A luxury Swiss watch manufacturer with its origins dating back to 1791. Since 2011, the Swiss holding group of Girard-Perregaux, Sowind Group, has been a subsidiary of the French Kering Group. Headquartered in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the company opened the Girard-Perregaux Museum near its headquarters in Villa Marguerite in 1999.
Girard-Perregaux is regarded as a top-tier Kering brand. It is best known for the historic Tourbillonwith three gold bridges, which was awarded a Gold Medal at the 1889 International Exposition in Parissoon after the launch of the watch. Other notable models from the company include Vintage 1945, Bi-Axial Tourbillon and so on.
In 1791, watchmaker and goldsmith Jean-François Bautte signed his first watches. He created a manufacturing company in Geneva, grouping for the first time ever all the watchmaking facets of that time. This includes the engineering of the watch all the way to the final hand-assembly and hand-polishing of each watch. In 1832, Jacques Bautte and Jean-Samuel Rossel succeeded Jean Bautte, becoming the head of the company.
In 1852, the watchmaker Constant Girard founded Girard & Cie in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He then married Marie Perregaux in the same year, and the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture was founded in 1856. In 1906, Constant Girard-Gallet, who took over control of the Manufacture from his father, acquired the Bautte House and merged it with Girard-Perregaux & Cie.
Since the quartz cirsis, the brand has pursued its activities by reinforcing from the 1980s its position in the domain of high-quality mechanical watches. Since late 1980s, Girard-Perregaux has been a part of the Swiss Sowind Group.
In 1999, the Villa Marguerite, a building in La Chaux-de-Fonds from the beginning of the 20th century, became the Girard-Perregaux Museum. A selection of old watches and documents illustrating the history of the brand is presented there.
In 2011, Sowind Group, the Swiss holding incorporating Girard-Perregaux, became a subsidiary of the French Kering Group.
Girard-Perregaux relies on being a manufacturer of movements and watches, and a manufacturer of cases and bands. They bring together some tens of different components: watchmakers, engineers, movement decorators, polishers, etc. This global approach, founded on the traditional know-how of the watchmaking craftsmanship, allows them to create and direct high quality watches and movements from the assembly stages all the way to the final encasement.