Friday, October 23

The new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph

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Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph

After bringing Laureato firmly back into the spotlight, Girard-Perregaux increases the case size and makes the watch look more sporty. Laureato Absolute is entirely clad in black PVD-treated titanium and water-resistant to 300 metres. 

The Case and Dial

The Laureato Absolute Chronograph measures 44 mm in diameter, with a solid caseback and all titanium PVD shell. The redesigned pushers are now also more angular. Their curved surface, highlighted by a blue border, ensures enhanced ergonomics. For the dial, the watch uses a sunburst display, with a colour gradation running from dark blue in the centre to deep black around the rim.

The white seconds chapter ring adds some contrast to the matt black hour- markers. The clever part of the dial is the sandwich design. The subdials and hour markers are cut/recessed. Sandwich dials typically feature hour numerals instead of shaped indices. Using a blacked out base for the indices also add an element of mystery to the dial. 

Perfectly integrated with the case, a blue-stitched black rubber strap is injection-moulded with the names Girard and Perregaux. At 300m water resistance, a closed caseback and fit with a rubber strap, the features seem to suggest a ‘sea-worthy’ timepiece. 

The Movement

The watch uses the Ref GP03300-1058 an automatic chronograph. The 63 jewels movement beats at 28,800 vph and has 46 hours of power reserve. Measuring 25.95 mm by 6.5 mm, the small movement big case notion comes to mind. 

Concluding thoughts

While there is merit in the design, and a sound history backing the Laureato ‘remakes’, it is difficult to not see the Royal Oak in the case. Touché but true. With the upsized case, all black, rubber strap, and a carbon composite case relative, it is even more apparent that the Laureato Absolute is Girard Perregaux’s contestant in the ‘once trending’ Offshore, Big Bang category. IWC too, tried to play catch up by redesigning their Ingenieur in 2013, but it was clearly not their strength. As a matter of timing the market, GP might be late to the party; which has swung towards neo-vintage and further away from big cased multi-metal designs. That said, this is merely a narration of macro market sentiments. After all, there will always be pocket buyers in various categories that perhaps the brand is targetting. 

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4 Comments

  1. Well said! It’s tiresome reading comparisons of the Laureato to the RO. Underlying similarity certainly but so is the Nautilus that came after the Laureato and no one ever throws the same shade on PP or IWC for that matter. GP is treated unfairly by comparison and at the very least deserve credit for an independent design and not just hiring the same guy as AP. Professional journalists should’ve moved on from this old chestnut a long time ago and if consumers care to look past this nonsense they’ll discover the Laureato is a fine watch in its own right!

  2. Although actually a well written article, I have to read here once again that it is difficult – at least for journalists – not to recognize the allusion to the Royal Oak in the Lunette of the Laureato Absolute.
    Historically this is at least questionable:
    Girard-Perregaux (founded 1759) has used this form of lunette since 1975 until today. The Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet with its characteristic octagonal bezel has been in existence since 1972. The two watches have in common the idea of the Swiss watch designer Gérald Genta, who is responsible for the design of the Royal Oak as well as the IWC Ingenieur, also from 1975. The idea of the octagonal bezel inspired other brands besides Girard-Perregaux to create octagonal bezels without copying the design of Genta.