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Fighting the stigma: The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph

by Chester Lau on June 16, 2018

Girard-Perregaux revealed the new Laureato chronograph models at Baselworld 2018 earlier this year. The original Laureato was born in 1975, a period in watchmaking history when luxury steel sports watches were starting to catch on. This era saw the birth of the high-end sports watch segment, just three years earlier, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak was first unveiled in Basel, closely followed by Patek Philippe’s Nautilus 3700 release in 1976.

 

The new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph in a silver dial and black sub dial variant.

 

The case and dial

The Laureato chronograph is available in 42 mm or 38 mm case sizes, in either stainless steel or pink gold. The Laureato uses the same grade of stainless steel as used in Rolex watches, 904L steel. Although difficult to discern through the naked eyes, the 904L steel is distinguished by its high chromium content and possesses superior corrosion resistance and more radiance after polishing relative to 316L steel.

 

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph in a blue dial variant. Notice the nicely chamfered edges with contrasting polish of the case, bezel and bracelet.

 

The Laureato Chronograph bears the same aesthetic details as seen in the original design 43 years ago. A polished octagonal bezel is fitted on an integrated case, which is a case design with the bracelet naturally extending from the case, without the usual lugs. The metal bracelet is a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces, with wide satin-brushed H-shaped links as well as domed and polished interlinks. The exterior of the Laureato case has also evolved to incorporate a crown guard.

 

The Laureato’s dial bears the “Clou de Paris” hobnail motif.

 

Buyers can also choose from three dials with varying colour schemes. The three dial types include one in all blue, a white dial with black subdials and a black dial with darkened teal subdials. The Laureato’s dial bears the “Clou de Paris” hobnail motif, similar in style to guilloche dials, the hobnail motif resembles tiny pyramids in grids.

 

The third dial variant, also available on a leather strap.

 

The movement

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato is fitted with a self-winding chronograph movement, with date display. The 63 jewels movement beats at 28,000 Vph and has approximately 46 hours power reserve. The movement is machine finished with “Côtes de Genève” on the plates, chamfering and straight graining. The level of finish is adequate at the price point and comparable to finishing level of brands like Jaeger LeCoultre or Glashütte Original.

 

In the versions with a 42 mm case, the hour-markers are secured to the minute circle and the caseback is fitted with a transparent sapphire crystal, while the 38 mm version features hour-markers separate from the minute circle and a solid caseback.

 

Concluding thoughts

The Laureato Chronograph is a luxury sports watch designed with daily use in mind. The steel bracelet, screw-guard pushers and comfortable size add to its profile as a versatile timepiece.

While in and of itself, the watch is a good looking piece with heritage and provenance, it is in a tricky category competing with highly iconic timepieces. Considering that some may find controversy with Piaget’s Polo S, it is not surprising that many would remark that the Laureato is ‘simply’ a mix of the popular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with some elements of a Patek Philippe Nautilus; especially with the new H style bracelet with polished center links.

 

The 38 mm version on the wrist. The integrated lugs design makes for a pleasant fit on the wrist and the watch is very much a good-looking and well-built timepiece.

That said, while hard to unsee the similarities, it is also prudent to acknowledge that the bezel design and integrated bracelet follows the DNA of the 1975 original, and the similarity of design can be attributed to the design ‘zeitgeist’ of the ’70s. So apart from some awkwardness at being mistaken for an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (by the less initiated), overlook that ignorance, and you can enjoy a well-made bracelet chronograph with an in-house movement with a great design and is of course, less mainstream than the rest.

 

CASE

Material: Steel

Diameter: 42,00 mm

Height: 12,01 mm

Case-back: Closed

Dial: Silver with “Clou de Paris” pattern

Water resistance: 10 ATM

STRAP

Material: Steel

Buckle: Triple folding

Buckle material: Steel

CALIBRE

Number: GP03300-0137

Type: Self-winding mechanical movement

Diameter: 25,95 mm (11 1/2”’)

Height: 6,50 mm

Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h – (4 Hz)

Number of components: 419

Jewels: 63

Oscillating weight: Steel

Finishes: Côtes de Genève, circular graining and bevelling

Power reserve: Min. 46 hours

FUNCTIONS

Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph.

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