Girard-Perregaux’s Neo Constant Escapement

A Decade of Innovation in Horology

Girard-Perregaux, a name synonymous with innovation and precision in the world of watchmaking, has once again pushed the boundaries of horological craftsmanship with the release of the Neo Constant Escapement. Building upon their groundbreaking Constant Escapement of a decade ago, this new creation represents a refined and more contemporary approach to the concept of a constant force escapement. Let’s delve into the marvels of this timepiece and the extraordinary technology that powers it.

A Decade of Evolution

In 2013, Girard-Perregaux achieved a significant milestone by introducing the Constant Escapement, a timepiece that defied the long-standing technical norms in watchmaking. This audacious creation garnered the prestigious ‘Aiguille D’Or’ at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) for its novel and proven design. Fast forward ten years, and Girard-Perregaux has unveiled the Neo Constant Escapement, a smaller and more refined iteration of this groundbreaking technology.

Sleek and Contemporary Design

The Neo Constant Escapement exhibits a contemporary 45mm width and a slim 14.8mm thickness, down from the original 48mm size, all encased in lightweight titanium. This reduced size, combined with subtle aesthetic changes, ensures that the watch is not only technically advanced but also more legible at a glance, while retaining its futuristic skeletonized appearance. The watch is a testament to Girard-Perregaux’s commitment to blending innovation with aesthetics.

Constant Force Escapement

What truly sets the Neo Constant Escapement apart from conventional timepieces is its exceptional escapement system. Unlike most watches, this marvel of engineering features a ‘fifth wheel’ on the gear train. This wheel plays a pivotal role in ensuring a constant release of energy to two escape wheels, each possessing three teeth, allowing the movement to run at a frequency of 3Hz. What makes this escapement so exceptional is that it transfers energy alternately to the two escape wheels, as opposed to simultaneously, creating a consistent force throughout the operation.

The final link in this intricate chain of energy transfer is a silicon blade, measuring a mere six times thinner than a human hair. This delicate component engages with a lever, which, in turn, imparts an impulse to the balance wheel. This fascinating process repeats an astounding 20 times per second, resulting in an astonishingly precise timekeeping mechanism.

The Legacy of Constant Force

The concept of constant force escapement traces its roots to Dominique Loiseau, an independent watchmaker, who initially conceived the idea. Loiseau’s innovative concept found its way to Girard-Perregaux when Jean-Francois Mojon and his team, including Eric Coudray and Laurent Besse, developed a practical prototype and eventually transformed it into a fully functional timepiece. The Neo Constant Escapement is a testament to their unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of horology.

Girard-Perregaux’s Neo Constant Escapement is a masterful fusion of aesthetics and technology. This timepiece represents a decade of relentless research and development, culminating in a watch that defies the conventional norms of watchmaking. With its constant force escapement and elegant design, the Neo Constant Escapement is a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and precision, making it a worthy successor to the Constant Escapement. Girard-Perregaux continues to be a pioneer in the world of horology, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the art of timekeeping.