Girard-Perregaux Chronometer HF Gyromatic 18ct 1969
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared for & Lightly Used Example
Beautiful, Unrestored Ivory Cream Guilloche Dial with Original ‘Index’ Hands
Large Size 36mm, 18ct Yellow Gold Case, Excluding the Correct Girard-Perregaux Crown
Superb, Original Hand-Wound Girard Perregaux Cal.32A571, 39 Jewels Gyromatic Movement
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition Throughout
High Quality Brown Lizard Strap with Plain Gold-Plated Buckle
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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Girard-Perregaux is one of the true greats of the Swiss watch industry and one which long held one of the most glamorous images in high-end watchmaking. The company developed and produced in-house, some of the most technically advanced watches ever made – notably Tourbillons, Minute Repeaters and other refined Grande Complication models. It was one of the many great Swiss watch companies to struggle through the ‘Quartz Crisis’, but is now back in its stride once again and commanding the respect it rightfully deserves.
In the novel “From Russia With Love”, and no less than on the first page, author Ian Fleming wrote, “a gold Girard-Perregaux on a Brown Crocodile strap is one of the typical membership badges of the rich man’s club”. More recently, the company has worked very closely with Ferrari, releasing chronographs under both brand names.
The company recently celebrated its 225th anniversary, making it one of the oldest remaining watch companies continuously engaged in production. Girard-Perregaux is credited with many firsts and claims to fame, having registered over 100 patents and won numerous exhibition medals and observatory prizes. Notably, a gold medal presented to Constant Girard for a Tourbillon at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867, then again in 1889, the famous Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, Constant Girard’s masterpiece and the fruit of many years labour, received the gold medal at another Universal Exhibition in Paris.
As early as 1840, one of the founders, Constant Girard, began to develop the innovative concept of wearing watches on the wrist and later in 1879, his wristwatches were ordered personally by Emperor Wilhelm I for officers in the German Imperial Navy. Two thousand were made, making this the first large-scale commercial production of wristwatches in history.
In recognition of its ongoing quest for precision, in 1905 Girard-Perregaux was elected a permanent member of the jury at the largest international watch fairs.
The golden age for Girard-Perregaux really began in the 1920s, continuing through to the 1970s, seeing the company grow rapidly in both its expertise and strength across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In the 1940s, the company produced a popular range of sports and military watches using the strapline “For Active Service”. These waterproof, shockproof, antimagnetic and luminous watches carried names such as the Mermaid, Sea Hawk, Amphibian and the ‘M.D. Waterproof’. The Sea Hawk remained popular up to the end of the 1960s when it was withdrawn. However, this model has recently been revived as a highly competent, professional divers watch.
In 1956 Girard-Perregaux introduced its first automatic watch, the Calibre 21, 39 Jewels ‘Gyromatic’ which used a highly advanced Gyrotrone automatic reverser gear winding system. This caused a sensation across the watch industry due to its efficiency and brilliance. The Gyromatic was continually developed until in 1966, the Girard-Perregaux Chronometer HF Gyromatic was launched. This was the first ever high-frequency movement with a balance vibrating at 36,000 times an hour, or 10 beats per second. In 1966 this unrivalled movement was awarded the Centenary Prize by the Neuchatel Observatory and brought what is now recognised as true precision to watchmaking for the first time. A year later in 1967, 70% of all the Chronometer certificates issued by the Swiss Neuchatel Observatory went to Girard-Perregaux’ Chronometer HF models. These were some of the most accurate mechanical wristwatches of all time.
Why this watch is important…
The Chronometer HF Gyromatic is simply the culmination of 175 years of continuous development by Girard-Perregaux, for which it was awarded the highest prize in watchmaking. Depending on which of the top Swiss manufacturers one compares with, this watch was a good 5 to 10 years ahead of its competition. Even today, after some huge recent developments in watchmaking in recent years, this movement remains very advanced and in the very rarified atmosphere of highly accurate 36,000 bph, 10 beat movements. This watch was developed to compete and hold off quartz watches which even Girard-Perregaux had under advanced development, and which they first launched in 1970 with its Elcro calibre. However, even with such a commanding position at this point, Girard-Perregaux was caught out, unable to compete with the Swatch, which was released in 1983 and literally turned the watch world upside down.
Here we have a wonderful 18ct gold example of a Chronometer HF Gyromatic with a beautiful 18ct case and original unrestored dial, in tip-top condition from 1969.
This amazing ivory cream dial has a wonderful vertical textured guilloche effect which catches the light wonderfully, as we have tried to demonstrate in the accompanying photographs. This is otherwise a very simple, but very elegant dial and carries applied thin gilt ‘baton’ hour indices which are matched with the original ‘Index’ style hands.
The dial is simply signed ‘Girard-Perregaux’ and ‘Chronometer HF’ with ‘Gyromatic’ just above the ‘6’.
This is the original, unrestored and untouched dial, which is in tip-top condition.
Girard-Perregaux is famous within the Swiss watch industry for the technical innovations and craftsmanship expressed in all its movements and the Gyromatic Calibre 32A571, 39 Jewel movement is certainly no exception. In fact, it is regarded by many as one of the finest series of automatic movements ever produced.
The “Gyromatic” system replaced ratchet wheels with roller-equipped unidirectional clutches. The resulting construction was simple, reliable and efficient. What’s more, its compactness paved the way for slim, sleek and stylish designs. The “Gyromatic” has since demonstrated its excellence in thousands of Girard-Perregaux timepieces including the top-of-the-line “Gyromatic HF” (for high frequency) the self-winding watch equivalent of a “Formula 1” race car. This development marked GP’s major contribution to mechanical watch design.
This 39 Jewel, Calibre 32A571 movement has just been inspected by our vintage specialist watchmaker, after a very close inspection it was seen this movement needed nothing more than a simple polish. The chrome and zinc plated movement is in remarkably clean condition and working perfectly. This involves dismantling the watch to all its component parts, careful inspection under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine Girard-Perregaux parts, then careful reassembly and adjustment before final testing and calibration in 5 positions. The watch winds, sets and runs accurately and reliably and is now running strongly and accurately within +3 seconds/day. This is outstanding for a watch movement of this age and has been confirmed on our electronic Timegrapher. The power reserve of this watch is 40 hours. We are therefore more than confident in offering 12 months’ warranty with this watch movement*.
The movement is correctly signed ‘Girard-Perregaux’ ‘Swiss’, and carries the calibre number 32A571, along with the movement reference number 19056 which dates this watch to 1969.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The 18ct Girard-Perregaux watch waterproof design case is totally immaculate and measures 36mm in diameter, excluding the Girard-Perregaux crown and 40mm including the lugs.
This watch has only seen very light occasional use and has therefore simply required professional cleaning and very careful gentle hand-polishing to bring the solid gold case back to showroom condition with no scratches, dings, damage or signs of over polishing visible to the naked eye. Inside the screw-down waterproof case-back, all is correct and as expected with the Girard-Perregaux branding and Swiss 18ct gold hallmarks. Externally, the case carries further 18ct gold hallmarks.
Please note – as always, our standard advice applies, vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1969.
A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included with this watch.
The Strap & Buckle
A high quality brown Lizard strap has been fitted, along with a plain gold-plated buckle. Please note, we feel this strap matches the watch nicely, however, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, and we can obtain most other types and colours at short notice.
The higher profile of Girard-Perregaux during the past 10 years has helped vintage Girard-Perregaux watches become more collectable and investable and we feel this is well overdue. The sheer quality and rarity of great examples such as this, mean values are climbing. This watch will therefore make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. As each year passes and the world market for vintage watches expands, availability will become more limited so prices are surely destined to climb ever higher!
This is a wonderful vintage gold dress watch from one of horology’s most prestigious names which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy! It will make an excellent evening wear dress watch, as well as a practical, accurate and reliable timepiece to use on a day to day basis if you wish.
A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very best quality watches we can find before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note, we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will be happy to service, repair or restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions we will be delighted to receive your call at 020 7727 7095. If calling from overseas +44 207 727 7095.
We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you. We await your call!
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!