This Girard Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges reference 9700 is distinguished by its intriguingly small size, engraving on the back of the watch, and the illustrious Three Bridges movement, which holds a prominent place in horological history.
Initially created for pocket watches, the Three Bridges movement has a historic lineage that stretches back to the 19th century, when Constant Girard created a pocket watch with a tourbillon and three parallel bridges. The movement won first place in the 1867 and 1889 Paris World Exhibitions as well as the Neuchâtel Observatory Prize in 1911 – one of the most prestigious competitions to determine the accuracy of certain timepieces. As a testament to the movement’s accuracy, it was even rejected from several competitions because it was considered too perfect, to prevent the watch from winning repeatedly. Later on, in 1883, the bridges were styled with arrow-like tips that because a patented design. The movement was miniaturised to wristwatch size in 1986 and presented at Baselworld five years later.
The piece is engraved with “Manufacturé Specialément Pour Severin Wunderman”, suggesting that the piece was made for Wunderman himself, in 2006. Severin Wunderman was a formidable figure in the watch industry, launching Gucci Timepieces in the early 1970s and subsequently purchasing Corum in 2000. An art collector and philanthropist, he has left a lasting legacy in terms of his work in the watch industry and charitable work.
At 31mm in diameter, the watch is an extremely small size for a tourbillon yet retains the identity of one of the most impressive movements made. Additionally, the dial is semi-skeletonised, with an “oeil-de-perdrix” (overlapping circular patterns) decoration on the main plate, while the three golden bridges and blued parts providing a truly special touch to the piece.