Brand Histories

1791 • The watchmaker J.F. Bautte signed his first creations and soon became well known for his extra-slim models. In Geneva he founded a manufacturing house that brought all of the watch making crafts together beneath the same roof, at the time a highly innovative idea...

1837 • Jacques Bautte and Jean Samuel Rossel succeeded the illustrious Jean-François Bautte, who left them a legacy of huge industrial and cultural quality.

1854 • Constant Girard married Marie Perregaux.

1856 • Their joint names were the origin of the Manufacturer Girard-Perregaux.

1867 • Constant Girard produced his triple gold bridge Tourbillon, the result of many years research into, notably, the use of gold within the movement as a purely functional metal. This masterpiece was awarded the gold medal at the Paris Universal Exhibitions in 1867 and 1889 before being judged ineligible at the 1901 Exhibition, as none could equal it.

1880 • From this date onwards, the highly innovative Constant Girard developed a concept for wristwatches, originally intended for German naval officers, ordered by the German Kaiser Wilhelm I. Two thousand watches were produced. This production represented the first mass sale of wristwatches. But the idea, considered to be too far-fetched for the time, wasn’t followed through. It wasn’t until the start of the next century that the wristwatch became popular, and entered industrial development to make Swiss watch making a jewel of the national economy, and now a monopoly.

1890 • The Manufacture became so popular that bit by bit, sales grew in South America, the United States and Japan. In fact some of the most important watches now on display in the Manufacture’s private museum were found in South America. At the dawn of the 20th century, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin timed trial flights with his Girard-Perregaux timepiece.

1910 • Wristwatches made their real appearance, and Girard-Perregaux achieved considerable recognition.

1928 • Otto Graef, a watchmaker of German origin and owner of the brand MIMO (Manufacture Internationale de Montres Or, the international manufacture of gold watches) took over the shareholding in Girard-Perregaux.

1930 • Wristwatch sales overtook pocket watch sales. Constant Girard, who had anticipated this development since 1880, could now rightly be considered something of a visionary.

1932 • Girard-Perregaux opened a subsidiary in the United States, where the brand enjoyed considerable success throughout the American continent.

1940 • The second world war hardly affected the Manufacture’s activity; which continued to develop the Girard-Perregaux brand in Europe as well as the American continent, with the MIMO brand mostly distributed on European markets.

1948 • To meet the needs of a renowned international business, construction began of the building at Place Girardet 1, in Chaux-de-Fonds. The building was restored in 1988 and is still the Manufacture’s head office today.

1950 • Chaux-de-Fonds had become an established watch making metropolis, and Girard-Perregaux was one of the most prestigious brands. With integrated Manufacture, it traded with all international markets and developed its business in Asia.

1966 • Girard-Perregaux developed and produced the first high frequency mechanical movement, with a balance wheel reaching 36,000 alternations per hour.

1969 • The Manufacture designed and produced a quartz movement at 32.768 Hertz, the frequency which became the standard for every quartz watch produced in the world, including those manufactured in Asia. This standard frequency should be considered a veritable technological revolution.

1973 • The Manufacture added a new best-seller to its collection by creating a model which achieved world success under the name of Laureato. The case had an octagonal lunette and integrated bracelet.

1981 • The watchmakers at Girard-Perregaux undertook the remake of 20 examples of the famous Tourbillon triple gold bridge pocket watch.

1991 • To celebrate its bicentenary, the Manufacture produced a miniature version in watch dimensions of the much celebrated Tourbillon triple gold bridge pocket watch.

1993 • Girard-Perregaux signed a co-branding deal with FERRARI and created a flyback chronograph, produced in a limited edition, cut with the mythical “ little rearing horse.” In November, the “barrel chronograph” known as the Richeville was nominated Best Watch of the Year in Japan.

1994 • In Basel, the Manufacture produced the entirely new mechanical extra-slim calibers GP 3000 et GP 3100 with automatic rewind, that led to a new generation of movements, GP 3200 et GP 3300. In June, the international presentation of the “Tribute to Ferrari” flyback chronograph was organised at La Chaux-de-Fonds.

1996 • In July, the international presentation at La Chaux-de-Fonds, of the F50 “Pour Ferrari” model commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Italian carmaker brought together over 500 guests and a collection of 127 Ferraris. In November, the Japanese market again paid homage to the Manufacture by naming the 1945 Vintage model Best of the Year.

1998 • Girard-Perregaux set up a subsidiary in Japan.

1999 • The brand entered the Geneva Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (the international master watchmaking salon). Here it offered the latest work from its master watchmaking department, the development of a new triple gold bridge Tourbillon with automatic mechanism, as well as the latest of its manufactured movements: an automatic rewind mechanical chronograph with column wheels which would be used in the Vintage 1945 chronograph. At the same time, the brand presented the latest model of the Girard-Perregaux Ferrari collection to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the constitution of the Scuderia Ferrari, a flyback chronograph with lightning second hand. The watch’s mechanism was inspired by a pocket watch created by Constant Girard in 1880, which can now be seen in the Manufacture museum. The same year, the Villa Marguerite opened its doors and from April onwards, welcomed many visitors from all over the world.

2000 • In February, Girard-Perregaux opened a subsidiary in the United States to enhance the brand synergies in this immense market.

2001 • Thanks to the domain of movements, and the newly developed date indicator mechanism, Girard-Perregaux created the classic model Vintage 1945 Great Date and Lunar Phases, an association of two very specific functions for highly attractive time-pieces. In November, this watch won the much-prized “Watch of the Year”award.

2002-2003 • To regroup its activities, Girard-Perregaux acquired further industrial premises near to those it had occupied for the previous 54 years at Place Girardet. All of the Manufacture’s production activity, as well as the research and development department, were regrouped beneath the same roof. As for the building at 1 Place Girardet, it continued to house Girard-Perregaux’s administration, customer services, and the department of master watchmaking. The acquisition of a luxurious villa, built at the start of the 20th century has been, since the summer of 2002, home to the JEAN RICHARD brand.

2004 • In March, Girard-Perregaux presented a great world first at Shanghai, the latest of its Tourbillons that combined, with great expertise, a chronograph movement and a perpetual calendar. The model, dedicated to Enzo Ferrari, celebrated ten years of remarkable collaboration between the manufacturing brand and Ferrari.

From Daytona
to the Cosmograph Daytona

a lot
very much indeed
not at all

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