The original Casquette was produced from 1976 to 1978. During that period, Girard-Perregaux made 8200 examples of this innovative quartz watch. Over the years, it has become much sought after by watch aficionados and style conscious wearers. Now, the Casquette is back! Named the Casquette 2.0, this new model upholds the design language of the original but is now encased in ceramic and Grade 5 titanium. Moreover, it features a new quartz movement with additional functionality. Lastly, with its ergonomic case, the model’s size and design make it suitable for all.
The birth of the Casquette
In 1976, Girard-Perregaux unveiled the Casquette, a cutting-edge timepiece endowed with a tubular LED display. Powered by a quartz movement, tapping into the horological zeitgeist of the 70s, the watch looked very different from the traditional two-handers of the time. Interestingly, Girard-Perregaux, the Manufacture founded in 1791, was at the vanguard of quartz timekeeping. Indeed, the frequency of 32,768 Hz was set by the Maison and subsequently adopted as the universal standard for quartz watches.
This ground-breaking watch was not officially called the ‘Casquette’. Instead, the watch was marketed using a reference number. However, watch collectors began to affectionately nickname the watch ‘Casquette’, a soubriquet which has remained part of horological parlance.
The original displayed the hours, minutes, seconds, day and date with its quartz movement delivering a high degree of precision. Moreover, while many rival firms merely swapped a conventional display for a circular panel featuring a series of LEDs, Girard-Perregaux looked at the Casquette’s design with a fresh set of eyes. The tubular LED display was not only functional, its appearance sidestepped convention, contributing to its avant-garde styling. Indeed, at the time, the watch was likened to a 70s muscle car with its LEDs resembling taillights.
Throughout its history, the Maison has repeatedly shown its design expertise. When designing a watch, the brand views each element not only in isolation, but also as part of a cohesive whole. Back in the 70s, the brand embraced the idea of equipping watches with integrated bracelets. Moreover, the company has always shown a predilection for different case shapes while paying due consideration to ergonomics, practicality, and readability.
The Casquette was produced from 1976-1978 and offered in three case variants, Makrolon® (polycarbonate), yellow gold plate and, lastly, steel. Over subsequent years, the Casquette has become much sought-after by watch collectors and fashionistas alike. Its ‘retro futuristic’ design language continues to proffer much appeal which has never waned.