The Swiss Haute Horlogerie Manufacture unveils the 1957. This 40 mm steel watch features a revisited vintage design strongly inspired by the aesthetic codes of Girard- Perregaux’s Gyromatic watches dating from the 1960s and introduced on the occasion of Girard-Perregaux’s 225th anniversary this year. For centuries, watchmakers had been fascinated by the prospect of winding a watch’s mainspring automatically. In 1957, Girard-Perregaux produced a revolutionary solution named “Gyromatic” that remains a milestone in the development of the selfwinding wristwatch.
One of the major challenges associated with automatic winding is how to transform the circular to-and-fro motion of the movement’s oscillating weight, or rotor, into a one-way circular motion that can actually wind the mainspring. For this purpose, horological engineers usually resort to a device called a motion reverser, featuring ratcheted wheels. However, the stronger the pawls and teeth, the larger they are, leading to an increase in idle travel. The remedy lies in using smaller, hence more fragile components. The only solution here is a never quite satisfactory compromise.
The “Gyromatic” system replaces the ratchet wheels with roller-equipped unidirectional clutches. The resulting construction is simple, reliable and efficient. What’s more, its compactness paves the way for slim, sleek and stylish designs. The “Gyromatic” has since demonstrated its excellence in thousands of Girard-Perregaux timepieces including the top-of-the-line “Gyromatic HF” (for high frequency), the selfwinding watch equivalent of a “Formula 1” race car. This development marked its ultimate major contribution to mechanical watch design. Along with others, it is attested by the patents granted to the company over the years.
This year, in homage to this fascinatingly innovative period, Girard-Perregaux is celebrating its iconic timepiece on the occasion of its 225th anniversary. The 1957, with its box-type crystal and retro-effect champagne-toned featuring Dauphine-type hands enhanced with luminescent material and applied hour-markers, recalls Girard-Perregaux’s proud heritage.
The stainless steel case with polished upper and brushed sides frames the vintage dial topped by a sapphire crystal with a design reminiscent of the historical Plexiglas versions. The 1957 comes with a transparent case-back revealing in-house movement GP03300, adorned with traditional finishes such as “Côtes de Genève” and circular graining on the mainplate and oscillating weight.