Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases

Hands-On: Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases

This detailed review of the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases includes live pictures, specification and pricing.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases - 41mm white gold case with small seconds display

With the onset of years, sagacity grows. Indeed, the naivety and impetuosity of youth usually diminishes with advancing years. The moon is 4.47 billion years old, it has continuously observed life and witnessed infinite events. The moon is a paragon of wisdom courtesy of its all-knowing glance at life below.

This new timepiece from Girard-Perregaux expertly captures the beauty of the moon, suspended in a starry sky. The Moon Phases are exquisitely depicted on a rotating disc at the base of the dial. The indication depicts the moon waxing and waning in stylised form, exuding insight with each orbit of the earth.

The Swiss maison has been in existence since 1791, could the depiction of the sage moon prove a fitting metaphor for the prowess and acuity of this long-standing company?

The dial

The silver toned dial exudes a graceful air. The elongated applied batons at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock are elegant, softly conversing with the wearer. Positioned between each applied baton are black, printed indexes that exhibit a deferential role to the aforementioned applied batons.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases - 41mm white gold case with small seconds display

Feuille-shaped hour and minute hands circumscribe the dial with a genteel gait. There is nothing unduly flamboyant about these hands, understatement is the prevailing sentiment.

Located beneath noon, sitting below double batons, is a large rectangular aperture proclaiming the date with notable clarity. Two date discs collaborate to impart the date. The left hand date disc  features black numerals on a transparent roundel, floating above the right hand disc. Each numeral appears to seamlessly join hands with its neighbour. There is no indication of where one disc ends and another disc starts. The mechanical exactitude is highly impressive.

Positioned above 6 o’clock, the previously mentioned moon-phase sits quietly, momentarily revealing glinting stars or a gleaming moon. A small seconds display encircles the moon phase display. The petite leaf-shaped hand traces the subtle markings framing the moon phase display, with each second pronounced clearly.

Despite being equipped with two complications, a large date and a moon phase display, the dial appears sparsely populated. This is not a criticism, rather the contrary. Everything is evenly spaced with nothing appearing squashed. Moreover, because each indication has sufficient room to breathe, each indication proves highly legible and simple to interpret.

The case

Measuring 41mm in diameter, with a case height of 11.22mm, the 18-carat white gold case appears much larger when viewed on the wrist. I found the watch nestled on my wrist comfortably and did not unduly impose its presence.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases - 41mm white gold case with small seconds display

While the timepiece is available in 18-carat pink gold, in my opinion, the white gold version befits the watch better, reinforcing its understated character and highlighting its sparing use of colour.

The crown sits unobtrusively on the left hand flank of the case, yet proves simple to manipulate.

Gracing the rear of the case, the 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases is equipped with a pane of sapphire crystal, granting sight of the self-winding Calibre GP03300-0110.

The movement

Girard-Perregaux is a revered company, held in the highest esteem for its peerless mechanical movements. The Calibre GP03300-0110 is delightfully finished with circular Côtes de Genève motif on the 18-carat gold oscillating mass, straight Côtes de Genève motif on the bridges, bevelling, perlage on the mainplate, snailing on the barrel cover and thermally blued screws.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases - 41mm white gold case with small seconds display

All visible movement components are distilled to the highest standard. Indeed, there are no indications of cost saving or expedient short cuts. 

The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement has a power reserve of at least 54 hours.

Closing remarks

While I adore watches equipped with complications, I do concede that they often lead to a busy dial surface. The Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases proffers two delightful complications yet remains uncluttered.

The large date cleverly uses a transparent disc to impart the left hand date numeral seamlessly. Indeed, while the complication features two date discs, the wearer is unlikely to tell without using a loupe and examining the watch at close quarters.

The moon phase display is of sufficient size to be easily read but without overwhelming the dial vista.

The movement is beautifully appointed and shows no evidence of compromise. This is an exemplar of haute horlogerie.

It is the mastery shown by Girard-Perregaux in this instance, deftly sidestepping the gauche, avoiding the cluttered and embracing exalted craftsmanship, which distinguishes this maison as special. Having operated since 1791, this practitioner of fine watchmaking has once again illustrated its wisdom and mastery of all horological disciplines. 

Further information

Technical specification

  • Model: Girard-Perregaux 1966 Large Date and Moon Phases
  • Case: 18-carat white gold; diameter 41mm; height 11.22mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres)
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; large date; moon phase display
  • Movement: Calibre GP03300-0110; Self-winding movement; frequency = 28,800 VpH (4Hz); power reserve = minimum 54 hours
  • Strap: Black alligator strap with pin buckle
  • Price: €21,600. (RRP in Germany as at March 2017)

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