Take A Look At The Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Planetarium Watch

Girard-Perregaux describes the small, hand-painted globe (so large it needs a bubble in the sapphire crystal) as being a miniature representation of a map from the

17th–18th century. That's a pretty big spread of time in the world of cartography, but I think even the brand can agree that a timepiece such as the Girard-Perregaux

Tri-Axial Planetarium Watch would have felt very much at home back then.

Imagine a time when the tourbillon itself was patented by Mr. Breguet back at around the end of the 18th century. Now imagine a tourbillon that spins on not one axis,

or two, but three. The Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon is indeed one of the few triple axis tourbillon watches out there. The very first of these species I

recall learning about was the Triple Axis Tourbillon from Thomas Prescher. A triple axis tourbillon is extremely complicated to engineer, and a huge endurance and

patience challenge to assemble. These watches are extremely rare because their expense to make and cost to buy ensure production numbers are low. No, the three axis

points of spinning for the tourbillon do not add any performance value – no more than the first or second axis points.

Tourbillons were designed to solve a problem in clock or pocket watch movements that wristwatch movements do not have. The execution of a tourbillon in a wristwatch

movement is a pure exercise in the art of craftsmanship. It looks beautiful, but doesn't actually make the product better. It certainly does make the object more

valuable though.

Girard-Perregaux's original Tri-Axial Tourbillon (aBlogtoWatch hands-on here), has a cool movement in a watch that's not particularly pretty-looking. The Tourbillon

part of the name was removed for this reference 99290-52-151-BA6A Tri-Axial Planetarium version (which doesn't include what you might normally associate with a

planetarium). I'm pretty sure a planetarium is a visual representation of celestial bodies, especially in relation to one another. This watch does feature one planet

though – Earth (and its moon – just not in relation to one another). Girard-Perregaux indeed improved on the design of the Tri-Axial Tourbillon with the Planetarium

– with a decidedly much better looking timepiece. The elegant subsidiary dial to indicate the time really helps, and the various blue hues from the painted Earth to

the moonphase indicator are eye-pleasing. The overall design still has some quirks though (like the background texture of the silver-colored watch face) and the case,

which has large sapphire crystal bubbles that simply aren't going to be to all mega-wealthy watch collectors' tastes


If the Tri-Axial Planetarium watch looks big, that is because it is 48mm wide and 21.52mm thick with the domes. The 18k pink gold case is predictably weighty on the

wrist, which is what you'd expect in a watch like this. Girard-Perregaux does its best to keep the overall case proportions classic, so it really tries to be modest-

looking in its visual heft.