Now and then, you come across a watch that awakens the desire for a feature that is missing in your collection. That may be a particular design, a certain complication, or… or a dial color.

Although a constant flow of watch news washes up Fratello’s shores, I, like you, can hardly get enough of that. When I’m passing shop windows of jewelers, I cannot resist checking what they currently offer. Which novelties have finally arrived in the shops? How do the watches I did not have the chance to see live before look in real life? Is there anything I missed?

To the latter category belongs Girard-Perregaux‘s 2018 edition of the 1966 40mm in steel with a gradient gray dial. The brand had presented this retro-inspired model at that year’s SIHH. For incomprehensible reasons, I had missed this novelty, which is even more surprising as I had been looking for a watch like this for quite a while.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm Gradient Dial watch

A gradient dial

Today there’s a plethora of watches with gradient dials, and they’re offered in every price range and many colors. At the time I put a watch with a gradient dial on my mental watch shopping list, this was different. It should be a dressier type of watch. The inspiration for this “need” probably was created by early models from the revived H. Moser & Cie. Back then, Moser’s watches were more restrained than they are today. They offered beautiful watches, but the models I liked most came in precious metals and therefore cost more than I wanted to spend on such a watch.

So I postponed this acquisition – until I stumbled upon the Girard-Perregaux 1966 4omm with exactly the kind of dial that was on my mind during random window shopping. I mentioned before that I have a soft spot for gray dials. The fact that the jeweler in whose window I saw this watch was already closed probably was the only reason that prevented me from an impulse buy.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm Gradient Dial watch

The Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm

Back at home, I trawled the internet for information on this watch. I already knew Girard-Perregaux’s 1966 family from my search for a formal dress watch.

What I found out about this watch didn’t dampen my enthusiasm: steel case, 40mm diameter, in-house movement. The price of about €8,000 also corresponded to my expectations.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm Gradient Dial watch wristshot

It wasn’t long before I paid the jeweler a visit. Also on my wrist, I liked this watch exceptionally well. Many details enthused me. The slim leaf hands, the mirror-polished baton indexes, and the discreet dots forming the minute track superbly complete this dial. It is important to me that the date background corresponds to the dial color. In the images, you can see that the dial’s color appears quite differently depending on ambient light.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm Gradient Dial watch profile

The case has an interesting convex shape that tapers towards the bottom. It is entirely polished. The lugs are short and gently bend downward. These short lugs and curved spring bars integrate the strap perfectly by avoiding any gap between case and strap. The winding crown is relatively wide but flat.

I found out that this watch is extremely versatile.

From the title of this article, you already know that I bought this watch. I found out that it is extremely versatile. It suits apparel of almost all colors. Even though this type of watch appears a bit formal, it doesn’t look out of place when combined with more casual attire.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm Gradient Dial watch caliber GP03300

The GP03300 caliber

Girard-Perregaux’s in-house movement GP03300 ticks in this watch. It is a self-winding movement and has a frequency of 28,800vph. It consists of 218 parts (27 jewels) and provides a power reserve of 46 hours. I experienced this caliber as reliable and inconspicuous. It offers good accuracy.

The view through the sapphire window in the snap-in case back reveals that this movement actually is a bit too small for this watch. You can see all sorts of carefully executed, traditional decorations: circular and straight wave patterns, straight and circular graining, snailing, beveled and polished edges, gold-filled engravings, and polished and blued screws.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm Gradient Dial watch


This watch isn’t cheap, but it offers a lot for its price. It is a lovely and reliable watch that doesn’t cause you any worries. To me, its most relevant aspect is its versatility. You can wear the Girard-Perregaux 1966 40mm with this gradient gray dial for almost every occasion, and you can combine it with a broad range of outfits.

You can still find this watch in Girard-Perregeaux’s current collection.