Haute Watch of the Week: Girard-Perregaux Neo Bridges Hands On

Girard-Perregaux is a brand that like no other knows how to create contemporary classics. One of the icons in their collection is the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, which first debuted in a pocket watch called the “Esmeralda” that ended up winning the gold medal at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris. While Girard-Perregaux has translated this pocket watch into a wrist watch, they also have been able to turn it into a contemporary version with the 2014 Neo Tourbillon. This was quite a feat, as it clearly shared the DNA of the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges yet in a very contemporary way. Now Girard-Perregaux adds another watch to this collection with the Neo Bridges.

Girard Perregaux Neo BridgesThe Neo Bridges is, in fact, an automatic watch in which as many of the parts as possible, or at least the most interesting ones, are placed on the dial side. Girard-Perregaux has placed great care in the design of this watch, with symmetry as one of the main focus points. They achieve this by giving the watch a micro-rotor and place it at the ten o’clock position. This balances it out against the mainspring barrel which can be found at two o’clock. Below them are two PVD-treated titanium bridges that resemble the ones from the Neo Tourbillon. The first secures part of the gear train, with the hands floating above them. The bottom is smaller and secured the balance wheel.

Girard Perregaux Neo BridgesThe movement is captured in a 45mm sandblasted titanium case. The relatively large diameter gives the movement all the room to shine, while the titanium keeps the weight pleasantly light.

Girard Perregaux Neo BridgesThe question is, do we miss the tourbillon? As a complication, yes.  It is more related to the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, so in that sense, the lineage is more direct, but even without having a tourbillon does the Neo Bridges offer ample appeal. The execution has this pleasing technical look to it, which at the same time still evokes that Haute Horlogerie background of Girard-Perregaux. The lack of a tourbillon (and the use of a titanium case) also make the Neo Bridges far more affordable. For $24.000,- this watch will be around your wrist, giving you a contemporary classic, that one day will become just a classic in its own right.

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