La Esmeralda is an important name in the history of Girard-Perregaux, as it was given to a pocket watch they made for the “World’s Fair” of 1889 in Paris. This exquisite timepiece, finely engraved and fitted with a tourbillon and three gold bridges, won the gold medal. Although currently again in the museum collection of Girard-Perregaux, it was initially sold to Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915), then the President of Mexico. As the manufacture is celebrating its 230th anniversary, it felt appropriate to bring back the spirit of this unique pocket watch in a modern-day creation.
One of the key elements of the original timepiece was horses, and Girard-Perregaux gives them center stage. Two of the three gold bridges are reworked, showing these noble animals in fine detail. Behind them is a refined decor of hand-made guilloche, covered with blue enamel, although Girard Perregaux will also make it in six other colors. It gives a beautiful contrast with the pink gold of the bridges and the case. The back is equally impressive. Girard Perregaux opted to have the sapphire crystal covered as a nod to the watch’s predecessor. Here three horses form a dynamic scene. The quality of the engravings, combined with the enamel and guilloche, is of a very high level. As there is a lot of relief, light can play with the different surfaces in which the muscles of these magnificent animals beautifully come to life.
The case itself measures 43mm and is entirely engraved in a leaf pattern. The original La Esmeralda pocket watch also inspired this, perfectly setting the stage for the exquisite dial. The movement inside this Girard Perregaux is also a work of art. Not only for the three gold bridges but also for what houses underneath them. Most prominently is there the tourbillon at six o’clock. It consists out of 78 components, yet it weighs just 0.3 grams. Opposite, at the twelve o’clock position, is the mainspring barrel located. This gives the watch a power reserve of 50-hours but also covers a secret. Below it is a white gold micro-rotor placed, as La Esmeralda Tourbillon “A Secret” Eternity Edition has an automatic movement. Girard Perregaux will be making this timepiece, on request, in seven different colors, with each color being limited to just eighteen pieces.