When Girard-Perregaux CEO Luigi Macaluso died in 2010, the former minority partner of Sowind Group, PPR (Pinault, Printemps, Redoute) increase its equity stake to 51 percent. The French luxury goods holding had some excellent assets on which to rely: a magnificent, recently refurbuished and modernised corporate headquarters, a strong development team - - one even capable of taking on technically challenging tasks without the help of outside forces – and an excellently equipped production department.
Michele Sofisti was appointed CEO of the Sowind Group in 2011, which comprises Girard-Perregaux and Jeanrichard, a research and development center, and the watch production company. Under his guidance, the company has reduced its multitude of references but continues treading the fine line between fashionable watches and technical miracles. In January 2012, the manufacturing team was reinforced with one of the most scintillating figures in horology, master watchmaker Dominique Loiseau, who had been working on a new modular movement for the brand before his unexpected passing in September 2013.
The various combinations of tourbillons and the gold bridges remain the company specialty. The elegant Gp 1966 lin and the very feminine Cat’s Eye are still available, of course. The Vintage 45 is another standout, featuring striking rectangular and arched cases. But the most dazzling talking piece lately has undoubtedly been the Constant Escapement, a new concept that stores energy by buckling an ultra-thin silicium blade and then releasing it to the balance wheel.