From week to passing week, it can be easy to forget that the Girard-Perregaux 1966 exists. That's not a so much a pointed jibe at G-P as much as a comment on simple, elegant, round watches the world over: see also much of Breguet's line-up; the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master; Zenith's Elite and even - whisper it - the vast majority of Patek Philippe Calatravas.
These kind of watches aren't very much in vogue at the moment, despite pretty much exemplifying the basic definition of what most people visualise when they think of a watch. Consequently Girard-Perregaux has by turns thrown its efforts behind the relaunched Laureato and its high-end complications, leaving the 1966, once the core of its collection, somewhat unloved.
When news of three new references reached us, therefore, my interest was piqued: could the 1966 still have a trick up its sleeve? Girard-Perreguax has outfitted the watch with some glistening aventurine dials which, while on one level a fairly literal way to insert some razzle-dazzle to the range, does actually work pretty well.
There are three models: steel, rose gold and DLC-coated black steel. You'd be forgiven for thinking it was white gold with a look this showy, but fair play to G-P for making it a bit more accessible. The DLC-coated model has black aventurine for its dial, making it my unexpected hit of the trio.
Another detail to note: this is the first time on the 1966 that the bridge logo makes an appearance. Girard-Perregaux is quietly rolling this out - it's not clear if it represents the first stage of a subtle re-brand, but it's no secret that the company has long seen the distinctive bridge shape as its unofficial logo.
The 1966 Orion measures 40mm across and 9.4mm thick and is water-resistant to 30m. It's powered by Girard-Perregaux's trusty in-house automatic, the GP03300, which is good for 46 hours of power. It is priced at £5,380 (steel), £5,850 (DLC steel), or £11,030 (rose gold).
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