When forward-looking Geneva-born watchmaker Jean-François Bautte signed his first watches in 1791, the now well-known legacy of illustrious Swiss watch company Girard-Perregaux began to take shape. From there, Bautte worked to establish a watch manufacturing company in his native city, where he promoted putting all the aspects of watchmaking within one facility, a pioneering move for the era. The Maison Bautte, whose clients included Queen Victoria and Alexandre Dumas, would become part of a watchmaking empire that started with a marriage.
Watchmaker Constant Girard founded the Girard & Cie Firm in 1852, and after he married Marie Perregaux (part of a celebrated chronometer family), the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture was founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1856. Like Bautte, Girard-Perregaux undertook all elements of the horological process in-house, a method that allowed the maison to produce watches that are recognized for their functional prowess as well as their decorative allure. Its timepieces often join form and function with designs that celebrate the mechanics of the watch. Girard was especially passionate about making the tourbillon into an aesthetic component of watchmaking as much as a functional element.
In 1906, the company — then under the leadership of the couple’s son, Constant Girard-Gallet — acquired Maison Bautte, joining its historic legacy with the company’s own. Girard-Perregaux continued to make technological advancements over the years, amassing nearly 80 horological patents and introducing innovations such as the 1965 Gyromatic HF, the first high-frequency, self-winding movement that ran at an incredible 36,000 vibrations an hour.
Standout designs in the company’s rich offerings over the years have included the 1884 Tourbillon with three gold bridges spanning the watch dial and framing the horological movement; the first quartz movement watch made in Switzerland in 1971, which set the global standard for quartz watches; the 2008 Constant Escapement L.M. that maintains constant energy on its escapement, solving a long-standing problem of mechanical watch precision; and the Girard-Perregaux 2020 Infinity made with precious onyx.
In 2011, the company became part of the Kering Group. Girard-Perregaux continues to operate out of its factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, making it one of the oldest watchmakers in Switzerland, with new watch models often riffing off iconic designs while advancing a 21st-century commitment to sustainability. Its current logo — a watch bridge — celebrates the company’s heritage while looking ahead to the future.
Find a collection of vintage and contemporary Girard-Perregaux watches on 1stDibs.
1990s Girard Perregaux
20th Century Girard Perregaux
1990s Girard Perregaux
2010s Girard Perregaux
18k Gold, Rose Gold
1990s Contemporary Girard Perregaux
1990s Modern Girard Perregaux
18k Gold, Stainless Steel
Early 1900s Antique Girard Perregaux
Mid-20th Century Retro Girard Perregaux
14k Gold, Yellow Gold