2009 Luxury Preview: Racing Form

  • Laurie Kahle

Around 1880, Constant Girard—founder of Girard-Perregaux—unveiled a pocket watch that could measure fractions of a second. The function was named foudroyante, from the French word for "lightning." This year, the firm—one of few companies that produce foudroyante timepieces—combines the function with a rattrapante (split-second) chronograph and the acclaimed Three Gold Bridge tourbillon in the $530,000 Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon Chronograph with Rattrapante and Foudroyante. The watch’s rattrapante chronograph features two hands that can register split times, while the foudroyante second hand completes one revolution every second on the subdial at 9 o’clock, imperceptibly marking a stop time every sixth of a second. To improve performance, Girard-Perregaux equipped the rattrapante with an isolating device to ensure constant balance amplitude, so that engaging the chronograph does not drain power from the main watch mechanism. These stopwatch functions are combined with the rotation of the tourbillon, which is situated at 6 o’clock. The firm will make 33 pieces.

877.846.3447, www.girard-perregaux.com

Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
Photo by Didier Gourdon
The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
The company’s signature mixture of technical and aesthetic watchmaking is on display in the Bovet...
On assuming his new position, Lambert lost little time in the development of new watches...
In 2008, the British inventor, electronics tycoon, and philanthropist John C. Taylor unveiled the...