Girard-Perregaux Cal.72.1 Curvex 18ct 1958/59
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Beautifully Well Cared for & Lightly Used Example
24mm, 18ct Yellow Gold Case, Excluding the Signed Crown
Case size 24mm width, 37mm length and 44mm across the Diagonal
Beautiful, Original, Unrestored Dial with Original ‘Dauphine’ Hands
Superb Original Hand-Wound Girard Perregaux Cal.72.1, 17 Jewels Movement
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition Throughout
Original Vintage Girard Perregaux Presentation Box Included
High Quality Camel Grain Strap with Gold Plated Buckle
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 it 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 reverse gear winding system, which 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.
A superb example of a Girard-Perregaux gentleman’s dress watch in a beautiful 18ct curved rectangular case which measures 37mm tip to tip including the lugs, 43mm across the diagonal and 24mm in width, excluding the Girard-Perregaux signed crown. The case and lens are slightly curved to follow the curve of the wrist and this is sometimes referred to as a ‘Curvex’ case.
The wonderful ivory cream dial has a slight silver sheen which catches the light beautifully. The dial is full 1950s charm and is totally original, unrestored and untouched. This is in remarkable condition for the age of the watch.
The stunning Girard-Perregaux Cal.72.1, 17 Jewel movement is ‘state of the art’ for the period and as can be seen, it has been very well cared for and in sparkling clean condition.
The charming ivory cream dial carries applied gilt ‘arrowhead’ hour indices, matched by the original gilt ‘Dauphine’ hands. It is very evocative of the period and with a good deal of class and style which reflects the fact that this would have been a very expensive watch when new and a good deal more than an equivalent Rolex.
The dial catches the light nicely and subtly changes from an ivory cream in daylight to a slightly more silvery grey indoors under artificial light.
The dial is totally understated, perfectly balanced and in the classic style, with a subsidiary seconds dial which is exactly the style which many watch companies are reviving in the form of numerous heritage and re-releases made available today.
This is the original, unrestored and totally untouched dial, which is in tip-top condition. Normally we restore a watch dial along with the rest of the watch as part of a restoration. Here however, we felt this unnecessary due to its outstanding condition and the fact that some buyers prefer as much originality retained as possible in a watch, as they feel this is part the charm of a watch.
The dial is simply signed ‘Girard-Perregaux’ with 1791 – the date the company was established – along with ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom of the dial.
Girard-Perregaux is famous within the Swiss watch industry for the technical innovations and craftsmanship demonstrated in all of their movements.
If one takes a little time to study photographs of the various watch movements on this website and elsewhere, for examples of either Zenith, Longines and particularly IWC, one begins to notice certain similarities among the best quality movements such as this. Simple things like a large balance wheel in proportion to the rest of the movement for accuracy, the tiny adjustable screws around the balance used for ‘poising’, i.e. balancing the balance and correcting temperature error, then the layout of the bridge and the other top plates, also the quality of the chamfering of these plates, but perhaps most of all, the proportions and cohesiveness of the design. Like many mechanical things designed and built to perform a function, purity and form are often linked with performance. Needless to say, we greatly admire this movement!
The Girard-Perregaux Cal.72.1, 17 Jewel movement has just completed a full restoration by our vintage specialist watchmaker. The beryllium bronze plated movement is in sparkling clean condition and working perfectly following a thorough overhaul and service. 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 +9 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 42 hours. We are therefore more than happy to offer this watch with our 12-months warranty on the movement.
The movement is signed ‘Girard-Perregaux’, ‘Swiss’, and ’17 Jewels’ along with the serial number 9109286 which dates this watch to 1958*.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The 18ct yellow gold watch case here was crafted here with equal care and attention to quality as the movement and so it is of the finest quality. It measures 37mm tip to tip including the lugs, 43mm across the diagonal, and 24mm in width, excluding the Girard-Perregaux signed crown making this a good mid-sized case for the period. The attractive curved rectangular case and lens nicely follows the contour of the wrist when worn.
The case is in extraordinarily good condition considering its age, with no dings, scratches or dimples visible to the naked eye. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved and inside the case-back, all is correct and as expected, signed and branded Girard-Perregaux 1791, Swiss, with Geneva Swiss 18ct hallmarks along with the reference A5M. This watch was originally sold in the UK and so it carries Glasgow UK hallmarks which are dated 1959*.
Externally, the case serial number 48740701 is very clear and distinct, indicating the watch case has never been over-polished.
*This watch could therefore be rightfully referred to as either a 1958 or 1959 watch.
Please note, as ever our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A high-quality brown camel grain leather strap has been fitted, along with a 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 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 circa 1958-1959. 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 matching original vintage Girard-Perregaux presentation case as shown in the photographs is included with the watch.
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 absolute 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!