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Review: The Girard-Perregaux Bridges Cosmos

by Chester Lau on March 2, 2019
Watches

Girard-Perregaux launches the new Cosmos, stemming from the Bridges collection, the piece highlighted by the brand in 2019, reveals the hidden portions of the night sky and glows with a black light. The centrepiece of the “Earth to Sky” theme, this watch is armed with tourbillon, sky chart and world time complications.

Girard-Perregaux Bridges Cosmos

The Dial

The symmetrical arrangement of the Cosmos double globe creates a simple balance amidst the busy dial. Along its horizontal and vertical axes, its complications are reflected in an arrangement set at all four cardinal points.

Offset hours and minutes appear at 12 o’clock, while a tourbillon spins beneath a large black titanium bridge at 6 o’clock. At 3 o’clock, a terrestrial globe serves as a day/night indicator, while a sky chart takes its place at 9 o’clock. The entire scene is staged against a tinted sapphire crystal glass. Invisible in broad daylight, and dotted with luminescent hydroceramic particles, it offers a time-lapse view of the stars by night.

Astro Elements

At 9 o’clock, the sky chart is represented via a laser-engraved on a blue-tinted titanium globe. It rotates every 23 hours, 58 minutes and 4 seconds, the exact duration of a sidereal day. This sphere focuses on the best-known, most visible stellar formations, those of the zodiac.

The star chart traces twelve constellations, enhanced with luminescent hydroceramic, thus enabling the Cosmos to come to live at night. Additionally, the celestial globe displays the constellation of the zodiac that is invisible at noon on the dial side and the one that is visible at midnight on the caseback side.

At 3 o’clock, a complete globe gives two indications. It allows you to know if the local time zone is in daylight or nightfall. And a 24-hour scale near the equator provides a GMT reading. This second time-zone reading is done via a scale model of the earth. Also made of titanium and laser-engraved, this world map is decorated with hollow oceans and raised continents.

The Case

The Cosmos case is sized at 48 mm in diameter and carved from beadblasted titanium. Its sapphire crystal is a glassbox, raised to incorporate the bulbous globe displays. The Cosmos case-middle is smooth and crown-free. In its place are four tiny adjustment keys, all located on the back of the case, and which sit flat on the wrist without any unpleasant protuberance. While the case appears large in part due to the 9.10 mm thick movement, the total case height is only 12.15 mm, which is in comparison, slimmer than most Panerai cases and surprisingly close to most self-winding Grand Seiko time-only watches — the SBGR305 is 13.6 mm.

The titanium caseback is pierced with four rods respectively dedicated to winding, time-setting, adjustment of the GMT globe and that of the terrestrial globe.

The Movement

Beneath the display hides the new manufacture movement that has emerged to put Cosmos into orbit: the manual-winding Calibre GP09320. The manual winding movement beats at 21,600 vph and has a power reserve of 60 hours. Its rate is regulated by a tourbillon similar to that of the Néo family. The tourbillon bridge is made of black PVD-treated titanium, arched over the escapement.


Concluding Thoughts

The real genius behind this piece is in keeping the movement and case thin despite a normally bulky design when globe displays are used. By replacing the winding system, the Cosmos saves on the vertical space required for a horizontal stem. That said, this is not a new concept; also used in early Jaeger LeCoultre ladies watches with super thin movements.

Overall, the watch is leaning on the sporty side, with titanium, darker color schemes, and a rather industrial theme. It has elements of ‘stealth wealth’ which we like, but while the Cosmos has elements of fine finnesage, the bridges, movement parts and case finishing is relatively plain. Perhaps more contrast, improved finishing, a more attractive time subdial design, could further enhance the Cosmos appeal.

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