Dazzling. Extravagant. Splendid. For some reason, descriptors
such as these all fall woefully short when your eyes first light upon
the Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Haute Joaillerie watch. When a brand of
such prestige and lengthy history as Girard-Perregaux–a manufacturer of
some of the world’s most exquisite watchmaking masterpieces–produces
something that is likely their “most expensive” creation ever, it
certainly gives you a sense of perspective.
Among the things you might ponder are, how much gemological and
setting expertise are demanded to acquire a collection of nearly 400
perfectly matched baguette diamonds and then mount them on the oval
case and integral bracelet with such breathtaking precision. It’s in
no way difficult to believe Girard-Perregaux’s claims that more than
1,000 hours are demanded to craft this magisterial Cat’s Eye
watch. Much like a tourbillon, minute repeater or some other wondrous
watchmaking complication, diamond-setting on this level exacts a heavy
price in terms of time and dedication.
With such a wondrous display of the jewelers art at center stage, Girard-Perregaux
could have just gone the “quartz route” with the movement. However, GP
didn’t take that easier path: like other watches in the Cat’s Eye group
the Cat’s Eye Haute Joaillerie uses a slender, self-winding mechanical
caliber produced in-house by the manufacture. Here, even it gets the
royal treatment–look through the exhibition back and you’ll find a
white gold rotor that is entirely pave-set with round brilliants.
Quite an effective ploy to entice women to the art of the mechanical