Girard-Perregaux is pleased to unveil the Quasar Azure, a new iteration of the original Quasar encased in azure blue sapphire crystal, recalling the manufacture’s first Bridges timepieces created in 1867. This new model is a limited edition of eight pieces, conferring a notable degree of exclusivity.
The ability to showcase the art of precision engineering is among Girard-Perregaux’s greatest achievements. For example, the Three Gold Bridges employed on La Esmeralda, the world-famous pocket watch of 1889, were both functional and aesthetically alluring. The Quasar Azure honors this legacy by engineering transparency to the extreme. Named after a luminous astronomical entity – the Quasar – its azure blue case is sculpted from a single sapphire disc. This case, with its sapphire crystal box, provides striking aerial views of the manufacture’s skeletonized movement, the Caliber GP09400-1035.
In the words of CEO Patrick Pruniaux, “When the tourbillon is bathed with light, the Quasar Azure shines like a star in the mysterious darkness of space. This model is a testament to our mastery of haute horlogerie and is rooted in our design language, albeit in this instance, it is seen through a prism of cutting-edge technology. The Quasar Azure is a brilliantly bold expression of the company’s technical mastery, contemporary design and rich heritage. Indeed, the Quasar Azure embodies the very essence of Girard-Perregaux.”
Sapphire is extremely difficult to craft because of its hardness. The case is formed, colored, milled and polished by Girard-Perregaux artisans through a protracted process, taking over 200 hours. Once completed, the case must be a uniform shade and free of any inclusions. Making the case of the Quasar Azure, including its lugs and crown, necessitates exceptional craftsmanship, a strength synonymous with Girard-Perregaux.
Set within the azure blue case, the tourbillion seemingly floats. Its cage is lyre-shaped, a historical design dating back to the 19th century. However, this contemporary creation indulges the wearer with aerial views of the Neo Bridges, a Girard-Perregaux signature inspired by architectural structures. While these bridges appear futuristic, they continue to uphold the styling of La Esmeralda. The titanium bridges are set against the NAC treated mainplate, revealing the smallest details of the mechanism. Despite the modernity of this model, traditional hand-finishing is much in evidence.
The tourbillon cage is powered by a unidirectional automatic winding system featuring a micro-rotor made of white gold. Comprised of 80 components and weighing a mere 0.25 grams, the low mass of the tourbillon cage consumes only small quantities of energy, augmenting the movement’s available power-reserve. The micro-rotor is intentionally positioned behind the barrel, contributing to the pure, uncluttered appearance of the Quasar Azure’s fully skeletonized movement. Touches of blue luminescent material on the Dauphine-type hours and minutes hands, as well as the blue strap’s stitching, perfectly demonstrate the company’s fastidious attention to detail.
The Quasar Azure is housed in a handblown floating glass sphere, made in Switzerland, just as any Girard-Perregaux timepiece since the maison’s inception in 1791. It is immediately available by special order, sold exclusively via selected authorized Girard-Perregaux retailers.