In the relentless pursuit of speed, time is the overriding concern. The race against the clock has captivated fans of motorsport for more than 100 years while the measurement of time has challenged watchmakers throughout history. The similarities between both domains are clear to see.
Both Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux were founded by visionaries with an innate passion. Aston Martin was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford while Girard-Perregaux can trace its origins to 1791, when Jean-François Bautte, aged just 19, produced his first watch. But most notably, it was a love story that led to the birth of one of the greatest names in watchmaking when Constant Girard married Marie Perregaux in 1854.
The now-legendary Aston Martin DBR1 (1956), a car made for competitive racing, was a precursor for some of the marque’s most well-known heritage ‘DB’ road cars. It was styled in-house by a highly talented designer, Frank Feeley, and represents what is unquestionably his ‘finest hour’ – indeed the shape of the DBR1 remains one of the most beautiful and graceful of all time. Moreover, the design incorporates a key functional attribute – the side air vent – which debuted on this car and remains a key functional and visual characteristic of Aston Martin’s road-going sports cars to this day. This functional element has become a key aesthetic detail that imbues the marque’s models with their distinctive personalities. In fact, one glance at an Aston Martin car immediately reveals the identity of its maker.
Similarly, 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. Indeed, with the advent of this watch, the once invisible was deliberately made visible. Throughout its 230-year history, the Swiss Manufacture has demonstrated its creativity, often playing with different shapes. Indeed, it is this mindset that inspired the brand’s slogan ‘Shaping the now for those in the know.’
While both organizations have amassed a wealth of skills and traditions, they continue to look ahead. Indeed, it is this progressive mindset that sees both firms embrace continuous improvement and pursue superior performance.
Tobias Moers, Chief Executive of Aston Martin Lagonda remarks: “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 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 a 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, adds: “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.”
Girard-Perregaux branding will feature on the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula OneTM Team cars at the start of the 2021 F1 season in Bahrain while the first timepiece to be borne from the collaboration between Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux will be revealed later this year.