With what seems like every fashion designer churning out watches of vague provenance and often uncertain quality, it’s good to see an old Swiss guard uphold watchmaking traditions. Girard-Perregaux, which traces its roots to 1791, designs and manufactures today in the watchmaking mecca of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (the small town produced both the architect Le Corbusier and the auto magnate Louis Chevrolet). No surprise, then, that the Vintage 1945 Off-Centered Hour and Minute honors the past yet can’t resist contemporary tweaks. The curved case is pure Art Deco, a wrist-tracing rectangle now blown up to the extra-large proportions favored by today’s wearers, and the hour and minute displays are nudged above the watch’s central axis, hence the “off-centered” designation. The handmade dial still glows like museum pottery, thanks to the centuries-old grand feu enameling technique, in which a master artisan brushes and fires successive layers of enamel at extremely high temperatures.
The result is an impeccable investment-grade watch, suited more to buy-and-hold bankers than to tech-fund parvenus. The price is part of what separates a Girard-Perregaux from a Gucci.
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Off-Centered Hour and Minute
Width: 36 mm
Case: White gold