The city of Brasília, is more than just the capital of Brazil. It is a city featuring some of the most astonishing architecture in the world. Unique is also that it was founded in 1960 to be the new capital of Brazil, and is therefore a so called planned city. Much the same can be said about Girard-Perregaux’s recently introduced Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges. The Tourbillon with Three Golden Bridges has been an intricate part of Girard Perregaux’s history as well as a major force in their current collection. Yet that didn’t stop them from introducing the Neo-Tourbillon, a whole different approach to a very familiar watch. And just like Brasília, features the Neo-Tourbillon some stunning architecture!

Of course this sense of architecture is incorporated into the bridges, another aspect it shares with Brasília, since this city is also home to the famed Juscelino Kubitschek bridge, named after Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, the former president of Brazil who in the late 1950s decided to build Brasília as the new capital of the country. For obvious reasons Girard Perregaux opted not for concrete to build its bridges but went for titanium which was skeletonised, sandblasted and PVD-coated to get its final shape. A difficult process since any deformation of the bridges has to be avoided at all cost in order to build a reliable and precise movement. The result is indeed a stunning piece of micro-architecture, that also happen to resemble a bow-tie from a distance.

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The dial is protected by a uniquely shaped sapphire crystal that is placed directly into the case. The Neo-Tourbillon does therefor not feature a bezel and allows for a larger part of the dial to be visible. More importantly is that Girard-Perregaux shaped the sapphire crystal like a box, in such a way that it eliminates as much reflections as possible. This allows to observe the movement from nearly every angle, even from the sides. With most watches this is not a necessity, adding very little to the overall experience of observing the watch, but because of the three dimensional nature of the bridges this is quite the opposite for the Neo-Tourbillon.

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The heart of the Neo-tourbillon is also completely revised compared to the one that powers the Tourbillon with Three Golden Bridges. For the very first time Girard-Perregaux crafted the Tourbillon-cage out of titanium. This makes it that the tourbillon weighs only 0.25 grams, despite consisting out of 80 parts and even feature an increased diameter of 14.44 mm. But that is not all that is new when it comes to the movement. The winding system of the watch now features a white gold microrotor that is tucked away entirely under the main spring barrel. By increasing the size of the main spring barrel the Neo-Tourbillon also has a longer power reserve, now boasting an impressive 72 hours.

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Although the Neo-Tourbillon is not a limited edition, production will no doubt be limited. First of all it is still a complicated watch to make and Girard-Perregaux will most likely not be able to create that many on a yearly basis. Secondly will perhaps also it’s price tag of 135.000,- euro’s (tax included) control the demand side of the watch. A lot of money, but than again, architecture never comes cheap.

Martin Green
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics

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