The Girard-Perregaux Competizione chronograph is made in two variants, Stradale in steel, Circuito in carbon. As suggested by the name, they are road-racing-inspired watches, with piston-shaped chronograph pushers, dials with three subdials, and tachymeter scales on the Stradale versions. The Circuito is the sportiest, with titanium-carbon case and carbon-effect leather strap. Both are powered by variants of the GP03300 self-winding movement.
The case is 42 mm across, with lugs following the natural curve of the caseband. The watches are almost 14 mm thick. The dials offer a number of choices, with Stradale available in black or silvered dial versions, and Circuito with a perforated radiator-grille-type dial. Girard-Perregaux have worked hard to highlight the sporty feel, and overall they have succeeded, but there are a few details that I find inconsistent.
The silver-dial Stradale (above) is perhaps the most logical of all, showing continuous seconds on a subdial at 3 o’clock, with a hand that is differentiated from the others by an arrow tip. So the chronograph functions are shown by the red centre-sweep seconds hand, chronograph minutes at 9 o’clock, and chronograph hours at 6 o’clock. The date window placed diagonally at 4.30 is, I suppose, a necessary evil. Not all the hours have hour markers: the ones that are present block out parts of the fifth-seconds scale.
In the black-dial version of the Stradale (above), the situation is the same, except that the continuous seconds hand is red, like the chronograph seconds hand. Of course, no major problem, but why not make the continuous seconds hand silver like the hour and minute hands, and use red for the chrono hands?
The Circuito (above) is a watch more about looks than function, because the grille pattern makes the dial more difficult to read, the tachymeter scale has been removed, and the fifth-seconds scale has been moved outwards so the chronograph seconds hand no longer reaches it. Even if it did, the scale is now interrupted not by the hour markers, but by red numbers marking the minutes. And in this version, like the black-dial Stradale, the chronograph subdial hands are silvered like the hour and minute hands, and the continuous seconds hand is red like the chronograph seconds hand. Girard-Perregaux made great efforts to reduce the weight of the watch, using a titanium-carbon composite material for the case. This is, I think, a unique material in the world of watches, but Girard-Perregaux have not patented it because it simply can’t be patented.
The movement for all the watches is based on the superb GP03300 movement, Girard-Perregaux’s in-house base movement on which many different complications have been applied over the years, such as chronograph, calendar, moon phase etc. by means of additional modules. The GP03300 is slim at 3.2mm, runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, has 191 components and a 46-hour power reserve. The two Stradale variants have two different movements, GP03300-0031 for the silver dial, and GP03300-0122 for the black dial version, also used for the Circuito. Perhaps the difference is in the movement finish. These two movements are 6.5 mm thick, and they have 435 components and 63 jewels, providing an indication of the complexity of the chronograph module which presumably is based on the prestigious column wheel control. Unfortunately the only caseback photos I have are my own, very blurred.
All in all these watches are an uncharacteristic offering by Girard-Perregaux, an attempt to show that they are absolutely in step with the times and capable of creating the young, sporty watches that appeal to new generations of watch lovers. They are comparatively accessible but certainly not cheap, with prices starting from €10,200 for the Stradale with leather strap, and reaching €14,000 for the Circuito.