Girard-Perregaux debuted an updated version of its Constant Escapement L.M. timepiece — which was launched a decade ago — this week.
The new Neo Constant Escapement version comes in a smaller diameter titanium case that measures 45 mm x 14.8 mm, with a 48 mm lug-to-lug. However, its decade-old predecessor measures 48 mm x 14.2 mm and was actually thinner. The smaller diameter is surely appreciated, though, making a watch thicker is rarely a positive. If a lot of the thickness is due to the box-type sapphire crystal, it’s perhaps not a dimensional change that will ruin the proportions.
Like the older model, this utilizes Girard-Perregaux’s proprietary constant force technology, which smooths out power delivery — and thus the amplitude — over the 7-day power reserve. Theoretically, this improves timekeeping, and the watch is COSC-certified, which means the movement is capable of delivering a rate of -4/+6 before being cased up. It would have been ideal if GP showed the actual rate it achieved, especially considering the claims of higher accuracy, because at six figures, and considering the watch is the subject of 13 patents, you’d think it could exceed COSC level accuracy, which can be found on watches typically starting as low as a few thousand dollars.
Nevertheless, like it was in 2013, the new Constant Force caliber GP09200 (which measures 39.5 mm x 7.4 mm, has 266 components, 29 of which are jewels), features two escapement wheels, a single balance wheel that oscillates at 3Hz, with a unique buckling silicon blade design, and twin barrels that allow this manually wound timepiece to run up to 168 days when fully wound. An updated linear power reserve indicator, positioned at 9 o’clock, reveals how much energy is held within the twin barrels.
The skeletonized design is impressive to look at and highlights the unique chronometric advances as well as the superb finishing that’s reserved for high-end Swiss timepieces. A rubber strap with a fabric motif imprinted on it and a titanium triple folding buckle, incorporating a micro-adjustment system, secures the Neo Constant Escapement (Ref. 93510-21-1930-5CX) to your wrist. Retail is $99,600.
For a primer on Constant Force mechanisms, including in-depth written and video explanations by a master watchmaker for Professional Watches, we highly recommend this article.
Photo by Girard-Perregaux.