It is my great pleasure to present to you the third part of this “Vintage GP journey, Summer Edition”.
For those of you who don’t know the reference GP 8846 N, the number refers to the first generation of Girard-Perregaux Olimpico chronograph.
According to my contact at the Manufacture, the idea for the Olimpico chronograph came from one of the GP Agents in Mexico at that time, Guido de Angelis, who saw an opportunity to sell more watches during the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games.
From a watch perspective the 1968 Olympic Games was a very interesting game. This was the first time in the Olympic Games history that an electronic timekeeping was officially used!
The official timekeeper of the Olympic Games was Omega, but that didn’t stop others to use the Olympic Games from a promotional perspective.
A lot of research and development in the timekeeping area was introduced during the Mexico Games. For the first time “touch pads” was used to time swimmers, the “Swim Eight-O-Matic” timer.
As mentioned the Girard-Perregaux Olimpico series started with the Mexico Olympic Game. After that several Olimpico references has been released. Some speculations on the internet claims that the Olimpico already was introduced in the 1950’s, but I have to decline these speculations based on the information received directly from the Manufacture.
I have no information on when GP stopped the Olimpico series for the first time but I do know there were no Olimpico watches released in 1980 and 1984.
Another missing information is exact which years GP released different Olimpico models. Some may have been release even in non-Olympic years… Will try to find out more.
In 1988 Girard-Perregaux re-launched the Olimpico series with the reference 4910 and followed up with the reference 1030 to the 1992 Olympic Games. The last Olimpico chronograph was released in 1996, the Laureato reference 8017. At that point Girard-Perregaux received a letter from the Olympic Committee saying that the name was protected and …
That was the end of the Olimpico chronograph series and I don’t think we can expect a rebirth.
So, back to this watch, the GP 8846 N, in 1968, 500 pieces were made of this reference. The price at that time was CHF 450.-
From what I understand there were two dial colors, one silver and one black. Sorry, I can’t show you any photo of the black version right now.
I find the silver version is just stunning!
Tachymetre, Base 200 scale in red and blue. Three sub-dials, 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock and running second at 9. Chronograph central seconds.
Inside is the GP caliber 07-3, based on the Excelsior Park P40. A true work horse, Girard-Perregaux started to use the GP caliber 07-3 in 1966 and the last piece with that caliber was sold in 1976.
The case is very classic, short, slightly curved lugs, polished upper, brushed sides - sounds familiar?
Screw down case back.
The first generation Olimpico came in at least two references, here the reference 8862.
Notice the different pushers and the non-luminous hands and dial on the 8862.
The Olimpico also existed in three different metal versions: SS, Gold Plated 20 microns and 18K Gold.
On the wrist the 8846 is heavenly!
With a diameter of 37.5 – 38 mm it sits perfect on the wrist!
I have to confess that in the last few of month, this one has received a lot of wrist time. Who knew that a no-chrono guy like me could fall so completely in love with a chronograph…?
I fear what can of worms that this will open for me…
Friends, I hope you have enjoyed this part #1 of the GP Olimpico 8846!
This topic is so big and interesting that I will have to divide this post into a two parted series (minimum), hope you don’t mind. Even if I promised you a three parted summer menu, I guess no one will object that we prolong the summer and continue…?
BlommanThis message has been edited by blomman on 2014-08-03 12:37:30