It’s the story of a journey to Italy, across the ages, gliding through the night beneath a moonlit sky.
Offering variations on the theme of its iconic Cat’s Eye, the Manufacture Girard-Perregaux presents new creations exuding a resolutely sophisticated aura. The depth of their aventurine-glass dial irresistibly evokes the Island of Murano. A place that gave rise to masterpieces that were to experience extraordinary destinies in powerful families and royal courts. The Cat’s Eye Majestic and Celestial models, with their aventurine dials speak of a splendid golden age and creative inspiration that consistently delivers its very best – including in occasionally unexpected ways.
Reaching the Island of Murano by vaporetto across the lagoon takes a mere few minutes. When Venice was ravaged by fire, its master glassmakers and their furnaces moved to the island to exercise their craft. Within a few centuries, it became a world-renowned art with the creation of a glass as pure as rock crystal, or color-saturated through the use of oxides. Various techniques magnified this light-filled material. Anne of Brittany, Marguerite of Austria, Charles V and Catherine de Medici ordered entire glassware sets. Chandeliers and candleholders adorned the ceilings of palace. Stung by jealousy, the Sun King commissioned spies to bring the artisans and their expertise back to France.
Air, water and fire are transformed in Murano, by means of preciously safeguarded trade secrets, whether they stem from empirical knowledge or coincidence. The latter presided over the birth of aventurine glass (also known as goldstone), which arose in the 18th century from mishandling by a glassmaker who accidentally spilled copper filings into the traditional mixture of silica, soda and incandescent lime. While initially slow to react, the matter was gradually transformed into sparkling glass studded with golden spangles. Chance had worked its magic.
The graceful charm of its dainty curves makes oval the epitome of femininity. A dial never so truly deserves its name as the ‘face’ of the watch as when it features such an elliptical shape. On the new Cat’s Eye Majestic, the oval is arranged vertically and beautifully extended by the tapering lugs. The rose gold case set with 60 brilliant-cut diamonds ennobles the enigmatic dial, extending an enticing invitation to be won over the benevolent forces of the night. Its seductive color hovering between blue and black further accentuates the mystery. The fascinating golden inclusions sparkle like remote yet dazzling stars. Adorning the rose gold oval ring subtly reinforcing the shape of the dial itself, a shower of 24 drop-shaped diamonds heralds the hours dedicated to dreams.
Above and beyond its role as an object of contemplation, since no one can resist the captivating sight of aventurine glass, the Cat’s Eye Majestic displays the hours and minutes thanks to a mechanical self-winding movement endowed with a 46-hour power reserve. The sapphire crystal caseback provides a chance to admire this in-house movement adorned according to the high standards cherished by Girard-Perregaux, notably illustrated by the gold oscillating weight bearing the “GP tapestry” motif.
From Murano to Switzerland, exceptional objects pursue the same vocation, that of sparking extraordinary emotions. The horizontal oval of the Cat’s Eye Celestial lends a radiant expression to the watch. It graciously welcomes a moon phase that is sophisticated on both aesthetic and mechanical levels. This generously proportioned complication is highlighted by a hand-polished mother-of-pearl and aventurine glass dial. In tiny pointillist-style touches, the various elements are carefully adjusted to as to vanish and merge into this allegory of femininity. Whether as quarters, waxing or waning crescents or full, the moon holds a unique place in our imagination. We know it is responsible for tides in conjunction with the sun. Various powers are ascribed to it, whether proven or not. For the woman wearing the Cat’s Eye Celestial, it is essential to be in harmony with the Earth’s graceful satellite, in touch with her feelings, and confident in handling this crown-adjustable horological complication whose accuracy is such that it requires just one correction every 360 years.
The heavenly vault is the kingdom of the moon, vividly embodied in the aventurine – surrounding the complication as well as on the disc bearing the mother-of-pearl moon – which lends incredible depth to the tableau. The sparkling inclusions reflect the radiance of the diamonds symbolizing the hours. Only an in-house movement crafted in accordance with the criteria upheld by Girard-Perregaux could guide this nocturnal journey towards ultimate precision. The Cat’s Eye Celestial is powered by a proprietary movement entirely designed, developed, produced and finished in keeping with the noblest fine watchmaking traditions.
From Murano to Switzerland, exceptional objects pursue the same vocation, that of sparking extraordinary emotions.