GIRARD-PERREGAUX 1966 CHATEAU LATOUR EDITION

Limited Edition of 18 Numbered Timepieces.

Girard-Perregaux (GP) – the La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland based prestigious watchmaker, has partnered with Chateau Latour – the Medoc wine region, France based prestigious vineyard, to create the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Chateau Latour Edition.

In Girard-Perregaux’s own words, “Excellence and heritage are two characteristics synonymous with Chateau Latour and Girard-Perregaux. Moreover, both Maison’s products are defined by their place of origin. Indeed, it is the terroir that imbues their creations with a distinctive flavour. Now, these two prestigious names have come together and conceived a timepiece that unites both worlds, culminating in the release of a slim, elegant timepiece incorporating a dial formed of pebble that promises to bestow a lasting allure.”

Girard-Perregaux:

Founded in 1791, Gerard-Perregaux is among the oldest and prestigious of Swiss watchmakers.

In their own words:

“Since 1791, Girard-Perregaux has been embracing the rhythm of ever-elusive time. Cradled in the Jura mountains in the heart of La Chaux-de-Fonds, it is a pioneer in the world of Haute Horlogerie: an independent Manufacture which has retained this status for over two centuries, successfully keeping all production in-house and passing down exceptional horological skills throughout the generations. The preservation of this savoir-faire, along with a sincere passion for beauty and for the art itself, has remained the key to Girard-Perregaux’s ability to continuously innovate.”

“Always seeking the perfect balance of beauty and functionality, fans of fine watchmaking will instantly recognise the house signatures, such as the iconic octagonal bezel of the Laureato and the legendary Tourbillon with ‘Three Gold Bridges’. From seeking to create industry references in timepieces to making the invisible visible through the art of precision engineering, Girard-Perregaux never ceases to change the course of time vis pieces that are the first of their kind. This place at the vanguard of horological innovation is solidified by over one hundred recorded patents for original designs, like the movement of three arrow-shaped bridges, registered in 1884, as well as prizes like the ‘Aiguille d’Or’ in 2013 and distinctions like the Gold Medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1889.”

“Rooted in its heritage, Girard-Perregaux is driven by the instinct to always look ahead, embracing new technologies, utilising state-of-the materials, and finding inventive ways to bring joy by reimagining iconic shapes. To this end, Girard-Perregaux has remained a human-sized Manufacture, and in 2022 became part of an independent collective of Haute Horlogerie Manufactures alongside sister Maison Ulysse Nardin.”

Chateau Latour:

With its origins since 1331, Chateau Latour is among the most prestigious vineyards in the world.

In their own words:

“Chateau Latour is situated in the heart of the Medoc wine region, about 50 km north-west of Bordeaux, where the legend of the vineyards of Bordeaux began. The Chateau’s prime terroir, I’Enclos, overlooks the estuary of the Gironde river which, over the centuries, has given the vineyard its geological complexity and, om a daily basis, ensure a mild climate.”

“Most of Chateau Latour’s vines are planted on gravelly hilltops that stand 12 to 16 metres above the Gironde estuary. The fortunate combination of the Gironde, layers of gravel on the surface and clay subsoil gives Chateau Latour’s terroir advantages that few other vineyards can claim. It is the grapes from the 47 hectares that surround the Chateau, known as “I’Enclos” that may potentially be used in the production of the Grand Vin. The estate is planted with about 76% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% of Merlot and 2% of Petit Verdot.”

“In the years since 1993, under the leadership of Francois Pinault, the estate’s owner, significant changes have been made with a view to maintaining Chateau Latour’s pursuit of excellence in the wines that it produces.”

“The 95 hectares of the estate are managed by Frederic Engerer and his team. All the men and women working at Chateau Latour in both the vineyard and the cellar are motivated by a search of perfection.”

Design:

The 1966 Chateau Latour Edition is based on Girard-Perregaux’s 1966 collection, a family of round timepieces, “which honours the award-winning technical advances in chronometry Girard-Perregaux achieved in the 1960s.”

“In 1966, Girard-Perregaux was awarded the Centenary prize of the Neuchatel Observatory (Switzerland) for the Gyromatic HF, the very first high frequency movement (36,000 vibrations/hour), a landmark the Manufacture celebrates with its 1966 collection. This range is defined by elegance, simplicity, svelteness and timeless styling.”

The highlight of the 18 pieces of the 1966 Chateau Latour Edition are their unique dials, each crafted from pebbles found at the Chateau Latour vineyard. Hours and minutes, centre seconds, and date function at 3 o’clock are the functions of this timepiece.

“Chateau Latour’s terroir is unique courtesy of its mild climate, geological complexity and its proximity to the estuary. The ground beneath the vines is dressed in a thick blanket of pebbles. The palest pebbles reflect light, accelerating the photosynthesis process, while the darker pebbles harvest the daytime sun, releasing heat throughout the night. Recognising the beauty of the pebbles, Girard-Perregaux has created 18 exclusive timepieces featuring dials formed of light-coloured pebbles gathered from the Chateau Latour vineyard.”

Furthermore:

“Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux, remarks, “We share much in common with Chateau Latour. We both have a rich history, a know-how amassed over hundreds of years…an ancestral savoir-faire. We recognise the importance of our people, how their passion and skill is reflected in the products we create. And, lastly, we recognise that the terroir is key to product excellence. I am delighted to work with one of the most prestigious vineyards in the world.”

Dial:

Crafting a timepiece dial out of a pebble is not easy. It is a tremendous undertaking. The process of transforming a pebble into a dial is explained in their own words below:

“Each dial is painstakingly crafted with skilled hands. The artisan cuts and grinds each pebble, carefully reducing its thickness to a mere sliver, measuring 0.45mm in depth. This disc of pebble is mounted on a brass base, resulting in a total thickness of just 0.70mm. A function of using natural pebbles is that each piece varies in appearance and structure. Indeed, a closer look reveals subtle differences in shade, small fissures, hollows and inclusions. These variables make the fabrications of each dial challenging, resulting in some not passing muster or even breaking. Only the finest examples are used, the culmination of 30 hours of meticulous work. Due consideration is also given to the potential fragility of the pebbles, ensuring no dial is used which could impair the precision or reliability of the movement. The resultant appearance of each dial is unique, conferring a notable degree of exclusivity.”

The hour and minute hands are golden, and leaf shaped. The hours are denoted by slender baton shaped markers, which are slightly thicker at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. At 12 o’clock, instead of a baton hour-marker, ‘GP’ – denoting Girard Perregaux’s is present. Situated below this, ‘Girard-Perregaux’ and its logo are present. Slightly above the 6 o’clock baton, ‘Automatic’ is present. And below the 6 o’clock baton, on its left and right side, ‘Swiss Made’ is present.

“Frederic Engerer, CEO of Artemis Domaines and Chateau Latour “Objects of beauty and works of art, surpass mere functionality. They harness beauty, patience, know-how and the passion imparted by those people who contribute to this excellence. With this collaboration, some of our most amazing pebbles have been united with exceptional Swiss watchmaking.”

Case:

The case of the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Chateau Latour Edition is crafted in pink gold. It has a case diameter of 40mm and a case thickness of 9.40mm. On the dial side, it has an anti-reflective sapphire crystal. And on the caseback side, a sapphire crystal with the Chateau Latour logo adorned on the calibre. The timepiece is water resistant up to 30 meters of 3 ATM.

In their own words, “The case of the 1966 Chateau Latour Edition is designed to complement the dial’s bewitching complexion. Formed of pink gold, it accentuates the subtle yellow hues of the pebble dial. The golden leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are elegant and impart meaning clearly, working in concert with the slender indexes. A centre seconds hand and date display complete the inventory of functions. In the world of winemaking, time is hugely important and is a prerequisite to the making of the finest Bordeaux wines.”

Movement:

The 1966 Chateau Latour Edition is powered by Girard-Perregaux’s in-house automatic calibre GP03300-2180. Its functions are hours, minutes, centre seconds, and date. It has a diameter of 25.60mm and a height of 3.36mm. It comprises of 218 parts, 27 jewels, beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations/hour or 4 Hz, and has a power reserve of about 46 hours.

A brown alligator leather strap with a pink gold pin buckle complements the timepiece.

In their own words, “A sapphire crystal case-back, adorned with the Chateau Latour logo, affords sight of the Calibre GP03300. This self-winding movement features exemplary finishing, including chamfering, circular graining, circular and straight Cotes de Geneva, engravings, mirror-polishing, satin finish, snailing and sunray finish. While the movement is made in-house, some parts of the watch are sourced locally. Indeed, 90% of the watch components are made within a 100km radius of La Chaux-de-Fonds.”

Concluding Thoughts:

Collaborations are often challenging, as combining the essence of a timepiece brand with that of another luxury brand has the possibility of ‘missing the mark.’ Girard-Perregaux’s 1966 Chateau Latour Edition has captured the spirit and essence of both Maisons – Girard-Perregaux and Chateau Latour – exceptionally well. A horological connoisseur who loves wines, or a wine lover who is new to or loves horology, will genuinely appreciate the 1966 Chateau Latour Edition. Just as wine lovers often keep the corks of wine bottles as a memory of a special occasion or simply because they truly loved the wine; here the 18 fortunate owners of the 1966 Chateau Latour Edition will forever have a ‘piece’ (the dial) of the prestigious, iconic, and mythical Chateau Latour vineyard as part of their timepiece.

Version:

Name: 1966 Chateau Latour Edition.

Reference: 49555-52-3160-2GC.

Limited edition of 18 numbered timepieces.

“The watch, limited and numbered to 18 pieces, will be exclusively and only available to the private guests of the Chateau Latour estate and the Villa Girard-Perregaux in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the ancestral home of the Manufacture.”

Price: Swiss Francs (CHF): 36,000.

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