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FrontRunners: Swiss Watchmakers

The Editors

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.

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