From Maranello to La Chaux-de-Fonds: Understanding the often overlooked tie between great manufacturers.

For more than 200 years, Girard-Perregaux has been perpetuating a substantial heritage, marked with exceptional contributions to high Horology and passionately committed to the development of high end movements as well as aesthetic elements, epitomized by the famous Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges.The story of GP begins in 1791, when it was initially founded by Jean-François Bautte in Geneva, who later teamed up with Constant Girard in 1852 to launch the first chapter of the brand straight out of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The Manufacture’s quest for excellence saw its offerings in the forefront of innovation, as confirmed by approximately 80 patents currently held by the brand. For instance in 1965, GP designed the Gyromatic HF: Its first mechanical movement at high frequency, with a physically oscillating balance wheel at 36,000 vibrations per hour. Fast forward to 2008, Girard-Perregaux offered a prototype of a constant-force escapement, which sets it apart from all other escapements known to date. In 2013, the first watch with a continuous escapement was unveiled. Now to the matter at hand, in this article we’ll approach this iconic watch from 2002. This Girard Perregaux F300 Ferrari chronograph ref 8020 is a low-key masterpiece and a witness of a defunct collaboration between the Italian automotive maker and the Swiss Manufacture between 1993 and 2004.

Luca Montezemolo became the chairman of Ferrari after the death of its founder Enzo Ferrari in 1988. He was a mutual friend to Luigi Macaluso, the CEO of the Sowing group who united Jean Richard and Girard Perregaux under one roof. He was the author of further improved  quality control of the manufacture, in order to restore GP’s former glory after the quartz crisis. These two captains of the industry share so much more than just a licensing agreement. They are also joined by superior quality, and passion, making this match from heaven a perfect pick for the gentleman who seeks quality and fine design. After this partnership, Ferrari had gone through quite a few different watch brands featuring its logo such as Panerai and currently continues to soar with Hublot. This watch might not scream Ferrari out loud from afar but calls out for the roar of the Ferrari engines when it’s closely inspected from the wrist. Perhaps the healthy dose of simplicity is what makes this Girard-Perregaux Ferrari watch more appealing than others. Let’s start with the stainless steel three-body case, measuring 37.5 mm in diameter, 45 mm lug to lug and a thickness of 13 mm. The body is cleverly ergonomic thanks to its downturned lugs; thus it wears comfortably without compromising its wrist presence. Aesthetically, this case boasts immense character definition, with strong lines and a beautifully contrasted mix of matte brushed and polished finishesThe body of the watch is crowned with an angled bezel, topped with a scratch-proof sapphire crystal in beautiful condition. Also, it comes equipped with its original GP alligator strap in very good condition with a signed stainless steel pin buckle.

The solid stainless steel caseback is tightly secured to the case with 7 screws. The engraving is sharp and well preserved reading “Manufactured especially for Ferrari – Girard Perregaux,” the “Cavallino Rampante” logo, the serial number is 8511, and reference numbers are well defined over a mirror finish. The screw down crown bears a sandblasted Ferrari logo and is flanked by two rounded, inverted chronograph pushers. GP really aced the execution of the white dial and enriched it with 3 sunken chronograph subdials at 3, 9 and 6 o’clock for constant seconds, 30 minute and 12 hour respectively. Despite its seemingly busy layout, the dial is very well balanced and well proportioned. From the date display between 4 and 5 o’clock to the applied silver Arabic hour markers and imprinted minutes track, it is very legible at a glance. The choice of color is also a success, with contrasting black and red sharp imprints over the white background This combination is graciously accomplished. The non-luminous silver dauphine hands along with the blued chronograph hands are all original and add a further splash of color to the whole ensemble. Under the dial we can enjoy a wonderfully decorated automatic calibre GP2280 based on the ETA 2892A2 with a Dubois-Depraz 2021 chronograph module. The 57 jewels movement is rhodium-plated, with ‘fausses côtes’ embellishment. Collectability wise, it’s always a nice sight to see this pristine watch accompanied with its original paperwork. It has been acquired directly from its first owner who kindly provided the Bucherer invoice dating back to April 2002, followed by later service invoices. The GP service pouch and cushion are present and in good condition. A nice extra! Even if the watch succeeds as a luxury chronograph on its own terms, it carries Ferrari’s DNA across the crown, dial, pin buckle and case, the end result is a flawless and masterfully executed timepiece. Whether a Ferrari owner or not, this 8020 is a fun accessory to have, dotted with an interesting trivia to share with fellow watch enthusiasts. The present watch is in excellent original condition, in perfect working order, accurate and reliable and could be yours here. (Hypertext link to the watch listing)

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