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    

Striking 1960 S Men's Vintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic 10k G/f Super Orig Dial1960s Girard Perregaux 17 Jewel Incabloc Gold Plated Mens WatchVintage Le Coultre /girard Perregaux /elgin /rivalCollectors Mens 1960's Girard Perregaux Auto 10kt Gold Fld W/watch Big Lugs Iwo Vintage Mens Swiss Watch Girard Perregaux Masonic Dial Fully Serviced 40s Vintage Girard Perregaux 86 17j Classic Dress Swiss Men 10k Gold Filled Girard-perregaux Gp Gyromatic Chronometer Hf Tonneau Case Blue Dial Screwback1961 Girard Perregaux 9ct Gold Case & Strap 17 Jewel Cal 58 Ladies Watch Vint Girard Perregaux White Dial Jumbo Wind Up Ca 1943 Swiss MadeMen's Rare Macrolon Girard Perregaux Casquette Led Lcd Digital Retro Watch. Vint Girard Perregaux 2 Tones Ca 42 Jumbo Swiss Made No Reserve Price@@@@Men's Vintage Girard-perregaux 18k Gold 17 Jewel Maual-wind White Dial WatchMens Darby 1910's Girard Perregaux Vintage Olimpic Watch Chaux-de-fondsVintage GentGirard Perregaux "automobilia" Gents Wrist Watch - Fine Timepiece!!!!!!Girard Perregaux Classic Collectable Wrist WatchVintage Girard Perregaux Alarm Watch Digital Analog Manual Wind Stainless SteelGirard-perregaux Mens Beautiful Light Brown Leather Strap 22mm New Old StockVint Girard Perregaux Masonic Dial Superjumbo Ca42 Swiss No Reserve Price @@@@@Vint Girard Perregaux Poker Dial Jumbo Ca41 Swissno Reserve Price @@@@@Girard-perregaux Mens Seahawk Gold Filled Running Wristwatch Inter & Outer BoxesVintage Girard - Perregaux Mechanical Wristwatch - Parts / Repair. No Reserve.1950's Ladies Girard Perregaux Platinum Cocktail Watch With 58 DiamondsGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Day/date Plated Automatic Men's WatchGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Daydate Goldplated Mens WatchVintage Girard-perregaux 17 Jewel Manual Wind Ladies Wrist Watch Stainless SteelUlysse Girard Laroque Chronograph Rose Gold Mens Luxury Watch $1,799 Very Ltd !Vintage Girard - Perregaux 10k Gf Seahawk Wristwatch. Leather Band.Vintage Full-size Dress Gents Girard-perregaux Windup Watch 50`sVintage Girard-perregaux Mens Watch Gold Filled Hand-winding 17j Cal 101-206Vint Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Masonic Dial Ca1950 No Reserve Price@@@@@Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Men's Vintage Wrist WatchLadies 1960 Girard-perregaux Original 14k Solid Gold & Diamonds Vintage Watch A+Lot 2 Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Chronometer 17 Jewels Watch Movement Parts Mth Collectors Grade Mens 1960's Girard Perregaux Ss Auto W/watch Mint 36mm Case IwoFine Vintage 40s Art Deco Girard Perregaux 14k Gold Ladies Wrist WatchVint Girard Prix Digital Taxi Jump Hours Swiss Ca 70no Reserve Price @@@@@Vintage Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk Mens WatchGirard-perregaux Gp Winding Watch Gold Trim Rare Cal 091-797 Swiss Tudor StyleVint Girard Perregaux Masonic Dial Super Jumboca44 Swissno Reserve Price @@Girard Perregaux Mens Watch Hand-winding GpNew Ulysse Girard Laroque Chronograph Black Mens Luxury Sport Watch No Reserve!!Girard-perregaux ~skeleton~ Large Vintage Swiss Wristwatch, Engraved MovementGirard Perregaux 18k Gold Filled Red Sport Dial Manual Watch No Reserve AuctionVintage Girard-perregaux Gyromatic 17 Jewel Automatic Ladies Wrist Watch 10kgfVtg Cartier Tudor Girard Perregaux Watch Link Dial Movement For Parts Repair MthLadies 1960 Girard-perregaux Original Platinum 900 &,14kt Gold Band , Wdiamonds Ladies Girard-perregaux "serviced" 17 Jewel Vintage Watch Girard Perregaux Mickey Mouse Dial Manual Wind Man Watch Vintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Wristwatch - Runs Well - NrVintage Girard Perregaux Watch Mechanical Manual WindVintage Girard Perregaux 15 Jewel 68 439 Wind Ladies Wrist Watch 10 K Gf RunsVintage Girard Perregaux Men's Watch Nice Rare Collection!Vintage Girard-perregaux S.steel Sea Hawk Hand-wind Recently Serviced #c0013Girard Perregaux Watch 4gb Micro Usb Credit Card Collectable Data Storage StickVintage Elgin Welson Girard Orvin Gruen Watch And Necklace Fastener Parts PiecesGirard Perreguax Ladies 14k White Gold Diamond Bezel Watch (rare Vintage Model)Girard Perregaux Of Luxury,dial Numbers Glass, No ReserveVintage Girard-perregaux "gyromatic" 10k Gold Filled Wristwatch - Beauty!Girard Perregaux Goldplated Handwind Ladies Watch