Although orphaned at a very early age, Jean-François Bautte had a determined approach to life. He learned the trades of case assembler, guilloche applier, watchmaker and goldsmith in turn, and completed his education. In 1977 he signed his first watches, aged 19. The origins of Girard-Perregaux are associated with this date.
He created a manufacturing company in Geneva regrouping all the watch making trades of that time.
In 1837 Jacques Bautte and Jean-Samuel Rossel took over from the illustrious Jean- François Bautte, who had left them an exceedingly high quality industrial and cultural heritage. Later, Rossel continued his work alone, soon to be assisted by his son. Their remarkable work in the field of chronometry was regularly rewarded in international exhibitions.
In 1852, Constant Girard founded the Girard & Cie firm. Two years later, he married Marie Perregaux, and in 1856 the union of their surnames gave rise to the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
In 1903 Constant Girard-Gallet took over control of the Manufacture from his father.
In 1905, Girard-Perregaux was appointed a permanent jury member of the most popular international watch exhibitions in recognition for its constant quest for precision.
In 1906, it took over the famous old Bautle firm, merging it with Girard-Perregaux & Cie.
At the dawn of the 20th Century, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin measured his aeronautic tests using a Girard-Perregaux timekeeper.
In 1928 Otto Graef, a watchmaker of German origins and owner of the MIMO Brand (Manufacture International de Montres Or) bought up the capital stock of Girard-Perregaux. In 1930, sales of wristwatches exceeded those of pocket watches for the first time, nearly fifty year after Constant Girard had anticipated this application of time.
In 1940 the Girard-Perregaux Brand pursued its development both in Europe and the Americas, especially with the SEA HAWK water resistant model, while the MIMO Brand was primarily distributed in European markets.
In 1992 the Italian entrepreneur, architect and former racing car driver Luigi Macaluso took over the reins of Girard-Prregaux.
In December 2004, Girard-Perregaux opened its first boutique in Gstaad.
In 2007 Girard-Perregaux opened its first boutiques in China, in Bejing and then Shanghai.
Girard-Perregaux and the PPR Group signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement, enabling both companies to exchange their know-how and share their expertise.