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    

Mens Nice 1960s Girard-perregaux Alarm 17j Swiss Stainless Steel Vintage WatchGirard Perregaux Vintage 1996, 18k Yellow Gold, Ref.4930, Automatic Chronograph!Mens Vintage Swiss Made Girard Perregaux Watch 1960 Silver Dial 17 Jewels MovetVintage 1940's Men's S/s Girard Perregaux Military Style Watch Clean & RunsVintage Gents Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Automatic Movement 39 Jewels Date-nice!Beautiful Girard-perregaux St.steel Manual Winding Silver Pattern DialVintage Large Girard Perregaux Watch, 18k Solid Rose Gold, Mechanical, RunningVintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 8435a Mens Watch 25 Jewels With DateVintage Girard Perregaux Square Black Dial No Reserve!!Mens Girard Perregaux Seahawk Gold Filled Running Wrist Watch With Box & BooletVintage 1950's Girard-perregaux 10k Gold Rectangular Gyromatic Watch (7046)Vintage Girard Perregaux 39j Gyromatic Men's Wristwatch 5 Adj Running From 1962Girard Perregaux Gyromatic, Automatic Triple Date Watch Rare... Serviced Rare Girard Perregaux Chronograph Original Condition W/box Wristwatch WorkingVintage Girard Perregaux Square Men's Wrist Watch Swiss Girard Perregaux Masonic Dial 18k Gold Filled Manual Wind Man WatchGirard Perregaux Ferrari Men Watch Automobilia Swiss VintageVintage Mimo Dh Girard Perregaux Men Wrist Watch Wwii 1940` (girard Perregaux)Rare 36mm Girard Perregaux Swiss Watch Refinished DialHuge Lot Of 59 Watches: Perregaux Gruen Movado Montauk Elgin, Some Vintage, GoldVintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 23 Jewel 14k Gold Wrist Watch. Diamond Dial!Vintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 39 Jewels For Fix Or Parts #165Vintage 60's Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 31 Watch Mens AutomaticVintage Girard Perregaux 35.3mm Case Black Enamel Dial Manual Wind Serviced20x Girard Perregaux 1960's-70's Yellow Gold Plated 4.5mm Wristwatch Crowns NosGirard Perregaux "sport Dial" Gents Wrist Watch - Fine Timepiece!!!!!!Girard Perregaux F1 047 Automatic ChronographBeautiful Vintage Men's Girard-perregaux 17j Gyromatic WristwatchMens Classic Vintage Swiss Made Girard Perregaux Watch 1950s -17 Jewels MovementVintage Girard Perregaux Roulette Dial Swiss Men Watch Fully Serviced Girard Perregaux 18k Chronometer Hf !!Collectable Big 38mm Girard Perregaux Swiss Watch Refinished Roulette DialGirard Perregaux World Time TitaniumRare Chronograph Valjoux Vz Pre 23 Movement Good Balance Train Girard Perregaux Girard Perregaux Laureato 18k Gold And Steel!!Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 10k Gold Fill Mens Watch Wristwatch Works Perfect!!!11+ Lot Of Vintage Watch Movements Girard Perregaux Longines Jules JurgensenGirard-perregaux Swiss Made 17 Jewel 14k Gold Women's Wrist Watch - RunningVintage Girard-perregaux Sea Hawk Wristwatch Preowned Cond. Panda Dial OriginalVintage Girard Perregaux Chronograph Calibre 281 Parts Movement & Dial1960s Gents Black Dial Girard-perragaux Gyromatic In Excellent ConditionGirard Perregaux Vintage 1945 Steel Quartz White Ladies Watch 25910.1.11.105Ulysse Girard Lvesque Mens Watch: Black Band/blue DialVintage Girard Perregaux Ladies 10k G/f Diamond Wrist Watch. Running Strong.Vintage Mens 34mm Gerard Perregaux Gyromatic Wrist Watch Runs Great New StrapVintage Girard Perregaux Silver Niello Case,circa 1920 18k Pink Gold / S.steel Girard Perregaux 7000 Gbm Automatic Chronograph WatchVtg Girard-perregaux Gold Plated Mens Watch Turtle LugsGirard Perregaux Plated Manual Winding Ladies WatchLot Of Vintage Watches & Parts For Repairs Elgin Perregaux Hamilton Etc O4 Movements Parts Various Watchmakers Nos Lanco Girard Certina Valjoux Enicar MstGirard Perregaux Mens Watch Hand WindingVintage Gents Full-size Girard-perregaux Red Dial 50'sGirard-perregaux Ferrari 8020 Steel Chronograph Automatic Date Watch Gp StoppedVintage Girard Perregaux In Two Tone Manual Wind Watch Extra LargeTwo Vintage Girard Perregaux Watch Movements O7-576, 06-1739 As-is, For PartsGirard Perregaux Manual Winding Ladies Watch #2 Vintage Girard Perregaux White Dial With Roulette Manual Wind Large Vintage Girard Perregaux In Two Tone Dial Manual Wind Large Vintage Girard Perregaux Extra Large In Two Tone Manual Wind Watch