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    

Vintage Girard Perregaux Chronograph Valjoux 22 No Reserve!!Girard Perregaux Ferrari Ref#8020 Wristwatch 50s Vintage Girard Perregaux Seahawk 18 17j Slim Swiss Watch Men St/steelStriking Men's Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Vintage 1950 's Super Dial 10k G/flldGirard Perregaux Sport Classic Ref#7000 Gbm WristwatchVintage Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk Stainless Steel Screw Back Mens WatchMens Classic Vintage Swiss Made Girard Perregaux Watch 1960s -17 Jewels MovementGirard Perregaux Vintage Hand WindingC.1950 Vintage Girard-perregaux Gyromatic Men's Wristwatch - Excellent ConditionVintage Collectors Watch Lot, 8 Watches In Box Tudor, Longines, Girard PerregauxGirard Perragaux Vintage 1945 Sub Second Automatic Steel Ref 2593 No ReserveJean Richard Aquascope By Girard-perregaux Automatic Diver Mens WatchVintage Swiss Mans Watch Girard Perregaux Masonic Dial Fully ServicedVintage Girard Perregaux Masonic Black Dial Big 35mm Golden Case Mens WatchVintage GentVintage Girard-perregaux 14k Yellow Solid Gold Hand-wind Recently Serviced #38Vintage GentVintage Girard Perregaux Solid 14k Gold Watch 17jGirard Perregaux Quartz Cal. 352 Gold Plated, Gorgeous Girard Perregaux 17 Jewel 3 Bridges Cal. 05 Ae 467 10k Gold Filled Runs GreatVintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 14k Solid Gold Automatic Watch 29.7 GramsGirard Perregaux Sea Hawk Stainless Man's 17-jewel Wrist Watch 1960Rare Girard Perregaux Textured Bark Finish Mens Gold Dress Watch $1Vintage 18k Solid Gold Girard Perregaux Watch - Leather Band - 1950's-60's-runs Girard-perregaux Gyromatic Yellow Gold Filled Wrist Watch, Great WorkingGirard-perregaux 18k Mechanical Ladies Wrist Watch & Strap 6.75" 46 Grams All InGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Vintage Watch 14kGirard Perregaux Men's Dress Watch, Dated In The 50's, Amazing QualityVintage Girard-perregaux Mens Gyromatic Wristwatch Runs Great Watch Gold PlatedGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Wrist WatchVintage Girard-perregaux Double Calendar S.steel Gyromatic Recently Serviced #20Girard-perregaux Gyromatic 17 Jewel Wrist Watch.Vintage Girard-perregaux 17 Jewel Men's Watch, Swiss, Two-tone DialGirard Perregaux Gyromatic 14k Gold Bezel Original Mens Wrist WatchGirard-perregaux Sea Hawk Manual Wind Stainless Steel Wrist Watch, Great WorkingVintage (2) Girard Perregaux Men's Wrist Watches Sea Hawk For Parts Or Repair Nr10k Gold Girard Perregaux Men's Wrist Watch Vintage Girard-perregaux Gyromatic Men's Watch. 17 Jewels. Analog, Mechanical.Vintage Girard Perregaux Military Dial Large 37.4mm Case Manual Wind Genuine High Grade Girard Perregaux 20 Diamond Working 14k Gold Cocktail WatchMens Girard Perregaux '1791' Wristwatch For RepairGirard Perregaux, Watch Box, Since 1791Ulysse Girard Swiss Chronograph Ambroise Mens WatchGenuine Girard Perregaux 22mm Leather Watch Strap Girard Perregaux Mens Watch Hand-winding Gp Egg CaseVintage Girard Perregaux Watch 1940's Gf Non Working Repair - Parts - RecaseGirard Perregaux Vintage Men's Watch Vintage AutomaticVintage 1930s Girard Perregaux 17 Jewel Men's Watch-looks Nice Works GreatVintage Watch Movement Lot ~ Waltham Elgin Girard Perregaux Zodiac Ernest Borel Girard Perregaux Watch Case 6520Vintage Steel Hand Wound Girard Peregaux Ring Watch From 1950New Ulysse Girard Swiss Chronograph Ambroise Mens Watch Vintage Girard Perregaux Pocker Dial 18k Solid Rose Gold 31.8 Grams Wind Watch Vintage Girard-perregaux Gyromatic Cal. 620 203 Dial & MovementGirard Perregaux, Original Watch BoxGirard-perregaux 1966 40mm Full Calendar, Day, Date, Moonphase Palladium (49535)Rare Ulysse Girard Swiss Chronograph Date Rose Gold Mens Luxury Watch $1,669.00!Vintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Man"s Wristwatch For Parts Or RepairVintage Girard Perregaux 17j Ladies Wrist Watch To FixVintage Girard Perregaux Ladies 10k White Gold Filled Watch W/ Original Box