This was one of the more interesting products I saw at SIHH 2012 and I don’t even know if Girard-Perregaux is going to market it that much. The piece is sort of half-new, half-existing, but you can of course call it a new model. A few years ago Girard-Perregaux was one of the brands making Ferrari-branded timepieces. At the time they had a gold watch called the Scuderia Ferrari Foudroyante Rattrapante. The Ferrari name departs and the watch gets a totally new dial for 2012. I don’t know how many of these watches will be around, but I really want one.
The piece will be simply called the Girard-Perregaux Foudroyante Rattrapante watch. It is a great value for the movement and the two exotic complications. Essentially the watch has a 30 minute split second (rattrapante) chronograph that measures 1/8 of a second on a dedicated hand (foudroyante). It also has the time. In my opinion, this new dial is a lot nicer than the previous one on the Ferrari model. A lot of that has to do with the hands and the colors.
While the case is just 40mm wide, the piece does sit a bit larger on the wrist due to the larger lugs and the prominent crown and pushers. The split second pusher is located in the crown itself for a cleaner look. As I state in the video, what I love about this watch are the retro looks and use of dauphine hands on a sports watch. You rarely see that and I think the dial is able to pull it off rather well. You also have applied hour markers and a very legible face. All it is missing is lume.
As a sports watch it is hard to call it modern looking. The case is rather modern – if not a bit chunky, but the dial is all old school, but in a good way. Proportions are pretty good and all the hands are easy to see. Watches like this tell other watches with stubby hands to suck it. Someday I know I am going to get into a fist fight with some industrial designer that makes watch dials with hands so short they mock clocks everywhere. For the sake of the children, please let’s focus on not totally forgetting how to design analog watch dials. Thanks for keeping it real GP. The dial itself has a sprinkling of red color and watching that arrow style foudroyante hand mechanically spin is a real pleasure. The periphery of the dial has a minute scale and a really covert tachymeter scale as well.
Inside the GP Foudroyante Rattrapante (say that five times fast) is an in-house made Girard-Perregaux Caliber 8020 automatic movement. The case of the watch is highly polished with brushed sides and I like the no frills caseback which is just a nice piece of polished steel. Attached to the watch is a fitted reptile strap for a nice refined look. There is a lot to like about this incredibly unpretentious high-end timepiece. Price isn’t that bad either considering the complications and the brand. Another upside is that this is a chronograph mechanism you’ll love to use because watching it in action is so fun. Brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre even built watches with constant foudroyante hands because some people like watching them all the time.
For me, this is a stellar watch that might have never got the attention it deserved back a few years ago when the previous version was released. For people with a trained sense of taste and understanding of horology, this will make a great timepiece. Price is a very reasonable 13,200 Swiss Francs.