Vintage Girard Perregaux Wristwatches

Girard-Perregaux of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland did not make the world’s first wristwatch—that honor goes to Patek Philippe. But in 1880, the firm did introduce the world’s first production wristwatch. The occasion was an order from the Imperial German Navy, which purchased 2,000 of the timepieces for its officers. The watch had a four-by-four metal grille, which obscured the watch face but protected it from damage when worn in the field.

Unfortunately, the late 19th century was still the age of the pocket watch, which meant that Girard-Perregaux would not make serious inroads again in the wristwatch market until after World War I. In fact, sales of Girard-Perregaux wristwatches lagged behind the company’s pocket watches until 1930. In the 1930s, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was an important customer.

The middle part of the 20th century was good to Girard-Perregaux, as well as collectors of their vintage wristwatches. In 1940, for example, the manufacturer introduced the handsome, water-resistant Sea Hawk, whose clean, round face was uncluttered by numerals except for a discreet 2, 4, 8, 10, and 12.

In 1945, Girard-Perregaux made a small, rectangular Art Deco styled mechanical wristwatch, whose frame was made of steel and yellow gold, and whose second hand was housed in a small box in the 6 position. Fifty years later, this same watch was redesigned slightly and reissued as the Vintage 1945.

By the 1950s, self-winding Gyromatic, 17-jewel wristwatches were the workhorses of the Girard-Perregaux line. They were designed with simple round or square faces in metals ranging from polished stainless steel to gold. During this same era, the firm produced hard-working chronographs with 30-minute and 12-hour counters along with fancier models such as the Mysterieuse, a minimalist creation whose hour and minute “hands” were fixed on smaller discs that rotated within the wristwatch’s round face.

In 1966, the Gyromatic family upgraded to high-frequency movements, which were reliable performers, and by 1969, production of quartz wristwatches began. The following year, Girard-Perregaux's new line of quartz wristwatches was released. One of the most interesting models was the 1971 Elcron, whose hi-tech face resembled a computer circuit board. By 1972, the frequency of a Girard-Perregaux watch’s oscillator (32,768 hz) became the industry standard.

Other Girard-Perregaux wristwatches prized by collectors include the Laureato from 1975, which had a quartz movement and an octagonal bezel. And in 1980, the company produced a wristwatch version of its 1889 three-gold-bridge Tourbillon pocket watch, which was so ahead of its time that it was banned from competitive exhibition in 1900.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Nos Girard Perregaux 18k Gold Automatic - Classik And Timeless !!Vintage Girard Perregaux Richeville Men Watch S. Steel AutomaticVintage 1950s Girard-perregaux Sea Hawk Mechanical Watch - 10k Solid Gold BezelRare Limited Asprey Titanium Girard Perregaux Ferrari Chronograph No 18/250Girard Perregaux Richeville Ref #2750 Automatic WristwatchVintage Girard Perregaux Automatic Gyromatic Deep Diver Watch SwissCollectable Vintage Girard Perregaux Mini Second Manual Wind Men Watch Girard-perregaux Automatic Wristwatch, Two Tone, Vintage, 39 Jewels, SteelGirard-perregaux Rare Aged Great Art-deco Wristwatch Swiss Vintage Movement 17jGirard Perregaux Pour Ferrari 375 Mm Chronograph Monopusher 18k Rose Gold 8050Vintage Girard-perregaux 17 Jewels Rare Find Lovely Gray Dial Swiss 1960/70s VgcGirard Perregaux Sea Hawk Ii Bmw Oracle Race Challenger Ref. 49950 Ss WristwatchSolid 18k Gold Girard Perregaux Gents WatchGirard Perregaux 7000 Gbm Automatic Mens WatchGirard Perregaux 1966 Clasique Elegance 18k Rose Gold 49525-52-131-bk6aWwii Vintage 1942 Men's S/s Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk Military Style Watch RunsVintage Ladies 14k Gold Girard Perregaux 0.25 Cttw Diamond Wrist Watch NrGirard Perregaux Titanium Bmw Oracle Racing Chrono. Black Carbon Fiber DialGirard-perregaux Mens Watch Hand-winding ChampagneGirard Perregaux World Time Chronograph 18k White Gold 4980Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Daydate Stainless Steel Mens WatchGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Mens Watch Automatic Day & Date GpGirard Perregaux 14k Solid Gold Watch Beautiful Clean Runs Well No Reserve Girard Perregaux Super Compressor1960s Vintage Girard-perregaux Sea-hawk Men's Wristwatch W/ Box - ExcellentGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Stainless 14k Wristwatch1940's Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 17j Men's Wristwatch Cal 47ae 208 Running Girard Perregaux Seahawk 33mm 17j Men's Wristwatch Cal 2529179 Running GreatGirard Perregaux Chronometer Automatic Richeville - 39 Jewels - 35mmVintage-girard Perregaux 14-karat Gold Gyromatic!Girard Perregaux Rallye Monte Carlo Historique Limited Edition Watch - Mint!!Vintage Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk Watch Runs (11.30b)Nice Girard-perregaux Scuderia Italiana Men's WatchGirard Perreguax Vintage 17j 18k Yellow Gold Watch Vintage Girard Perregaux Men's Gyrodate Automatic Wrist WatchVintage Girard Perregaux Date Gyromatic Alarm Mens Watch 080-351 Automatic Movt.1940s Girard Perregaux Men's 17 Jewel 31mm Military Watch W/ Period Zulu BandVintage Girard- Perregaux 14k Yellow Gold Mechanical Unisex WatchGirard-perregaux Luxury Swiss, 14k Solid Gold Manual Wrist Watch, C. 1950's Beautiful 1940’s Girard Perregaux High Grade Men’s Dress Watch No Reserve! Nice!Men's Stainless Steel Girard Perregaux, Ref. 25810Rare Girard Perregaux Gyromatic High Frequency Automatic Day/date Ladies WatchGirard Perregaux Mens Watch Hand Winding Gp Vintage Swiss Made 17 Jewels Ladies Girard Perregaux Hand Winding WristwatchGirard Perregaux 20microns Goldplated Handwind Mens WatchGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Men's Automatic Watch Vintage Men's 14kt Gold Girard-perregaux Seahawk Watch Running EngravedVintage Men's Girard Perregaux 17jewel Stainless Watch! Works! 28 MmGirard-perregaux Mens Watch Hand-winding GpGirard Perregaux Vintage Watch Stand.Girard Perragaux “gyromatic” Wristwatch Movements. 34aVintage Watch...mimo By Girard Perregaux ..40's....military Style!!Vintage Watch...mimo By Girard Perregaux ..40's....steel Case!!Vintage Solid White Gold And Diamond Swiss Girard-perregaux Gp Ladies WristwatchVintage Ladies Tiffany & Co. / Girard Perregaux Wristwatch Watch Movement 17j14kt White Gold Case Girard Perregaux Jewelry Wristwatch Vintage Parts Repair