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Girard-Perregaux Taps Timepiece Visionary

The brand is looking to push the boundaries of watchmaking this year, starting with the appointment of well-known watchmaker Dominique Loiseau.

Dominique Loiseau

Girard-Perregaux is looking to push the boundaries of watchmaking this year, starting with the appointment of well-known watchmaker Dominique Loiseau.

Loiseau — who possesses more than three decades of experience in horology — joined the 220-year-old brand’s manufacturing team at the end of last year. In fact, his latest creation before joining the timepiece company, the Loiseau 1f4, is regarded as the most complicated automatic watch industry-wide, containing eight patents in its movement.

“Dominique was always one of the greatest watch inventors in Switzerland. I appreciate him not only as an inventor, but as a person,” Michele Sofisti, chief executive officer of Girard-Perregaux parent Sowind Group, told WWD. “This is a great opportunity for Girard-Perregaux to [continue to] create incredibly complicated movements [going forward].”

He said Loiseau is already hard at work developing a new movement for the brand, which develops all of its movements in-house — although it will be some time before this will hit the marketplace.

“We’re going to work together, and I’m sure that in a few months we will see something extraordinary coming out of his [Loiseau’s] mind,” Sofisti said. “We are not in a hurry, we just want to bring out something that can add to the history of the brand.”

Girard-Perregaux celebrated its 220th anniversary last November with a worldwide traveling exhibition that made stops in Singapore, Shanghai, Paris and New York — and the brand’s museum here will reopen later this year.

Girard-Perregaux’s president of North America, Frederic Leys, also revealed to WWD in November that 2012 will see the introduction of a new generation of minute-repeaters, as well as a patent based upon the concept of “constant escapement” that ensures the most accurate timekeeping. Additionally, the company’s acquisition by PPR — now the majority shareholder — will result in increased brand awareness worldwide, starting with an aggressive marketing strategy.