Girard Perregaux Cal.12 9ct 1956
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared for & Lightly Used Example
33mm, 9ct Yellow Gold Case, Excluding the Correct Crown
Beautifully Restored Silver-White Dial with Original Unrestored ‘Dauphine’ Hands
Superb Original Hand-Wound Girard Perregaux, 17 Jewel Movement
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition Throughout
High Quality Black Soft Leather 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
Girard-Perregaux is one of the true greats of the Swiss watch industry and one which has 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”, on no less than the first page, the 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 winning 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 Jewel ‘Gyromatic’ which used a highly advanced Gyrotrone automatic reverse gear winding system and caused a sensation across the watch industry. The Gyromatic was continually developed until in 1966, the Girard-Perregaux Gyromatic Chronometer HF 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.
Here we have a classic and highly attractive 33mm Girard-Perregaux gentleman’s dress watch in 9ct gold. The Girard Perregaux Cal.12 hand-wound movement within is stunning and very ‘state of the art’ for the period. As can be seen, this has been very well cared for and in sparkling condition. This watch has just completed a full restoration by ourselves and is in immaculate condition throughout.
The silver-white dial carries applied gilt ‘arrowhead’ hour indices and arabic numerals at 3 – 9 -12, matched with the original, unrestored ‘dauphine’ hands. The classic, timeless design is again, a perfect example of how vintage beats modern, hands down, every time. The dial carries the subsidiary seconds dial at six o’clock, completing this beautifully symmetrical and well balanced dial perfectly.
The dial is simply signed Girard-Perregaux with ‘Swiss’ at the very bottom.
This is the original dial which has been beautifully and sympathetically restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers, who are considered the best in the UK, making this is as fine an example as you are ever likely to see.
The watch carries its original Universal Geneve Calibre 12, 17 Jewel hand-wound movement which is in tip-top condition following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Universal Geneve specialist watchmaker. This means the movement has been completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected and rebuilt using only original parts where required, before careful calibration and testing. Upon return to stock, the watch is now running to within +3 seconds per day, which is outstanding for any vintage watch of this age! When fully wound, this movement also has a 42-hour power reserve. It has been very well maintained and cared for and is in sparkling condition.
The movement is signed ‘Universal Geneve’ and with the Calibre No. 12, ‘17 Jewels’ and ‘Adjusted Swiss’. The movement serial number 18932 dates this watch to 1956.
These movements are strong, accurate and very reliable, making it completely practical and appropriate for regular everyday use. Our watchmaker has indicated this particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing, every 3 years we fully expect this watch to run very happily for many more decades to come! We are therefore very pleased to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement* and servicing in the future, as required.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The 9ct yellow gold case measures 33mm in diameter, excluding the correct matching signed crown. The case is of a heavy three-piece design with a press-fit case-back and carries attractive facetted lugs. It is in excellent condition, having received a very gentle and sympathetic clean and polish, although the watch has obviously been very well cared for as there are no dings, scratches or marks visible to the naked eye.
The inside of the case-back carries English hallmarks and externally the case reference number 2580, is very clear and distinct, indicating the watch case has not been overpolished. The case-back is also, importantly, of full thickness and has never been engraved.
As always, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The watch is fitted with a new, high quality black soft leather strap with a plain gold-plated buckle. 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 and in plain padded leather, or crocodile skin or lizard skin. For a wider selection, please take a look at the wonderful choice of straps offered by our suppliers, Watch Obsession. We will be pleased to order and fit the strap of your choice, within 24 – 48 hours.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the numbers and markings on the watch are all correct, dating the watch to circa 1956.
A detailed written receipt with 12 months’ warranty* and a separate insurance valuation for the replacement value will 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”.
A high quality hardwood presentation box is included in the sale, as shown.
A unique example of a fascinating timepiece which will undoubtedly make an excellent financial investment, as well as be something wonderful to wear, treasure and enjoy! It could make a practical watch for regular or occasional use, as you wish and if it continues to be well cared for and regularly serviced, it will provide dependable service for many decades to come.
This watch carries a great deal more style, individuality and panache than a new watch and to buy the same quality today would be difficult, at 4 or 5 times the price.
However you may wish to view this watch, as each year goes by and the world market grows ever larger, the limited supply and high demand for the finest vintage gold watches means prices will inevitably climb ever higher!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring them 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 means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be good value and very fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept payment via PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK cheque or by bank transfer, we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you.
If you have any questions please call: 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas: +44 207 727 7095.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges.
Please take a look at our other vintage gold watches.