Aston Martin has announced that Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux will be their Official Watch Partner, collaborating on upcoming limited-edition timepieces.
Girard-Perregaux branding will also be featured on the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula OneTM Team cars for this year’s Formula 1 season and first be seen in Bahrain while the first timepiece to come from the collaboration between Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux will be revealed later in the year.
Both Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux have long and prestigious histories and were both founded by visionaries with an inborn passion. Aston Martin was founded back in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford while Girard-Perregaux goes even further back to 1791, when Jean-François Bautte, aged just 19, produced his first watch. It was however a love story which led to the birth of one of the greatest names in watchmaking when Constant Girard married Marie Perregaux in 1854.
The precursor for some of Aston Martin’s most well-known heritage ‘DB’ road cars was of course the legendary 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, which is perhaps most famous for its victory at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, Aston Martin’s only outright win at the endurance classic race. The car was styled in-house by the talented designer, Frank Feeley, and represents what is unquestionably his best styling work and the shape of the DBR1 remains one of the most beautiful and graceful of all time.
The design incorporates a key functional attribute – the side air vent – which was first seen on the DBR1 and remains a key functional and visual characteristic of Aston Martin’s road-going sports cars to this very day.
In a similar way, when Girard-Perregaux released its now-famous Tourbillon ‘With Three Gold Bridges’ in 1867, it transformed three functional components, often hidden from view, into attractive aesthetic features. With the advent of this watch, what was once invisible was deliberately made visible and throughout its 230-year history, Girard-Perregaux has demonstrated its creativity playing with different shapes which inspired the brand’s slogan ‘Shaping the now for those in the know.’
It is the progressive mindsets of both Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux which sees both firms embrace continuous improvement and pursue superior performance.
Tobias Moers, Chief Executive of Aston Martin Lagonda commented:
“The real beauty of partnerships such as this one is that, although we share very similar core values, the two brands can learn a great deal from one another. Girard-Perregaux is a prolific innovator in the use of materials and new technology. We both create highly desirable luxury products that are beautifully designed, deliver a powerful performance and exhibit flawless execution.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Aston Martin Cognizant Formula OneTM Team Chief Executive Officer and Team Principal, said:
“We at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™️ Team are thrilled to be announcing a partnership with Girard-Perregaux today. Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux share so many brand touchpoints – a rich history, a glorious heritage, and a relentless devotion to the pursuit of premium quality combined with high technology. On the racetrack, time, too, is of the essence. Formula One™️ and Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™️ Team in particular will prove themselves to be respectively a fantastic promotional platform and a brilliant marketing partner for Girard-Perregaux, whose timepieces lead the way in terms of quality and desirability.”
Patrick Pruniaux, Girard-Perregaux’s Chief Executive Officer, added:
“2021 is an important year for both Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin. We are celebrating an astonishing 230 years of watchmaking, whilst Aston Martin celebrates its return to Formula 1 as a works team for the first time in over 60 years. We have much to celebrate so uniting our worlds to create something special is the perfect way to acknowledge and appreciate these milestones.”
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Aston Martin