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1950s Girard Perregaux Sea Hawk

It can be surprisingly easy for historically relevant and important watchmaking marques to get lost in the noise and hype created by the major players in today’s market. One such brand is Girard Perregaux, a company whose name you might recognize from the livery of the current Aston Martin Formula 1 contender, and a company with one of the longest unbroken lineages in all of watchmaking and roots that can be traced back to 1852.

With such a long history, it should be unsurprising that Girard Perregaux has produced some exceptionally interesting watches, and in this episode of our series Under the Radar, Craft + Tailored’s in-house hero of horology’s underloved gems, Tyler Vanes, takes a look at a 1950s Sea Hawk, a lovely example of Girard Perregaux’s uncanny ability to craft a wristwatch that was both bold and understated at once.  

While best known for their elevated dress watch designs and innovative experiments with movements, this ‘50s Sea Hawk is something relatively unique among Girard Perregaux’s many contributions to the watch world. Many different GP watches have bore the Sea Hawk name over the years, including everything from military-issued pieces to dress watches, but this particular iteration of the Sea Hawk has an undeniably cool mid-century design language. From it’s bold, black Arabic numerals, to its dauphine hands, to that sub-register sweep seconds hand located at 6 o’clock, this watch has a retro-futurist design, but one that ultimately works in any era. Simply put, it’s an incredibly handsome watch that doesn’t shout, but sings with fun details, and a sleeper that should make any watch collector fawn.

At the sub-$2k price point, it’s very difficult watch to beat for those looking for a time-only piece with a palpable history from a deeply respected marque, but also need a versatile watch that can be daily worn without feeling too fussy or elevated. And at 34mm, it’s a watch that will be at home on most wrists.

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