Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin have come together to reimagine ‘the bridge’, one of the oldest mechanical signatures in watchmaking.
Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin have a few things in common: a rich heritage, design excellence, no-compromise engineering and the shared sentiment of how mechanical components should arouse intense emotions. The Swiss Manufacture’s relationship with the iconic British marque goes back (officially) to 2021 when Girard-Perregaux was announced as Aston Martin’s Official Watch Partner.
Their latest co-branded – the fifth! – watch comes hot on the wheels of a familiar mechanical signature, the ‘bridge’, and shines the spotlight on the functional components that would otherwise usually be hidden from view. In addition, the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition’s design language adapted a silhouette inspired by the world’s first Super Tourer, DB12, by Aston Martin. The result is a contemporary sculpted beauty, engineered to deliver breathtaking performance.
Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux adds, “This was not merely a case of putting Aston Martin’s name on one of our watches. They played an active role in the conception of this watch, looking at the materials employed and, interestingly, the design of the movement. The Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition is the impressive outcome of two companies synergistically working together.”
THE DIAL AND MOVEMENT
The Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition is the latest addition to Girard-Perregaux’s famous Bridges collection, a range that has long been intertwined with the company’s DNA. After all, Constant Girard sketched a pocket watch endowed with three parallel bridges back in 1867, which were later refined and famously became design elements. Girard-Perregaux has since continued to sharpen it with visions of the future, be it through thought-provoking styling, cutting-edge materials or inventive mechanisms.
In this edition, the conventional dial reveals its inverted movement, the Calibre GP0840000-216, a configuration that brings components usually found to the rear of the watch, relocating them to the front. It is this very dial that assists with the weight distribution to adhere to how the automotive world removes extraneous materials to save weight.
The Neo-shaped bridges support the gear train and balance, inviting the wearer to admire several parts in conversation, as they work together to impart time. A harmonious appearance is evident as well thanks to the symmetrical arrangement of the movement components.
Skeletonised baton-type indexes on the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition can be found suspended on a ring encircling the dial, proclaiming the hours and minutes. They project outwards and are lined with luminescent material, appearing green in dim conditions. In between each of these indexes, crisp green markings are stationed on the said ring to denote each minute in lucid form.
Meanwhile, the hands, adorned too with luminescent material, bestow a green emission – a colour that instantly sings the Aston Martin name – under restricted lighting. This design of the hands and indexes continues the style of the previous dual-brand watches. Endowed with two Neo bridges that are executed in Aston Martin Green, the overall design pays tribute to Constant’s 19th century creation while the bridges’ colour honours Aston Martin and its rich history of crafting high-performance cars.
The watch equivalent of a sports car’s fuel tank is the barrel. For the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition, it’s positioned at 1.30, supported by a black openworked bridge while bearing the Girard-Perregaux name. Aston Martin’s name, on an equal footing, can be found engraved on the micro-rotor that delivers energy gained from the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist. This makes the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition an automatic watch.
Impressively at a mere 5.45mm in height, the micro-rotor is key in contributing to the movement’s slender profile while offering unhindered views of the movement. Both the barrel and micro-rotor’s design was inspired by the brakes’ behind Aston’s Martin DB12’s spoked wheels, showcasing sharper lines and extra openings.
THE COLOURS AND MATERIAL
Overall, the Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition sports hues of brushed greys, vibrant rubies, brooding blacks and silver coloured wheels. However, different tones can be spotted as they engage with light. Endowing the bridges with colour while maintaining their alluring three-dimensional appearance proved to be both technically challenging and an eventual feat.
As for the watch’s housing, the lightweight case, measuring at 45mm in diameter, is formed of titanium and dressed in a suit of black DLC. To elevate the wearer’s experience with a tactile feel, it’s matched with a black rubber strap with a fabric effect, enlivened with green stitches and fitted with a titanium DLC triple folding buckle.
Finally, to match the scarcity and exclusivity of an Aston Martin model, the Girard-Perregaux Neo Bridges Aston Martin Edition will be limited to 250 pieces and released in December 2023.