Close Up With the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Triple Tourbillon (video)

By Gordon Henderson

Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon

Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon

Girard-Perregaux is a brand with the wind at its sails. The brand’s Constant Force Escapement was unveiled a year ago and took home top honors in the 2013 Grand Prixe d’Horologerie Genève. Since then, the watch world has been asking how Girard-Perregaux will follow up on that year’s success. The answer: the Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Triple Tourbillon.

The triple axes of the Tri-Axial Tourbillon are all inside an inner sapphire container that protrudes from the watch dial.

The triple axes of the Tri-Axial Tourbillon are all inside an inner sapphire container that protrudes from the watch dial.

Long known for its stellar work with tourbillons (after all, the Three Bridges Tourbillon is legendary), Girard-Perregaux took the tourbillon to new heights with its first triple-axis tourbillon.  What exactly is a triple axis tourbillon? At its heart is a traditional tourbillon (if there is such a thing as a traditional tourbillon).  The cage in which the tourbillon is housed completes a rotation every minute.  That structure is then integrated into another component that rotates on a second axis and performs a complete cycle every 30 seconds.  To complete the third portion of the mechanism, that structure containing the first two tourbillon escapements is then housed in a system that completes a revolution every two minutes.  Presto: three axes.  Whew, still with me?

A close up look at the tourbillon escapement in this picture vs. the previous shows the three tourbillon escapements rotating at different times- yielding a different view of the Tri-Axial at every second.

A close up look at the tourbillon escapement in this picture vs. the previous shows the three tourbillon escapements rotating at different times- yielding a different view of the Tri-Axial at every second.

Always in search of chronometric perfection, Girard-Perregaux opted to design on three planes, thereby optimizing performance. Building of the timepiece required special adaptations including the integration of a domed lens to provide interior volume. The cage and drive system are made of steel, with titanium or pink gold support pillars. The new GP09300 mechanical caliber with manual wind consists of 317 components. Its multi-level dial reveals a hypnotic dance of beauty and precision.

The new Girard-Perregaux in-house-made caliber

The new Girard-Perregaux in-house-made caliber

As expected of an haute horology piece the finishing is exceptional.  The components are mirror-polished, chamfered and satin-brushed.   The anthracite dial offers great visual contrast as the different shades of grey, black and pink gold play well with one another.  The time is displayed at 1:00, power reserve indicator at the 6:00, and the entire escapement is on display via a domed sapphire crystal at 9:00.  Via a complex sapphire crystal, the mechanism can be seen from three angels.  The dial, the back and side of the 48mm watch at 9:00 offer a view of the tourbillon in motion. The Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon sports 52 hours of power reserve and comes in pink gold case.  Only 10 pieces will be produced and each will retail for $501,900.Catch a video of the watch below.

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