It is quite easy to miss the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Dual Time, but this is mainly thanks to the strength of this collection. There is that stunning chronograph, the beautiful full calendar and of course the annual calendar with equation of time (minute repeater is optional), that displays these complications in a delightfully uncomplicated way. Add to that also the Tri-Axial Tourbillon, Neo-Tourbillon, New Cat’s Eye and the stunning Constant Escapement, and you can see why the 1966 Dual Time is easily overlooked. This is however a fate that the watch does not deserve at all, since it is one of those watches that combines a complication with a delightful design, on which Girard-Perregaux seems to hold the patent.
The strength of the 1966 Dual Time can be found in the way it embraces the second time zone complication. No unreadable globes that turn on the dial, or anything that fancy, but rather a well structured dial in which an inner ring, indicating the hours for the second timezone, is slightly raised above the rest of the dial, while the hour markers at three, nine and twelve o’clock slightly go over it. The result is a stunning, rich dial, with a lot of depth and a very pleasing color contrast. Adding to this is the sub dial at six o’clock that displays the date, which is intertwined with the ring for the second timezone, as well as with the rest of the dial.
The sub dial for the date is a smart move on Girard-Perregaux’s behalf. Not only does it add symmetry and more of another element to the dial, it also deals nicely with the fact that the complication is a module. The base movement of the 1966 Dual Time is caliber 3300. This Manufacture caliber is descended from caliber 3100, which was introduced in 1994, and the first in a new generation of automatic manufacture movements by Girard-Perregaux. With a height of just over 3mm (without the module) the base-movement is quite slim, and has also been the movement of choice by other brands, like for example Cartier and Daniel Roth. Although caliber 3300 has a date function, when adding a module, you also add depth and that means that either the date is difficult to read because it lies noticeably under the dial, or your have to work with small magnifying glasses to compensate for that. The option chosen by Girard-Perregaux now is by far the most elegant solution.
The 1966 Dual Time comes with two push buttons on the side of the case, which allow for the instant adjustment of the timezone. I have always been a fan of this type of adjustment, especially over the ones that have a correction pusher at the side of the case that needs to be pressed by a special push pin. That is far from ideal when you are traveling, especially since traveling from one timezone to another often involves planes. The additional advantage of the two push buttons is their appearance. They give the watch a more sporty look, which suits its overall design theme quite well. I think that it is fair to say that Girard-Perregaux hit a homerun through timezones with the 1966 Dual Time.
Eclectic taste in Haute Horlogerie, passion for diamond set watches, loves the classics