Time and Gems / Bicester Village, 10th May 2018
This was the watch I tried on right before I checked out the Jean Richard Hokusai Wave watch, and it's in a totally different league (and to be fair, price range). Damned if I can remember the original price, I think it was somewhere between £7-8000, but today this was on offer for 'just' £5300 (according to the card that the lovely Sophie gave me to take home).
First things first, this is an unusual looking watch, and I'm sure it's not going to be to everyone's taste, but I liked it. I'm not totally sure about that bulging right hand side of the case, or the crown at the four-fifteen position, but the dial iself is fantastic. Sure the date positioning is a little wacky... but when you pick this watch up you can instantly tell that this is a very well made, quality item.
It's heavy too, really heavy, possibly even heavier than my Aquagraph (which is saying something), and while a lot of that may come from the very substantial, in fact downright 'chunky' bracelet, I'm sure even on a rubber strap (which is also available) it wouldn't feel in any way, shape or form - light.
Girard Perregaux is a bit of an odd brand, they don't seem to have a name to match the respect they garner in the 'watch community', indeed, I'm not entirely sure I've ever seen a GP anywhere but Bicester, not even in Selfridges or Harrods... maybe they've got a boutique in London somewhere but it doesn't spring to mind. Clearly the product is good, so maybe it's the marketing and brand awareness they need to work on?
When it comes to the Seahawk range, those who are a little... dainty of wrist, shall we say, clearly need not apply. This is a BIG watch, and you're going to need a man size wrist to pull this baby off. I'm not at all sure that crown guard would be comfortable long term and the crown itself is massive, but if you're a larger guy and you want a watch with wrist presence, this thing has it in spades.
The Seahawk operates at the price point where buying a Rolex Submariner makes a lot more sense, but clearly this watch is not aimed at your everyday punters. This brand knows it offers a niche product to a clientele who are more informed and aware, and for who the Submariners and Seamasters of this world are for the hoi-polloi. They know that not everyone will 'recognize' their timepiece and they don't care. They know some people will wrongly assume the watch is a fashion brand, and while it might grate a little they take comfort from knowing that on those rare occasions when they do bump into another GP wearer they give each other a nod and a smile. I imagine owning a Seahawk is a bit like being a member of a club that few can get into, or like owning a Koenigsegg. Evidently it's not a Ferrari - but who wants a Ferrari, 'everyone' has one of them...
Would I buy one? Sure, if I had the money to burn, why not. But no way I'd buy at retail, I bet these things tank hard. But if I was going to buy one, then I think I'd be searching out the green version, because if you're going to big and crazy, then why not go green as well - right?
I'd take that over a Rolex Hulk any day personally, but then if I was looking to spend £8,000 on a watch I wouldn't be looking at either of these, for that money I'd probably take a Heuer 01 with gold lugs instead. But still it's nice to know these things exist, for those with the resources and chutzpah to be bold and different.