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 1940's Girard Perregaux Sea - Scout Bumper Automatic Men's Wrist WatchVintage Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk 15 Jewel Wrist Watch Ref 06 1230 7090 GentsGirard Perregaux 18k White Gold Bmw R&d Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. MintGirard Perregaux 18k Rg 1966 "zegna Centennial" Annual Calendar. Ltd Ed Of 100Vintage Mens Girard Perregaux Military Style Wrist WatchPre-owned Girard-perragaux Ferrari 250 Gt Tdf Limited Edition RefVintage 14k Yellow Gold Girard Perregaux Automatic Dress Watch 17 Jewels Nr1940's Girard Perregaux 17j Men's Gyromatic Wristwatch Cal 47 Ae 586 Runs GreatVintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Gents Automatic Wristwatch Needs ServiceAwesome 1930s Hinged Back Mens Girard Perregaux Art Deco Watch For German MarketMens Gold Floral 1930's Girard Perregaux Vintage Skeleton Watch Chaux-de-fondsGirard Perregaux Richeville Chronographe Cal.lwo1872 Gold Plated Manual MensRestored Vintage 1950s Girard Perreguax 3 Bridge 17j Mens 10k Gold F. Watch1970s Vintage 14k Gold Girard-perregaux Wristwatch - Excellent CondVint Girard Perregaux 2 Tones Grey And Textured Dial Ca40 Swiss Noreserveprice@Girard Perregaux Watch 9ct Gold Case Manual Wind Walker Hall; MovementVintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Gold Plated Watch;c426Girard-perregaux 8020 Ferrari Auto Chronograph F300 Carbon Fiber Dial Watch Girard Perregaux Silver Manual Winding Men's WatchGirard-perregaux 39 Jewels Mens Gyromatic Wrist Watch Automatic Stainless Swiss Girard-perregaux Quartz Chronometer Men's Wrist Watch Parts Or RepairVintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Men's Wrist Watch 10kt Gold Filled SwissGirard-perregaux 18k Rg Ladies Richeville Automatic Watch. Stunning Mop DialGirard Perregaux Gyromatic 39jewels Date Stainless Steel Mens WatchVintage 14k Solid Gold Men's Girard Perregaux Woven Mesh Band Watch 48gMen's Girard-perregaux Seahawk Ii Ref. 4992 Steel Power Reserve Automatic WatchGirard Perregaux Watch. Superb Vintage Ladies Gold Filled Girard Perregaux Watch Very Clean A/fElgin Benrus Imperial Perregaux Normandie Watch 14k Solid Gold Scrap Repair 8g +Vintage/antique Assort.of Watches, Pocketwatch, Case & Part's - Girard PerregauxVintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Men's WatchExquisite 1960s Vintage Mans Girard-perregaux Gyromatic 14k Gold Bezel Ss Back!Vintage Girard Perregaux White Dial Large Black Masonic Symbol 36.8mm Case Neat 1950s Girard-perregaux 17j Ladies Dainty Round Wind Up Bracelet Watch UfixVtg Ladies Girard Perregaux Swiss Watch 10k Gold Filled Gf ExcellentVintage Girard Perregaux Two Tone Dial Swiss Men Watch Girard Perregaux Ladies Watch With Case Vintage 14k GoldGirard Perregaux Ferrari Vintage Gent´s Luxury Swiss Watch Fully ServicedUlysse Girard 14064 Men's Chronograph Watch Wristwatch W/black Band BoxAuthentic Vintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Movement, Dial, Hands & Crystal Nr!Vintage Girard Perregaux Wind Up Watch! Swiss Movement! 482626! Old!!Girard-perregaux Ladies Watch Hand-windingGirard-perregaux Ladies Watch Hand-winding Vintage Girrard-perregaux Hand Wind Running Wrist Watch Authentic Vintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Movement, Dial, Hands & Crystal Nr!Vintage Girard Perregaux 10kt Gold Filled Self Wind Ladies WatchGirard Perreaux Vintage Woman's Watch Self-wind Not Working Parts Or To RepairGirard Perregaux Silver Manual Winding Men's Watch, BlueMen's Swiss Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Watch - 17 Jewels - Works Beautifully