Earlier in the year Girard Perregaux flexed their haute horology chops with a full sapphire-cased tourbillon, the Quasar Light. It was a damn impressive-looking piece of watchmaking, though as these things often are was strictly limited. Now, it’s back in blue in the aptly-named Quasar Azure.
On a technical side, this is more or less the same watch as the Quasar Light but with different finishing across the board – and what finishing it is. The biggest difference is obviously the case, which has been shifted to blue rather than pure transparency.
There are actually a fair few full sapphire watches about now – Bell & Ross springs to mind as a decent example – but coloured is far rarer. That’s likely because getting a uniform shade throughout is like convincing a Floridian that masks are good – liable to drive one to insanity. There’s a good reason the case takes 200 hours of work to create.
It certainly looks the part, especially when set next to those impressive titanium bridges and the tourbillon of the skeletonised GP09400-1035 automatic movement. The see-through, very open case lets plenty of light in so you can see every detail, which is very worth taking advantage of.
The tourbillon cage itself is worth noting, as the low-energy arrangement means its less liable to drain the mainspring resulting in a solid 60-hour power reserve. It’s also a lot lighter than you might expect, weighing just 0.25 grams.
The blue might be a nice change but I’m personally more excited to see what else Girard-Perregaux do with it. Green would be a good start, and the kind of colour combinations available will make this the limited edition that keeps on giving if they choose to do so.
Speaking of, the Quasar Azure is even more limited than the Light, with eight pieces down from 18. It comes on an anthracite strap that, from what I’ve seen so far, is a little too dark to really work properly. Fortunately it also comes with a blue number that sounds like a much better option.
As for price, the Quasar Azure will set you back CHF 274,000, no small amount. But then a unique sapphire tourbillon was never going to be cheap.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Girard-Perregaux Quasar Azure Limited Edition
Case/Dial: 46mm diameter x 15.25mm thickness, blue sapphire
Water Resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Caliber GP09400-1035, skeletonised automatic, “Neo Bridges” tourbillon, 260 components, 27 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power Reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, tourbillon
Strap: Metallic anthracite fabric with DLC titanium triple folding clasp with additional blue alligator strap
Price & availability: 274,000 CHF / $274,000 USD, limited edition of eight pieces
More details at Girard-Perregaux.