Watches: Girard-Perregaux 1966 Automatic Blue Hour

By Thierry Ané on January 5, 2015

Although I am a self-confessed “complications addict” and Girard-Perregaux has offered astonishing combinations of the finest watchmaking functions in the 1966 line over the years, I must admit that this timeless model never looks as stunning as it does in its simplest time-and-date-only version.

Somehow the absolute simplicity of a watch’s primary functions beautifully echoes the purity and refinement of this stunning round case. When you are a seasoned collector accustomed to extremely sophisticated pieces of Haute Horlogerie, it is truly wonderful to realise how much a classic three-hand model can still be so appealing to you!

To achieve such a feat, though, the timepiece has to be flawless in every aspect from the aesthetics and finish of the case, strap, and dial, to the more technical and hidden characteristics of its beating heart.

The sapphire window on the back of the case will give you the opportunity to assess the pedigree of the GP01800-0004 calibre entirely developed and manufactured in the brand’s La-Chaux-de-Fonds workshops. At nearly 30 mm with 190 components, this self-winding movement equipped with a magnificent pink gold oscillating weight adorned with the brand’s name and “Côtes de Genève” decorations is as reliable as it is refined. Large “Côtes de Genève” on the bridges, perlage on the main plate, beautifully bevelled and polished edges and perfectly finished screw heads are among the many details you will be able to admire.

The outside of the “1966 Automatic” watch is also impressive and particularly so in the two versions presented today: the “1966 Automatic Blue Hour” in white gold and pink gold. These 41 mm beauties present a stunning blue dial with sunray decoration and a matching alligator strap secured by a pin buckle in the same material as the case.

When it comes to spicing up a classic model, blue has always been a favourite colour of mine. The silver or cream dials on black or brown alligator straps seem a bit too obvious on this particular type of timepieces in my opinion. Blue however, brings out a younger side of these timepieces: it breaks the seriousness while maintaining the elegance required from such a dress watch. It draws just enough attention to your watch to notice that you are wearing something truly special.

The 1966 Automatic Blue Hour White Gold and the 1966 Automatic Blue Hour Pink Gold are therefore two outstanding additions to Girard-Perregaux’s most understated collection. They will undoubtedly meet the success they deserve and find their way into the most discerning collections…

For more information please visit the Girard-Perregaux web site.

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures: