Girard-Perregaux is hitting the road with Aston Martin as the luxury car brand's Official Watch Partner for the 2021 F1 season. News of this partnership also marks the 230th anniversary of the Swiss manufacture, and a special commemorative timepiece celebrating this team-up is slated for release later this year.
Both Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux boast visionaries with an innate passion. Aston Martin was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford – both of whom shared an irrepressible love for machines, propulsion, engines and racing. The Aston Clinton Hill Climb race of 1914 proved to be a watershed moment for the two when they entered their then-latest creation (a custom-tuned Singer) and won. The following year, the first Aston-Martin car was officially registered.
Meanwhile, Girard-Perregaux traces its origins back to 1791 when Jean-François Bautte, then aged 19, produced his first watch. But most notably, it was a love story that led to the birth of one of the greatest names in watchmaking when Constant Girard married Marie Perregaux in 1854. This union represented the joining of more than two Swiss watchmaking families in La-Chaux-de-Fonds and soon gave way to new standards that continue to be followed by watchmakers to this day. The Tourbillion with Three Gold Bridges pocket chronometer, for example, elevated the concept of movement bridgework from the technical realm to that of artistry.
The two organisations also share an enviable history of firsts. Girard-Perregaux unveiled the world’s first hi-beat watch in 1966 vis-à-vis the Gyromatic. The manufacture also produced the first wristwatch – the Constant Escapement L.M. – with a true constant force escapement. This was a massive horological achievement that took the application of the remontoire d'egalite to its logical conclusion and saw the timepiece eventually being awarded the “Aiguille d’Or” at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2013.
Likewise, Aston Martin’s DBR1 was one of only three cars during the 1950s to win both the World Sportscar Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours in 1959. In popular culture, the DB5 is also the most recognisable "James Bond car", first appearing in the 1964 spy-thriller Goldfinger.
These impressive feats bear testament to the consummate amount of skill and innovation that manifested within these two icons, allowing them to be leaders of their respective industries. Similarly, it is evident how their shared love for art, beauty and craftsmanship make for a partnership that is both even-keeled and exciting.
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