rich you are, and deep inside, you can smile…

Merken

Merken

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