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Girard Perregaux watches has produced a vast amount of spectacular luxury watches over the years including but limited to the Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk watches, Girard Perregaux Cat's Eye watches, Girard Perregaux Traveller WW.TC Watches, The Girard Perregaux 1966 watches and the Vintage 1945 watches. The brand name evokes over 200 years of luxury Swiss watch history. With some roots that date as far back as the 1700's. The family tree of Girard Perregaux watches stems off into several different families. Starting with the Bautte family, Jean-Francois Bautte was born in 1772 and later founded a watch firm with his namesake. His family name is the furthest reaching historical root of the firm. His son Jacques took over after him followed by Jean-Samuel Rossel, his son-in-law and then his grandson Jacques Rossel.
Although the Bautte family was well known for their watches it was the Girard Perregaux family whose name was designated as the company's world class brand. Founded by a husband and wife team, Constant Girard and Marie Perregaux, their names united to become one of the most authoritative names in watchmaking history with their first manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds. They recognized the opportunity in selling watches to the New World and set up offices overseas various American cities. Constant Girard was awarded numerous prizes and distinctions for the quality and magnificence of his superb escapement systems especially the Tourbillon. His pièce de resistance was the three gold bridges design that he made famous on his Girard Perregaux Tourbillon which later became an iconic symbol for Tourbillons after winning a gold medal at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris.Read more
After his untimely death, the torch was passed to his son Constant Girard-Gallet who bought out the Bautte watch company in 1906. Marie Perregaux's three brothers, Henri, Jules and Francois joined the family business and became the firm's representatives with Henri and Francois in America and Jules Asia. After Henri set up offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina and various North American cities, the reach of his labors spread as far as the West Indies. Henri Perregaux helped to promote the Girard Perregaux brand in the west where they became a preeminent name in high-end horology. After a long sixteen years in promoting the Girard Perregaux watch brand abroad, Henri retired and moved with his family back to Switzerland in 1881.
Henri's brother Francois, invested as much of himself into the family business spending six years of his life in New York at H. Perregaux & Co. before moving back to Switzerland. Francois moved to Japan during the same year of his return to Switzerland with the purpose of representing the Watchmaking Union and paving the way for the establishment of an export office. The Perregaux brothers also had an export office in Calcutta which at the time was the capital of British ruled India. As of 1860 Francois was located in Yokohama making the firm the first Swiss Watchmaker in Japan before signing a treaty between Switzerland and Japan. Francois Perregaux passed away in Yokohama, Japan in 1877 as a prominent member in the Japanese francophone community and one of senior members.
In the Late 1920's the Girard Perregaux company was bought out by a German gentleman by the name of Otto Graef who at the time had an established watch brand of his own called MIMO, an acronym for "Manufacture Internationale de Montres Or" (International Manufacturer of Gold Watches). Being an outstanding watchmaker himself, and having a great head for business, he help to further the success of their watches until his passing at a ripe old age of 86. His family stood at the head of the Girard Perregaux firm for 3 generations. The third generation had brought out Charles-Edouard Virchaux who took it upon himself to conduct all the in-depth research to accumulate many of the historical watches now being exhibited in the Girard Perregaux watch Museum.
After the Graef family legacy had furthered the development of the Girard Perregaux luxury watch brand, the Girard Perregaux watch firm was bought out once again, this time by an Italilan from Turin by the name of Luigi Macaluso affectionately known as Gino. Mr. Macaluso had a successful career as a motor racing champion where he won the European rallying championship in 1972. Three years after claiming his victory, he became quite interested in watchmaking and worked at an Italian subsidiary of large Swiss watchmaking group. Although Luigi studied to be an architect, his career choices took his profession in other directions with motor racing and watchmaking and his choices have proven to deliver victory wherever he went. Gino shortly rose up the ranks in the watchmaking group where he soon became director. Gino established his very own distribution company in 1982 which soon became the official Italian Girard Perregaux watch importer. He became a Girard Perregaux board member as of '89 and within three years he became the owner of Girard Perregaux. Luigi Macaluso has made significant investments into the Girard Perregaux manufacture, especially with intense investments into R&D that helped to establish the Girard Perregaux brand as one of the frontrunners in luxury watchmaking that it is today. With numerous Girard Perregaux watch collections including the Girard Perregaux 1966, the Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945, Girard Perregaux Hawk, Girard Perregaux Traveller and the Girard Perregaux Cats Eye .
There are very few, if any, well respected luxury watch brands that are so loved by the community of collectors that they were given a nickname: "GP watches". With so much to say about a watch brand like Girard Perregaux watches , perhaps an abridged version of their name was needed to save time. G.P. Watches became a term of endearment and with such a rich history, its esteemed position in the haute horology arena is most deserving.