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Girard-Perregaux victory

The Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement L.M. wins the Aiguille d'Or at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix

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18 November 2013

 

This was one of the most original watch designs of 2013, with a totally new escapement. Admired by everyone at the Baselworld show in Geneva earlier this year, it was no surprise that it won a prize at the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix. The basic concept of the watch was inspired by a train ticket, which, if held between two fingers with enough pressure to bend it, can be snapped across to the other side. More scientifically, this process of buckling is interesting because as the ticket is pressed on one side, it absorbs energy and becomes unstable, so that the energy it has absorbed at the moment of flicking across is always the same. In the Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement watch, this energy is delivered to the balance wheel. Unlike a normal escapement, in which the energy delivered decreases as the mainspring runs down, this mechanism always delivers the same amount of energy. Not surprisingly, the constant escapement mechanism is visible on the dial of the watch, with a butterfly-wing frame and the vibrating blade – in silicone, just 14 microns thick, six times thinner than a human hair – on its central axis. Not only does it look different, it sounds different as well. Energy is supplied by two barrels coupled in parallel.

The movement is housed in a circular 48-millimetre case in white gold, with a curved case band. The hour and minutes indications are on a subdial at 12 o’clock. The watch has a sapphire glass caseback; power reserve of the hand-wound movement is approximately one week.

We recommend watching the video below: it provides a fascinating view of this new movement.