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Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement Revitalises Award Winning Mechanism

Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement

Girard-Perregaux have returned to their award winning (GPHG – Aiguille d’Or 2013) constant force concept with a revamped and more modern design for the modern age. The new watch is the Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement, offering an aesthetic and structural update to the 2013 Constant Escapement L.M. Without further ado, let’s take a look.

Off the bat, the case has been almost entirely redesigned compared to the original. The original was incredibly large at a size of 48mm and was made from white gold, although in following years it was made available in other precious metals as well. For the Neo Constant Escapement GP have focused on increasing that watch’s wearability. Which means it’s been slimmed down to 45mm and made from titanium, making it lightweight while retaining a high degree of structural integrity and durability.

Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement

Additionally, it now features a box sapphire crystal, allowing for a thinner bezel. In turn, a thinner bezel means the aperture of the dial itself can remain wide and legible despite the smaller dimensions of the case. Zooming in on the dial reveals the most significant aesthetic change to the model. The offset hour and minute subdial is gone and those complications are now presented on the central handstack alongside the seconds.

Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement

It might sound odd that moving the hours and minutes to the centre of the dial is a modernising change since that’s the most traditional style of display in all of watchmaking. However, what it means is that Girard-Perregaux have been able to redesign the hands in a skeletonised dauphine style to reveal more of the skeletonised movement beneath.

Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement

And what a movement it is. It’s called the GP09200-1153 and it’s a manual wound movement with an astonishing 7-day power reserve, which you can keep track of with the linear power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. Of course, more significant than that is the constant force mechanism.

Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement

For the uninitiated, a constant force mechanism is a device in a watch’s movement that is designed to prevent the phenomenon whereby as the movement’s power reserve depletes, the total amount of energy in the system also depletes leading to reduced precision.

The most widely used constant force mechanisms are things like Fusee and Chain, which ensure that there is a consistent amount of torque on the balance spring so that the amount of energy in the system is constant even as the power reserve drops. Other examples include the Remontoir. However, Girard-Perregaux developed their own constant force system, the Constant Escapement with silicium blade.

Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement

In as simple terms as possible, the silicium blade sits between the double escape wheels and the balance wheel – essentially an additional component in the chain that converts stored energy into the movement of the hands. The blade is designed to buckle and bend in such a way that regardless of how much energy it receives from the escape wheels, it sends the exact same impulse to the balance wheel every time via a lever and thus ensures constant force.

Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement

With the updated case and display, the Constant Escapement mechanism looks better than ever, is more wearable than ever and feels contemporary even though it was first developed more than a decade ago. The Neo Constant Escapement really has brought a new breath of life to one of GP’s most significant horological developments (and proves the GP remember they have more collections than just the Laureato). Although unsurprisingly it comes with a hefty price tag of £84,700.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Girard-Perregaux Neo Constant Escapement
  • Ref: 93510-21-1930-5CX
  • Case/dial: 45mm diameter x 14.8mm thickness, titanium case, skeletonised dial
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
  • Movement: Girard-Perregaux calibre GP09200-1153, manual winding, 29 jewels, 266 parts
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 7 days
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator
  • Strap: Black rubber with titanium triple folding buckle
  • Price/availability: £84,700

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.