In 1889, an intricately decorated pocket-watch with three gold arrow shaped bridges and a tourbillon movement won the coveted Gold Medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition. This watch, crafted by master watchmaker Constant Girard-Perregaux would later be known as La Esmeralda. Now, almost 130 years later, Girard-Perregaux pays tribute to La Esmeralda with a unique wristwatch with a secret.
What’s in a name?
The original watch has an interesting history, and was in fact named for the exclusive Mexican store to which it was entrusted after winning the Gold Medal. Sometime in the late 1960’s, La Esmeralda was purchased from a descendant of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz, and only then returned to Switzerland.
In an homage to this very special timepiece, about which little else is known, Girard-Perregaux created the La Esmeralda ‘A Secret’ with the same painstaking detail and exquisite workmanship as the original.
The La Esmeralda ‘A Secret’ watch showcases Gird-Perregaux’s patented three gold bridges which show-off the highly decorated movement underneath. The dial, as well as the 18K rose gold case of the timepiece is beautiful to look at. The 44mm case is hand-engraved with motifs that replicate those on the original La Esmeralda from 1889.
The dial demonstrates the expertise, precision and skill of the Girard-Perregaux artisans and is hand-engraved, guilloched, satin-brushed and chamfered. It may seem like overkill to have all these techniques combine in a single timepiece, but we were lucky enough to see this watch, and can honestly say that it embraces its ornate intricacies with an élan than is second to none.
Keeper of Secrets
So, what is the secret behind La Esmeralda ‘A Secret’? In a subtle nod to the original pocket watch, the unique La Esmeralda ‘A Secret’ has an 18K rose gold cover protecting the sapphire crystal case-back. The cover is hand-engraved with the image of three galloping horses and the inside bears the words ‘Tourbillon’ and ‘La Chaux-de-Fonds’ while leaving enough room for a secret message to be engraved by the eventual owner of the piece.
Beneath the cover, the decorative movement of the La Esmeralda ‘A Secret’ is displayed, demonstrating exactly why over 200 hours were spent on hand-crafting this one-of-a-kind celebratory timepiece.
HOT Verdict: We’d be even better at keeping secrets if we could hold them in a case as beautiful as this one!