Despite being orphaned at a very early age, Jean-François Bautte was a determined young man. He was apprenticed successively as a case-fitter, engine-turner, watchmaker and goldsmith, and at the same time completed his education. In 1791, at the age of 19, he put his name to his first watches.

This date marks the birth of GIRARD-PERREGAUX.

Jean-François Bautte was a talented watchmaker and became well-known for his ultra-thin models. He founded a manufactory in Geneva which, in a revolutionary move, housed all the watchmaking crafts of the period under one roof. There, he modestly welcomed the most distinguished visitors of his day, one of whom was the future Queen of England, Victoria.

A brilliant craftsman and a shrewd entrepreneur, he did business with all the courts of Europe, making him one of the most celebrated watchmakers of his time.


Jacques Bautte and Jean Samuel Rossel succeeded the illustrious Jean François Bautte, from whom they inherited an industrial and cultural legacy of a very high quality.


Constant Girard founded Girard & Cie. Two years later, he married Marie Perregaux and, from the union of their two names, the GIRARD-PERREGAUX Manufacture was born in 1856 in La Chaux-de-Fonds.


GIRARD-PERREGAUX's reputation rapidly spread, even as far as the new world. The Tourbillon presented by Constant Girard at the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris took the gold medal.

In 1889, the famous Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges, Constant Girard's masterpiece and the fruit of many years' labour, received the gold medal at another Universal Exhibition in Paris, before being judged ineligible in 1901 because it was too perfect.


Constant Girard developed the innovative concept of wearing watches on the wrist. These watches were ordered personally by Emperor Wilhelm I for officers in the German Imperial Navy.

Two thousand were made, the first large-scale production of wristwatches in history. But in the day of the pocket-watch, this idea was considered too revolutionary and production was discontinued. It was not until the beginning of the next century that the wristwatch met with the success that it enjoys to this day.


Constant Girard-Gallet took over the Manufacture from his father.

In 1905, in recognition of its ongoing quest for precision, GIRARD-PERREGAUX was elected a permanent member of the jury at the most popular international watch fairs.

In 1906, it bought the old and famous Bautte company and amalgamated it with GIRARD-PERREGAUX & Cie.

Early in the 20th century, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin used a GIRARD-PERREGAUX watch to time the aeronautical trials of his airships.


Otto Graef, a German watchmaker and owner of MIMO (Manufacture Internationale de Montres Or) bought out GIRARD-PERREGAUX's share capital. In 1930, more wristwatches than pocket-watches were sold for the very first time, almost fifty years after Constant Girard had anticipated this kind of timepiece.


The GIRARD-PERREGAUX brand continued to expand in both Europe and America - mainly with the water-resistant SEA HAWK model - while the MIMO brand concentrated on the European markets.


At the end of the 1960's, GIRARD-PERREGAUX was one of the very few manufactures to have an internal R&D department. It has since developed several revolutionary movements for the brand.

In 1966, GIRARD-PERREGAUX equipped its Gyromatic line with the first high-frequency movement (36,000 vibrations/hour). The watches equipped with this movement were extraordinarily accurate. So accurate, in fact, that 70% of the chronometer certificates issued in 1967 by the Neuchâtel Observatory were for GIRARD-PERREGAUX's high-frequency chronometers.


It was about this time that the Manufacture also began to make quartz movements. In 1970, GIRARD-PERREGAUX became the first company in Switzerland to produce quartz watches on an industrial scale. Their frequency, set by GIRARD-PERREGAUX engineers, 32,768 Hz, remains the universal standard for quartz watches.


The Brand launched a sports model, the LAUREATO, with a polished octagonal bezel and a satin-finished integrated bracelet.


At a time when the success of quartz brought the Swiss watch industry to its knees. GIRARD-PERREGAUX was one of the first prestige watch companies to gamble on a return to traditional mechanical timepieces.

GIRARD-PERREGAUX's master watchmakers produced twenty replicas of the famous Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges pocket-watch.


To celebrate its bicentenary, the Manufacture used its remarkable skills to create a miniaturised wristwatch version of the highly celebrated Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges pocket-watch.


The Italian entrepreneur, architect and former racing driver, Luigi Macaluso, took over the reins of GIRARD-PERREGAUX.


Under Luigi Macaluso's leadership, GIRARD-PERREGAUX signed a co-branding agreement with FERRARI. To commemorate the occasion, it created a limited series of split-seconds chronographs stamped with the legendary "prancing horse" symbol.

This partnership has produced in between 1994 and 2004 a remarkable collection of sporting models and grand complications.


At a time when many Swiss watch companies were buying movements and movement-blanks from suppliers, GIRARD-PERREGAUX concentrated on expanding its manufactory capacity. In 1994, it introduced the GP3000 and GP3100, a new family of ultra-thin movements.


The Manufacture acquired Villa Marguerite, an early-20th century building, and renovated it to house its Museum.


To celebrate its participation in the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), GIRARD-PERREGAUX launched an automatic version of its famous Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges. This was made possible by the introduction of an ingenious platinum micro-rotor system (patented in 1999) positioned under the barrel.

The same year, the Manufacture developed a new column-wheel chronograph movement 23.3 mm in diameter.


GIRARD-PERREGAUX introduced a movement with a new date system, with a large display window, and a moon-phases indicator.
The same year, in keeping with its long chronograph tradition, the Manufacture launched the (World Wide Time Control), a large model combining chronograph function and hours of the world indication.


True to its key role in the history of quartz movements, GIRARD-PERREGAUX presented a new quartz movement.


In keeping with its status as a Manufacture, GIRARD-PERREGAUX launched the Cat's Eye concept: a new line of feminine watches with small complications mechanical movements.

The Brand also became involved in the America's Cup alongside the BMW Oracle Racing Team.

In December, GIRARD-PERREGAUX opened its first boutique, in Gstaad.


At the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2006, GIRARD-PERREGAUX presented two additions to its portfolio of self-winding mechanical movements, the GP 2700, a 8 ¾ lines calibre, and the GP 4500, a 13 ¼ lines calibre.

With the model Laureato Evo3 Tourbillon with three sapphire Bridges, the Brand presented a technical and innovative version of its renowned Tourbillon


Quintessence of the art of watchmaking

Complicated watchmaking is the quintessence of the art of watchmaking.

For over two centuries now, GIRARD-PERREGAUX has won renown for its many remarkable creations, among them the emblematic Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges.

From the research and development stage right through to the final adjustments made by our master watchmakers, the Manufacture continues to enrich its heritage through its Haute Horlogerie collection.

The tourbillon principal

The purpose of the tourbillon is to compensate for the effects of gravity on a mechanical watch. When it is in a vertical position, a mechanical watch’s regulating organ – the balance, balance spring and escapement – undergoes imperceptible errors of rate with each oscillation, due to the effects of gravity.

By housing the regulating mechanism in a cage rotating on its own axis, generally once a minute, a variety of vertical positions results, which compensate for each other, producing a very constant average rate and extreme running precision.

Its manufacture, one of the most complex and delicate, necessitates a perfect mastery of watchmaking and its techniques.

The uniqueness of the tourbillon with three gold bridges

Two fundamental elements make the Tourbillon with three gold bridges a unique watch among all others, ancient and modern.

o Without doubt no other watch manufactured during our times goes back as far: the first tourbillon with three gold bridges dates from 1889.

o The movement is not only a technical component of the watch, it is also part of its aesthetic appearance, to the point of being a mark of recognition.

The Genesis of the Three Bridges

At the end of the XIX century, the development of international or universal exhibitions and the creation of the Observatory of Neuchâtel (1858) contributed to the infatuation with tourbillon watches.

Most manufacturers at that time used basic ‘standard’ movements, around which they adapted their tourbillons.

In contrast, Constant Girard set about using elements left to one side by the watchmakers of the period: the structure of the movement and the shape of the components.

Thus, the movement ceased to be merely a technical component, and contributed to the aesthetics of the watch, to the extent of becoming a mark of recognition.
In 1884, Constant Girard patented his movement with three gold bridges: his work is a veritable synthesis of the aesthetical, the technical and without doubt, the symbolical - a unique example in the history of watchmaking.

His first Tourbillon with three gold bridges was awarded the gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889, and then declared out of competition, as it was beyond match.

From 1865, GIRARD-PERREGAUX registered 57 Tourbillons at the Observatory of Neuchâtel, of which 24 with three gold bridges.

Four of them won prizes, the last in 1911, a few years after the death of Constant Girard.

Several generations of watchmakers later, at the height of the Swiss watch industry’s crisis, under siege by the competition from quartz, certain brands decided to react by re-launching the development of beautiful, mechanical watches.

At that time, GIRARD-PERREGAUX began to produce 20 replicas of the original from 1889.

It was necessary to re-learn how to make the elements that had meanwhile disappeared, and manage processes long since forgotten. In 1981, after almost 1500 hours of work, the first piece emerged and attracted the highest of praise.

In 1986, the Research and Development Department received the mandate to create a bracelet version of the Tourbillon with three gold bridges for the Brand’s bicentenary in 1991.

The challenge was to miniaturize the movement of the pocket watch and to inverse its construction, positioning the gold bridges on the dial side.

In 1999, an automatic version was introduced. The task was enormous, since an unsightly oscillating rotor could not be allowed to alter the aesthetics and architecture of the movement.

An ingenious system provided the solution, consisting of a micro-rotor in platinum hidden underneath the barrel, whose weight compensated exactly for the component weight lost in the overall miniaturization process.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the complications associated with the Tourbillon with three gold bridges, like so many other expressions of the creativity of the GIRARD-PERREGAUX watchmakers, striving to breathe new life into this icon that has existed for decades, the Tourbillon with three gold bridges.

Vintage 1945

In 1945, GIRARD-PERREGAUX created an art deco inspired model with a harmoniously curved rectangular case. This was during the period when the art of watchmaking was enjoying an impressive comeback.

This watch inspired in 1995 a model called Vintage 1945 which is now one of the icone of the Brand. Proposed in various sizes and fitted with different complications, the Vintage 1945 is offered in a collection comprising both men's and ladies' watches.

Vintage 1945 Showcase


The ‘Tonneau’ is one of the purest and most timeless shapes in watch design.

Since 1992, GIRARD-PERREGAUX has celebrated this classic shape with the elegant and generous curves of the Richeville Collection, whose character is equally suited to both men and women.

Richeville Showcase (4 watches)

Classique Elegance

The timepieces in the Classic Elegance collection perpetuate GIRARD-PERREGAUX’s grand watchmaking tradition.

Through their pure and timeless lines, they express the Manufactory’s savoir-faire in watch technology and craftsmanship, as well as its passion for design.

Classique Elegance showcase

Sport Classique

Technological performance, contemporary materials, innovative functions, dynamic and elegant designs: these are the common characteristics through which the watches in the Sport Classic Collection express their personality.

Sport Classique Showcase

Collection Lady

When GIRARD-PERREGAUX speaks to women …

While the Lady Collection reflects the Brand’s exclusively feminine creative styling, the Manufactory's undeniable touch can also be seen in the refined elegance and sophisticated technical character of these timepieces.

Collection Lady showcase