Minute Repeater, Annual Calendar and Equation of Time: in its 42 mm diameter, the Girard-Perregaux 1966 houses three illustrious watchmaking complications. They are displayed on the dial in perfect harmony, orchestrated by a mechanical caliber with over 400 component parts.
A model of technical ingenuity, the new Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater, Annual Calendar & Equation of Time watch has all the attributes to earn its place in the firmament of the most outstanding watchmaking achievements. A worthy heir to the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Collection, it displays its various functions with a remarkable sense of aesthetic balance, despite its hidden complexities.
For the elegantly proportioned dial, a silvered sunburst decor has been chosen as a background to the various time indications. Surrounded by solid gold applique hour-markers with sharply defined profiles, the various indications perform their functions as the hours and minutes hands pursue their paths above them. The eye is immediately caught by the imposing date located at 1:30 on the dial. The month is displayed in a window opposite to complete the Annual Calendar function. This ingenious construction only requires a single adjustment of the date per year, in February, which is easily carried out through the watch’s crown.
Indicated by a cam appearing in relief on a wheel that completes one revolution per year, the Equation of Time is displayed at 4:30 on the dial. It shows the difference between civil time and solar time. For, in reality, the solar day varies in duration from day to day. While the two reference times in question coincide exactly four times per year, the accumulated difference between them can be as much as, for example, 16 minutes in November.
To complete this watchmaking masterpiece, a Minute Repeater enables the user to hear the striking of the hours, quarter-hours and minutes. Conceived in an age before the advent of electricity, when people needed to be able to hear an indication of the time during the night, today this has become one of the complications that is most appreciated by connoisseurs of fine watchmaking. In order to create the vibration that will produce a crystalline sound, the adjustment of the striking mechanism is one of the most delicate operations for a watchmaker, requiring nimble fingers and a particularly acute ear. The fruit of exhaustive acoustic research, the Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater mechanism benefits from three specially designed aspects of the construction of the watch-case: an optimal fit between the internal diameter of the case and that of the caliber, so as to achieve maximum resonance; a curved case back that increases the volume of air between the movement and the case, and enhances the sound production; and the diamond-polished bottom of the case back, which reduces acoustic interference.
Visible through the sapphire crystal case back, the manually wound mechanical caliber perpetuates the great Girard-Perregaux watchmaking tradition. With its constant concern for aesthetic standards, Girard-Perregaux has designed the balance-cock in a semi-arrow shape that recalls the Golden Bridges, the brand's emblematic signature.