FrontRunners: Swiss Watchmakers
Swiss watchmakers are normally very boring," observes
Girard-Perregaux chief Gino Macaluso. "But sometimes we just want to have fun."
For proof, he can point to the new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945
Jackpot Tourbillon, which combines his
company’s revered tourbillon mechanism with a fully functioning one-armed
bandit. The Jackpot, available at Wynn & Co. Watches in the Wynn Las Vegas
casino (www.wynnlasvegas.com), is modeled on the first mechanical slot machine,
the Liberty Bell, invented in the late 19th century. (The machine was so named
because when it displayed three bells, it delivered its maximum payout: 50
cents.) Girard-Perregaux collaborated with the complication specialty house
Christophe Claret to produce the $565,000 watch. The odds of hitting a jackpot
are 1 in 125, although Macaluso has experimented with a push-button cheat
mechanism for those who cannot stand to lose.