What happens when Girard-Perregaux’s traditional (and iconic) Three Golden Bridges meets 2020? You get the Girard-Perregaux Quasar Light. It’s hard to imagine a more ‘now’ case material than crystal clear and ultra-hard sapphire (except possibly something 3D printed), and the combination with Girard-Perregaux’s traditional movement design is startlingly modern.
Before we get onto the light — how about we talk movements. If Girard-Perreguax’s golden bridges, a design born in the nineteenth century and one that looks to watchmaking’s rich past, the Neo-bridges, first introduced on 2014’s Neo-Tourbillon, is all about the future. Neo-bridges take their inspiration less from the micro-world of watch engineering and more from the sweeping, brutalist monuments of architects like Oscar Niemeyer. Typically seen in matte-black titanium, these bridges allow for a clean take on the movement, as well as a pleasing symmetry of purpose, with the bridges bearing the barrel (here in dazzling ruthenium), center wheel and 60-second tourbillon in crisp vertical axis.
But what really makes these airy arches stand out — in fact, Girard-Perregaux calls them Aerial Neo-bridges — is the fact that they, like the case of the Quasar, are meticulously crafted from sapphire, an evolution from the sapphire-case-but-metal-movement of last year’s Quasar. While that was an exercise in airy contrast, the Quasar Light is an exercise in clarity and translucence.
While the airy openness of the movement is what wins me over — details like that ruthenium barrel and open white gold handset make the interior of this watch an exercise in reflection and refraction as much as telling the time, which by the way, looks like something you’ll need to work on for a second — contrast is not the aim of the game here.
And while the sapphire bridges are the novelty here, it’s worth not glossing over the achievement of the case. The large 46mm case has been painstakingly ground down from a single piece of the synthetic material — a process requiring over 200 hours of effort. And while sapphire cases are a little more common than they once were, they still pack plenty of impact.
Which is what the Girard-Perregaux Quasar Light is — a statement of the first order. Girard-Perregaux’s rich past and bright future, all wrapped up in one glittering bauble of a watch.
Reference GP09400-1128, automatic, 3 Hz, 60 hours power reserve. Skeletonised white gold hands, 60-second tourbillon cage, comprised of 79 parts weighing a total of 0.250 grams. Three bridges made from sapphire. Rated to 30m
Sapphire 46mm diameter by 15.25mm height, box style sapphire caseback and crystal.
Hand-stitched grey fabric with a metallic effect.
The Girard-Perregaux Quasar Light is limited to 18 pieces.