Girard-Perregaux has a long and rich history of building tourbillon pocket watches that dates all the way back to the mid-1800s, and the La Esmeralda is a pretty incredible piece of the brand’s history.
Its arrow-style bridge design was patented in the U.S. in 1884, and this insanely ornate gem came to be in 1889, winning a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris that same year. As a nod to the craftsmanship, Girard-Perregaux has unveiled the La Esmeralda Tourbillon wristwatch for 2016 and, let’s face it: We want one.
The brand has dusted off its three-bridge tourbillon configuration on a number of different pieces (including a series of pocket watches and a handful of wristwatches), and, just two years ago, we saw a modern interpretation of the three bridges in the release of the Neo Tourbillon.
But while we’ve seen a lot of reissue watches over the last few years, this one is something spectacular. It’s the first time the brand has drawn so close a parallel to history. And even though La Esmeralda’s design roots are now 127 years old, it still looks and feels like a remarkably contemporary timepiece in the grand scheme of things.
The eye-popping design, historical legacy and heavy use of gold all figure into La Esmeralda’s $200,000-price tag—without even considering the sheer volume of man-hours behind its construction. So many components of the watch’s movement and case are hand-finished, including its entire tourbillon carriage, its bridges and its hands, and, once this laborious endeavor is complete, the entire thing takes roughly two months to assemble.
So if it strikes your fancy, start your own clock: you’ve got T-minus 10 days to start saving for the holidays.