Review Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge & Free Bridge Infinity Edition

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Girard-Perregaux launched during the Geneva Watch Days 2020 several new and interesting pieces. Between them, a very modern and daring interpretation of the brands’ “Three Bridges”. The watch comes in two versions, the Free Bridge & Free Bridge Infinity Edition. We have a look today at both models.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge & Free Bridge Infinity Edition are part of the new wave of ultra-modern watches. Part of this movement is also the Neo Bridge holding the silicon escapement, well visible in the clip below. More about the GP’s vision for the future can be read here: Girard-Perregaux Manufacture tour, Logo change and the vision for the future – Part 2. The Free Bridge and the Free Bridge Infinity Edition are differentiated by the presence of gold accents by the later.

Black case

Both of the Free Bridge watches come in a 44mm steel case with DLC treatment. The case is familiar from the Bridges collection and has the same allure as the ones in precious metal or sapphire.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

The case presents a generalised matt finish. As you can see in the picture, the fingerprints are easily visible (the watch was not particularly cleaned for shooting). The watch is fitted with a black crown decorated with the GP initials. The grip is excelent. Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge is covered with a gorgeous box sapphire crystal.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

A modern GP dial

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge has a striking dial – an Haute-Couture architecture presenting the brand’s signature elements. The watches present a predominantly black theme. Only the Infinity is enriched with a touch of gold.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

The time is displayed with two dauphine hands, skeletonised and filled with SuperLuminova. The hands are faceted and are decorated with a mirror polish and a brushed recessed surface.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

As indexes, an outer chapter ring presents printed minutes indexes and suspended three-dimensional hour indexes. The indexes are filled with SuperLuminova. The Infinity version presents its details in gold. At 12 o’clock, a half suspended GP logo governs the dial.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

The Free Bridge holds its hands on an interesting horizontal bridge. Instead of a round or straight bridge, the brand opted for a complex, multifaceted shape. Decorated with a matt finish, the bridge presents a polished beveling.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

The lower side of the dial presents the Neo Bridge holding the silicon escapement and escape wheel. This inverted mechanism is the most important element in the Bridge Collection. First seen in the 1860’s pocket watches, the bridges are a constant presence in the Girard-Perregaux watches, being always under interpretation and evolution.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

For both Free Bridge timepieces, we found a lot of technicalities in the modern interpretation of GP‘s bridges. A skeletonised architectural shape with matt surface (sand or bead blasted) and polished edges keeps in place a very interesting escapement.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

The movement uses a variable inertia balance with the balance spring at a fixed length. The rate is adjusted from the inertia blocks. In this manner, the balance is more stable and less sensible to mechanical shocks. The use of silicon makes the watch almost insensitive to magnetic fields or changes in temperature. But the technology is difficult to handle and could lead to a high rate of failures in production.

Once again, Girard-Perregaux has capitalised on silicon’s ability to be formed into intricate shapes, using the state of the art material to create not only the escapement but also a large variable inertia balance. Most watches feature a ‘raquette’ which alters the effective length of the balance spring, making the watch run faster or slower. With a variable inertia balance, the length of the balance spring is fixed and the rate is altered by moving adjustable inertia blocks. The benefit of this approach is that the balance is more stable and less susceptible to shocks. Its aerial design, as well as its large-diameter, further augment precision

The Calibre GP01800

Reference GP01800 1170 is a new beast in the GP arsenal. The in-house GP1800 uses the gorgeous ultra-modern architecture seen above and cutting edge technologies. The movement beats at 4Hz and is capable of 54 hours of power reserve.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

The calibre is inverted nicely decorated. Parts of the movement are finishes by hands or semi-automatic. While many processes are automated, most steps are done under careful supervision. The Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge Infinity is fitted with a gold balance bridge. More info about the way are the watches manufactured here: Girard-Perregaux Manufacture tour, Logo change and the vision for the future – Part 1.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

Final notes

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge and Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge Infinity Edition are the sign that the brand is seriously looking into the future. Modern materials, contemporary design featuring the brand signature elements and good finishes are the assurance that GP is oriented in the right direction. The year of experience with silicon escapements permited not only the use of the technology but also the creation of the very interesting variable inertia balance.

The watch looks and feels great on the wrist. Even if the 44mm size is beyond my usual comfort zone, I was not bothered by its dimensions. The Calibre 1800 is easy to set and wind with good feedback.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge & Free Bridge Infinity Edition Technical Specifications and Price

FREE BRIDGE Reference: 82000 11 631 FA6A

FREE BRIDGE Reference: 82000 11 631 FA6A

Case

  • Material: steel
  • Diameter: 44.00 mm
  • Height: 12.20 mm
  • Glass: anti-reflective sapphire crystal “box”
  • Case back: anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Dial: ring displaying suspended indexes with luminescent material
  • Hands: ‘Dauphine’ type, skeletonized, rhodium plated with luminescent material
  • Water resistance: 30 meters (3 ATM)

Movement 

  • Reference: GP01800 1170
  • Self winding mechanical movement
  • Diameter: 36.20 mm (16’’’)
  • Height: 5.94 mm
  • Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h (4Hz)
  • Number of components: 185
  • Number of jewels: 23
  • Power reserve: min. 54 hours
  • Functions: Hours, minutes

Strap

  • Material: black calf leather with a fabric effect
  • Buckle: triple folding, steel

Price

 

  • 17 500 CHF / $18,300 / €18,500 / £14,200 / CN¥ 135,000 / J¥2,123,000

 

FREE BRIDGE Reference: 82000 11 631 FA6A
FREE BRIDGE INFINITY EDITION Reference: 82000 11 632 FA6A

FREE BRIDGE INFINITY EDITION Reference: 82000 11 632 FA6A

Limited edition of 88 pieces

Case

  • Material: steel with DLC treatment
  • Diameter: 44.00 mm
  • Height: 12.20 mm
  • Glass: anti-reflective sapphire crystal “box”
  • Case back: anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Dial: ring displaying pink gold suspended indexes with luminescent material
  • Hands: ‘Dauphine’ type, skeletonized, rhodium plated with luminescent material
  • Water resistance: 30 meters (3 ATM)

Movement

  • Reference: GP01800 1170
  • Self-winding mechanical movement with pink gold oscillating weight
  • Diameter: 36.20 mm (16’’’)
  • Height: 5.94 mm
  • Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h (4Hz)
  • Number of components: 185
  • Number of jewels: 23
  • Power reserve: min. 54 hours
  • Functions: Hours, minutes

Strap

  • Material: black alligator with black and pink gold-coloured stitching, glossy effect between the scales
  • Buckle: triple folding, titanium blades, ceramic cover

Price

  • 20 900 CHF / $21,800 / €22,100 / £17,100 / CN¥ 163,000 / J¥2,541,000

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge & Free Bridge Infinity Edition Gallery

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