This 1961 Girard Perregaux second-generation deep diver Gyromatic reference 7897 was recently made available for sale. Featuring a 35mm stainless steel, 200m water resistant case, a jumbo non-guarded signed GP crown, this first rotating bezel piece from Girard Perregaux is historically significant to find in non-refinished condition. These watches were designed to be worn and there is no doubt that this piece was used for decades.
The steel tone coating of the bezel, which has been replaced in almost every example I have seen over the last decade, has worn down and shows the brass mechanism, which was cleaned in detail prior to sale to ensure perfect operation. This variant was produced in 1961 in 1962 to different colored dial variations black and white with a total production of 1500 units, making coming across one of these even more of a rare occurrence.
The watch being only 8.5 mm thick is quite an uncommon size for a diving-based sports piece during that era. The overall size and white dial add very refined aesthetic appeal to this piece in modern times. The original arrow style stainless steel hands and the aged patina of the tritium complements the aging of the hour markers.
The Girard Perregaux caliber 31.09 automatic 36,000 B/H, was recently serviced, winds extremely smoothly, and is keeping excellent time. This piece was fitted on a 17 mm Horween Shell Cordovan leather strap, which I deliberately aged to match the worn tone of this piece.