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Underappreciated Girard-Perregaux’s from the 1990s – Part I: Girard-Perregaux 7000 series

crown comfort
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Friends,

 

Baron’s recent series of identifying future Rolex classics from the modern era - see here:

www.watchprosite.com

has led me to think about doing a little research on semi-vintage Girard-Perregaux’s from the 1990s and share some still underappreciated models.

 

Now, let’s be clear: GP does not have those small dial variations like Rolex and the community of Rolex collectors is xx-fold larger than those interested in GP, nor will semi-vintage GPs likely get the same hype and value appreciation.

 

However, I still think there are some classic models out there from the 90s that not only have some potential but that also stand out and bring a lot of quality to the table when looking at watches from that time period.

 

So with this series, I try to focus on such models from GP and provide some info on which versions are more desirable than others. This will not be based on pure objective metrics like rarity or collectability, but rather be my personal view and taste.

 

I have identified 5 different References that I will introduce in this series. You would likely have seen reviews or reports on them here before, but I try to go a bit deeper on the available variants and which ones are truly underappreciated.

 

For Part I we will go right back to the beginning of the 90s even to the end of the 80s, but as most of the watches were produced in the 90s, I stay within my target era. We will slightly cross the border again in Part V but then into the year 2000.

 

The Girard-Perregaux 7000 series goes back to around 1989. It stayed in production throughout the 90s and has seen a number of sub-references and was one of the GP models with the highest production numbers ever.

 

So why did I pick the 7000 into this series? The 7000 Chronograph actually was the model that had the most versions and was produced most. 


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My GP 7000 Chronograph from the mid 90s


While I like the 7000 Chronograph, it probably does not belong into this series. They are available in abundance in all versions and carry forward a 80s design theme not so popular with collectors today.

 

On the other hand, the 7000 series not only had the Chronograph but two other versions as well and I think both have great potential, are somewhat challenging to find especially in good condition and some dial/case variants are actually quite rare and in my view also very collectible.

 

Let’s start with the Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk 7100 and voila we are again back at where we started this series…Rolex.

The Rolex Submariner and GMT were arguably the most successful watch designs in the 80s even for Rolex they go back much longer. So is the Sea Hawk a Submariner design rip-off? Maybe. To some extend.

 

The style of the hands, the bezel do look a bit familiar, but then the case is very different. The Sea Hawk was available in

All Steel

Steel/Gold mix

All solid Gold

And different dial colours in black, white, blue and red.


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For the Sea Hawk 7100 a few things are to consider when it comes to which one to pick:

 

1: The original bezel inlay was made from sapphire and hardly one has survived the signs of time without some damage. GP soon started to replace the bezel inlay with aluminum. Watches that had been serviced, had the inlay changed to the more durable aluminum inlay. So one thing to check is to ensure the inlay is already aluminum or a flawless original sapphire, in which case the watch would need to be worn very carefully.


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Photo Credit Blomman


2: The Movement: with the exception of approx.. the first 500 Sea Hawks produced, most had Caliber 2200 deployed, which is a very reliable ETA-based movement. The 2200 is a good movement but nothing special, one of the most common. However, the very early Sea Hawks had Caliber 215, which was based on a double-barrel Lemania 8810/Longines 990. If you can find one of those, then you have something very special.


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Photo Credit Internet


3. The Case: While the solid gold Sea Hawks are rather rare, I personally don’t think those are the most desirable. A Diver watch is a tool watch and tool watch in 18k yellow gold is not a convincing combination. In fact, probably most Sea Hawk 7100 that can be found today had a mix of gold and steel. The case is stainless steel while the bezel and the crown is 18k gold. Those could be a consideration, but I believe what you really would want to look for is the all steel case variant.

 

4. The Dial: this is very much personal taste. My Sea Hawk I has a black dial with 6/9/12 tritium painted numerals, gilt hands. The black dial is probably the most common but also the version with the most classic look. So an all steel, aluminum inlay and black dial is certainly a version worth considering. Finding one is possible but they are rare nowadays when in good condition.


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There is however, another one that I think is not only rarer but much more desirable and has a great potential for a future classic. The white dial with tritium dots. All I have seen had wonderful Tritium patina which comes out particularly well on the white dial. The white dial version typically came with a red/blue bezel inlay.


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White Dial Sea Hawk: Photo Credit Chrono24 and Internet


So in summary, the ideal Sea Hawk I and most collectible in my view would be an early all Steel case with Caliber 215, white dial with creamy Tritium markers and blue/red bezel in excellent condition.

 


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Photo Credit Time 4A Pint


 

The second version of the 7000 series is the Traveller GMT 7200. As far as I know, the only model from GP that sports the classic GMT design with a 24hour hand and a rotating bezel with 24 time zones. Similar to the Sea Hawk, the Traveller 7200 was available in different materials and dial colours, however compared to the Sea Hawk this Reference is much rarer and harder to find.


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There are few quirks though that are worth watching out for on the GMT.  The movement is again a Cal 2200 variant, but here for all GMTs, I’m not aware of any other movement used. What I have however seen are two versions of the GMT hand, one with a broad equilateral triangle and one with a more narrow triangle pointer.


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Pepsi Inlay and small arrow, Photo Credit vB uhrforum.de


The other element is the bezel inlay again. Most had a Pepsi style red/blue bezel inlay. A more subtle version is the polished steel bezel inlay which distinguishes AM/PM numbers with Arabic and Roman numbers. Probably not as easy to read, but a more unique implementation and easier on the eye than the Pepsi.


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Steel Inlay with small arrow GMT Hand: Photo Credit Internet


So, if I had to pick one Traveller GMT 7200 (actually I picked already), then it would be the all Steel with Steel inlay, matte black dial with gilt hands and broad GMT arrow.


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Here again, the Tritium is often nicely aged, the 6/9/12 is also done in Tritium but less pronounced than on the Sea Hawk.


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There is also a nice white dial Traveller 7200, but in my view, the black is better suited for the GMT and I never saw a steel inlay on a white dial.


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White Dial with Pepsi inlay, Photo Credit Member rb2 from WPS


So, happy hunting!

 

CC

Comments:
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Baron - Mr Red August 9th, 2018-03:41
I think I have started something I may regret...... Great report and what temptation!! Just delving back a decade or two opens up a wealth of wonderful watches to explore. Very tempting.
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crown comfort August 9th, 2018-06:02
You can only blame yourself :))) Your Rolex posts having quite an impact, so time to get you "impacted"
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MCG August 9th, 2018-04:58
Great post - and - as a GP Seahawk I owner, I can only agree :-)  
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crown comfort August 9th, 2018-05:59
Thanks MCG Your Sea Hawk is a very cool version and I think also quite rare with the dots on the black dial. I have taken the liberty to add one of your pictures of your Sea Hawk. CC Photo MCG ... 
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MCG August 9th, 2018-09:20
👍🏻😃 Still love the little stunner… ❤️🔥😄  
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crown comfort August 9th, 2018-11:01
Good to hear :))  
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zabreg1 Mr White August 9th, 2018-08:24
Great post, CC. Had no idea about these, and I am absolutely loving your SeaHawk. Keep these coming, the info they provide is invaluable to anyone who likes watches, whether GP specific or not.
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crown comfort August 9th, 2018-11:02
Thanks for the kind words, Z. As mentioned, this was Part I, I have prepared 4 more for the moment.  
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zabreg1 Mr White August 9th, 2018-12:44
Oh god.  I’m in trouble.
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blomman Mr Blue August 9th, 2018-08:53
Great initiative, great post! :) Thank you for this post, CC! Yes, from the 7000 series I find the Sea Hawk 7100 the nicest. A good solid watch with a nice 80s/90s look and feel. Looking forward to more of these reports! Best Blomman
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Baron - Mr Red
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Identifying future classic Rolex from the 1990-2018 era - Part 3: The “Swiss” only effect with four examples

Baron - Mr Red
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This is Part 3 of the series that aims to identify future classics from within the ranks of modern Rolex watches - areas perhaps that vintage collectors have not paid attention to. Historically, if one looks back at the many different vintage Rolex watches that have drawn collectors attention, one finds subtle nuances in the dials that cause the attraction. For example, when a dial has something that differentiates it from the vast majority of dials in a reference, it becomes much rarer and thus something ... .


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