Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Rare Girard-Perregaux's Masterpiece, the Opera One Three Bridges Without a Dial

Girard-Perregaux has sculpted a watch so exquisite, movement so precise that a dial will only hide the complications. Visible to the eye are three gold bridges and the tourbillon, usually placed on the underside of the Watch. Gently surrounded by its richly hued rose gold case, this Watch is a symphony of three monumental watch making inventions crafted with intense precision by Girard Perregaux.

The Tourbillon, invented in 1795 by Abraham-Louis Breguet. A Tourbillon is a regulating device that compensate the effects of gravity on a mechanical watch. The Tourbillon was originally developed for a pocket watch that spent most of the time in a vertical position and then read in a horizontal position. In the vertical position the balance, balance spring and escapement undergo slight errors of rate with each oscillation as a result of gravity. Abraham-Louis Breguet placed the entire regulating mechanism in a cage which rotates on its own axis , generally once a minute in a variety of vertical positions . Jean Breguet's words regarding the Tourbillon regulator (as it was called) " With the aid of this invention, I have been able to compensate for the anomalies caused by shifts in the center of gravity of the escapement and obtain even friction on all pivots and bearings.

Today most do not buy the Tourbillon for its ability to compensate the force of gravity, but for its hypnotic artistry. The earliest and most artistically riveting adaption of the Tourbillon principle was crafted by Constant Girard Perregaux in 1867: the Tourbillon Sous Trois Points d'Or or Tourbillon Under 3 gold bridges crafted for his pocket chronometers. The Opera One Watch is crafted with this technique, its warm gold bold bridges wash the watch in a bold luster like still shapes beneath the waves.

It is a wonder that a perfect design like The Tourbillon Under 3 gold bridges was crafted in 1867 and then was dormant for 115 years. In 1982 the design was revived in pocket watches, after the company limped back from the effects of the quartz epidemic. The design was then adapted for wristwatches in 1991 to commemorate Girard Perregeaux 200th birthday. Only a limited amount of these watches are released by Girard-Perregaux as the tradition of perfection has not wavered in the last 200 years. Reviving the Tourbillon under three bridges was not an easy task, as engineers at Girard Perrregaux had to scrutinize original models of the three bridge watches, and then determine what precise tools were used to craft the pocket chronometers of 1867. The tools of then were unique to the cause, and thus in creating the wrist watch version of the three bridges, new tools were made and numerous hours of research were done in order to create a perfect miniature adaption of the original piece. However, the design engineers decided to invert the mechanism prior to installing it in a wristwatch case so that the perfect craftsmanship of the 3 gold bridges, and the tourbillon cage could be visible on the dial side of the watch.

In this watch the solid gold bridges, and tourbillon are prominently displayed through the dial. The simple yet perfect placement of the watch hands emphasize the exceptional beauty of the watch.

If the above is not enough to mark this watch as a unique masterpiece, this watch is crafted with a minute repeater. A minute repeater in itself is a complex complication which features a carillon striking work that imitates the bells that chime at Westminster Cathedral in London. On demand, this watch can sound the hours, minutes and even seconds in four different bells, enabling the combination of four different notes.

In addition this watch has a 72 hour power reserve.

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