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    

Girard Perregaux Vintage Steel Gents Manual Wind,new Old Stock With Paper 1960sGirard Perregaux - Richeville Big Date Moon Phase 18k Yellow Gold Watch Ref 2760Vintage Swiss Watch Girard Perregaux Erotic Kamasutra Dial Fully ServicedGirard Perregaux Sea Hawk Ii Bmw Team 18 Ref#4990 WristwatchGirard Perregaux Ww.tc World Time Chronograph Rose Gold Watch Reference 4980Girard Perregaux 1970s Led Digital Electronic Steel Mens Wristwatch CaseVintage Girard Perregaux Man's10k Gf Wrist Watch 17j Working - Nice - Norsrv 50s Vintage Girard-perregaux Gyromatic 47 Automatic Swiss Watch Men St/steel Mint Mens 1960's Girard Perregaux Ss Slim W/watch Superb Orig Dial Nos Strap IwoGirard Perregaux 1970s Swiss Manual Mens Wristwatch On Mesh Bracelet Ref.991614k Gold Sweep Second Date Girard Perregaux Quarter Century Club Mens WatchVery Fine Vintage Girard Perregaux 18k Gold Men's Wristwatch Classic Mad MenVintage 1940s Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk Ref 7092 Gents Wristwatch VgcVintage Girard-perrregaux Gents Wristwatch (spares & Repairs Only)Girard Perregaux Ferrari F1 047 Chronograph Aluminium Ref 4955-40mm-very Rare !!Vintage Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Date Men's Watch Nice Collection!Girard Perregaux Chronograph Automatic 40mm Dia., Ref 4956 Price Reduction!!!Vintage Girard Perregaux Ss Manual Wind 24 Hour Dial Vintage Gents Girard Perregaux 17 Jewels Wristwatch Movement Working Mens 1960s Girard Perregaux 18k Solid Gold Vintage 17 Jewel Swiss Dress Watch A+Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Watch Swiss Stainless Steel Works1940’s Vintage Girard Perregaux Swiss Men Watch Masonic Dial No Reserve!!Vintage GentGirard Perregaux Gyromatic Mens Watch Automatic Day & DateTen Vintage Mens Wristwatches Estate Girard Perregaux & Accutron Other NrGirard Perregaux Ferrari 250 Gt Automatic Chronograph Limited EditionGirard Perregaux Mens Watch Hand-winding LeatherVintage Girard Perregaux 18kt Solid Gold Case Girard Perregaux Laureato Evo 3 Titanium & 18k Rose Gold Chronograph 80180 Girard Perregaux 14k Mens Watch....runs Well.Girard Perregaux 995-100 Eta 6498 17 Jewels Watch Movement New Working Stem Vintage Antique Girard Perregaux 14k Yellow Gold Mens Art Deco Wrist WatchGirard Perregaux Steel Manual Winding Men's WatchMens Moderne 1950's Girard Perregaux Vintage Art Deco Classic Watch Tonneau 17jVintage Girard Perregaux Alarm Stainless Steel Men's Dress Watch Beautiful Minimalist Girard Perregaux 9180 Fh Ss Tonneau Hand-wound Watch Girard Perregaux Chrono Hawk / 49970-11-133-bb6a / Silver Dial / 2 Straps / MintFabulous!~vtg Girard Perregaux Mens Gyromatic Wristwatch~a Beauty! 1950's1940’s Girard Perregaux Erotic Kamasutra Dial No Reserve!!Rare Vintage 1940s Girard Perregaux Solid 14k Gold Ladies Wristwatch, No ReserveVintage Girard Perregaux Manual Wind Men's Watch 60's Rare And Nice Collection!Big 37mm Girard Perregaux Masonic Manual Wind Custom Swiss Watch From Ca1950Girard Perregaux Mens Watch Hand-winding GpGirard Perregaux Vintage 17 Jewels Gold Filled Case Mechanical Hand WindingVintage Girard Perregaux GamblingVintage Girard Perregaux 17 Jewel Wrist Watch Gold FilledVintage Girard Perregaux Swiss Wrist Watch, Running And Keeping Good TimeUlysse Girard Laroque Chronograph Black Ip Bezel Mens Luxury Sport Watch $1,799! Vintage Gents Girard Perregaux 17 Jewels Watch WorkingVint Girard Perregaux 2 Tones Ca 42 Jumbo Swiss Made No Reserve Price@@@@Vint Girard Perregaux 2 Tones Grey Ca 43 Jumbo Swiss Made No Reserve Price@@@@Girard Perregaux Watch Gyromatic Date 14gf Wrist WatchGirard Perreguax Sea-hawk Vintage Military Mens WatchGirard Perregaux Vintage Wacth.Girard Perregaux Vintage Square Case Crystal Dial Hands + Bonus Movement CrownClassic Girard Perregaux Gyromatic Day Date Men's Watch Nice Collection!Vintage Girard Prregaux Mens Manual Wind Watch1950's Ladies Girard Perregaux Platinum Cocktail Watch With 58 DiamondsGirard Perregaux Mens Watch Gold Plaque Hand-winding Vintage Gents Girard Perregaux Jewels Wristwatch Movement