Time to have a closer look at the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 with Large Date and Moon Phase. After the release of the Vintage 1945 Chronograph, the Large Date and Moon Phase was the second complicated model in the Vintage 1945 collection. And again, it introduced a new caliber and what I think till to date, the best Large Date solution out there.
While we associate Large Date with the Lange 1 introduced in the 1990s, aesthetically it suffers from the need to put frames around each digit as otherwise the overlapping discs would be visible. Later Glashütte Original copied the mechanism but did not bother with the frames resulting in a less pleasing appearance.
Girard-Perregaux went another way, using one normal disk of numbers and a thin sapphire wafer on top, removing any gaps or overlapping disks. What’s more, right from the start did the GP Caliber have an instantaneous date change in a fraction of a second, something Lange introduced much later.
Let’s not get caught up too much in the technical details though, because overall, we have a very interesting and elegant timepiece with Ref. 2580. The Vintage 1945 case has been enlarged to the so-called King Size, or 32 x 32 mm. Compared with the Chronograph 2599, the case has became just a tick wider, while the overall curvature has been kept as is. The strap has grown from 21/16mm to 22/16mm and we now have a sapphire case back.
Besides the Large Date, the most prominent feature is of course the Moon Phase. Classic design with nice gold moon and stars for the night as well as a small seconds hand. The combination of the Large Date separated from the Moon Phase allowed for a good sized cut-out of the Moon Phase.
Ref. 2580 was available only in precious metal, yellow, pink and white gold with different dial colours and designs. There was also a Limited Edition in Platinum as part of a larger set. Finally, we also saw 2 different Limited Editions with a Steel case. One edition limited to 100 pieces with blue dial and my version, the GP Club with 50 pieces and a black dial. GP Club watches were special releases usually of only 50 pieces in a steel case.