This Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk (ref. 49970-11-131-HDBA) was reviewed on 10 different criteria. The review is for this specific watch, other models may perform differently. Evaluation is based on my wrist size, personal opinions, experiences, and preferences.
Overall Design | 13 out of 15
The Chrono Hawk has a very distinctive look. Easily recognizable by its unique case design with integrated lugs and strap. It has a sporty and bold look, without being overly extravagant. But despite its good looks, this particular version of the Chrono Hawk seems to be lacking in wow factor... there was something missing for me. Perhaps the more daring Sea Hawk collection is more in line with my personal taste.
Case | 8 out of 10
The 44mm satin finish on the case goes well with the "not flashy" theme of the watch... with just a small surface on the very bottom of the bezel being polished (hard to spot unless you really look for it). Personally, I think a few polished beveled edges would have further enhanced the look of the watch. The bottom edges of the case are a bit sharp to the touch, but it does not affect the wearing comfort. The sapphire crystal is slightly domed, which aligns perfectly with the curvatures of the case and lugs. Right under the bezel, there is a rubber insert that gives the watch that extra sporty feel (but I worry about the durability of the rubber, specially on the edges). To match this, the crown and chrono pushers also have rubber insert pieces. On the rear, a sapphire crystal proudly displays the in-house movement.
Dial | 9 out of 10
My favorite part of the watch is probably the honeycomb pattern on the light silver dial (but why not choose pure white?). It is subtle but it provides the much needed texture. The applied hour indices are big and angled to match the black interior bezel that displays the minute markers. The hour indices actually sit inside a cut out on the black interior bezel. The cut outs unfortunately, appears to be too large at times, leaving a visible gap on some of the hours upon closer inspection (my OCD talking here). The running seconds is located on the subdial at 3 o'clock, with a skeleton orange hand (which matches the orange on the tip of the chronograph second counter)... love these details. And yes, I am a sucker for orange accents on a watch. The subdial at 9 o'clock is for the chronograph minute counter. The date window is located at 6 o'clock, which is perfect for a dial with this kind of subdial arrangement. The applied black "GP" letters located at 12 o'clock is a nice finishing touch (which matches the interior bezel and the rubber insert under the exterior bezel)... applied logos or brand names always gives the watch that upscale look.
Strap | 9 out of 10
The construction of the strap is very similar to Hublot's gator straps... where the leather/gator is basically stitched or glued onto a rubber piece. This is a smart design as it makes the overall strap more durable since the rubber part is against your skin. So no matter how sweaty you are, the top leather/gator part of the strap will remain unaffected. The strap is thick and a bit too stiff, specially near the lugs (which I am assume it was designed that way to retain the same curves as it transitions from the case to the strap). The single-sided push-button deployant buckle has "GP" engraved on the top part and "Girard-Perregaux" engraved on the inside part. The edges of the deployant are rounded, which greatly improves the wearing comfort. The overall fit and finish of the strap is excellent.
Movement | 9 out of 10
The Chrono Hawk features the in-house movement GP03300-0073, a self-winding mechanical movement. It has 61 jewels and beats at 28,800 vph. Power reserve is estimated at 46 hours. You can admire this beautifully decorated movement from the back of the watch through the rear sapphire crystal. The movement features an engraved rotor, blued screws, perlage finishing, and Geneva stripes.
Legibility | 5 out of 5
Though the dial, hour indices, and hands are all silver in color, telling time is easy on this watch. The lume on the hours markers and minute and hour hands shines brightly, just do not expect to be using the chronograph function in the dark as none of those hands have lume.
Operation | 5 out of 5
Despite the massive crown guards, the oversized crown is easy to unscrew/screw and operate. Chrono pushers are also easy to operate given their elongated trapezoid shape and rubberized top. All functions on the watch work properly as they should.
Features | 7 out of 10
The Chrono Hawk features a chronograph (only second and minute counters), honeycomb dial, date, 100m water resistance, open case back, in-house movement, rubber inserts, and a very unique case and strap design.
Comfort | 7 out of 10
Unfortunately, the strap and deployant design on this watch is not ideal for small wrists (my wrist is 6.5"). The strap has a natural curvature (like most straps that are incorporated into the case) which is much larger than the width of my wrist. Therefore, when viewed from the top, both sides of the strap sticks out significantly and makes the overall watch appear oversized on my wrist. On the other hand, if your wrist size is 7 to 8", I am sure the strap will fit a lot better on you. The deployant buckle is surprisingly comfortable, specially considering how much I dislike deployant buckles in general. I think this is due in large part to the soft rubberized backside from the excess strap that wrapped around my wrist. The bottom edges on the deployant buckle are also well rounded, making it comfortable even though it is pressing against the underside of your wrist. On my small wrist, I have to wear the strap on the very first hole (its smallest setting) and surprisingly the deployant is still located on the center of my wrist (most of the times with other brands the deployant will end up on one side of my wrist, making the watch unwearable).
Value | 11 out of 15
The retail price for this watch is $13,900. At this price point, competition is tough... many many nice watches to choose from. From a classic stainless steel Daytona to the bolder Hublot Big Bang. But I suspect that the people considering the Chrono Hawk already own one or two Rolexes or Hublots... so the Chrono Hawk would be a nice addition.
TOTAL SCORE: 83 out of 100
For the collector looking for a sporty, subtle, and less common chronograph.
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