Girard-Perregaux reintroduced its historic Laureato line as a fully-fledged collection at Baselworld this year, with over 30 references across four models of the watch. Prescient observers might have seen this coming when the manufacture released a limited edition Laureato to mark the brand’s 225th anniversary last year, but the sheer number of options offered this year was mildly surprising. After all, manufactures almost certainly never release the full line up from the get-go, and for good reason: why risk it? From a business angle, it makes sense to release one or two key models first to start a collection off, before adjusting the course based on the market’s reactions to these forerunners. The Laureato, however, isn’t quite that. The timepiece dates back to 1975, and was one of the pioneers of the luxury technical performance sports watch category; we will take a closer look at the development of this watch against the wider historical context in a separate story next time.
The new Laureato collection spans a range of movements across four case sizes with multiple colour, material, and strap/bracelet options for each. The common threads running through them, however, are unmistakable, and hark back to the very first Laureato watch’s design. For a start, there’s the stepped bezel consisting of a subtly rounded octagon set atop a circle. This bezel, in turn, frames a dial decorated with a Clous de Paris guilloche pattern. The final unifying element are the integrated lugs; our vote goes to the bracelet option whatever one’s choice of model within the line up since it, pardon the pun, integrates with the case more seamlessly than a leather strap.
The largest timepiece here is the Laureato Tourbillon, which clocks in at 45mm. As the high-watchmaking entry in this collection, it sports two Girard-Perregaux signatures: a lyre-shaped tourbillon cage, and an arrow-shaped bridge executed in gold. The Laureato Tourbillon is powered by the in-house GP09510 movement, which beats at 3Hz and sports a 49-hour power reserve, alongside a micro-rotor that allows an unobstructed view through the aperture at six o’clock. It comes in either white gold and titanium, or pink gold and titanium.
Two different models are available in 42mm. The first is the intuitively named Laureato 42mm, which is a straightforward offering with a three-hand time display complemented by a date window at three o’clock right at the dial’s edge. The movement has obviously been sized for the watch here given the date aperture’s position, and is the manufacture’s workhorse GP01800 calibre, which has a 4Hz frequency and a 54-hour going time. This timepiece is available in steel with three different dial colours, and a bi-metal combination of pink gold and titanium.
The second watch, the Laureato Skeleton, was released in May this year, and based on the Laureato 42mm. Like last year’s 1966 Skeleton Automatic, it uses the GP01800-0006 movement, essentially an openworked version of the GP01800 with the core technical details remaining unchanged. Just two references are available here, with their respective cases and bracelets in either steel or pink gold.
The Laureato 38mm is the collection’s in-betweener, well-sized for men, women, and boys alike. This watch is powered by another staple from Girard-Perregaux, the GP03300 calibre, which the manufacture used to supply externally. The movement is slightly smaller at 25.6mm compared to GP01800’s 30mm, and has a slightly shorter power reserve of 46 hours, but is again well sized for its watch’s case diameter. The Laureato 38mm is available in both steel and pink gold, with an additional reference in steel sporting a diamond-set bezel for the female wearer who wants a little more bling.
Finally, there is the two-hand Laureato 34mm, a dainty model just 7.75mm tall thanks to the slim quartz calibre inside it. The choice of a quartz movement doesn’t just keep the proportions of the watch manageable, but also harks back to earlier Laureatos that were exclusively driven by quartz movements (the first Laureato to have a mechanical movement was introduced in 1995, 20 years after the model was first introduced). Save for a single reference in a pink gold and steel combination, the Laureato 34mm has its bezel set with brilliant cut diamonds – much like the Laureato 38mm, but totalling 0.82 carats instead of 0.9 carats due to its smaller size.