Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato explores a new (material) world

New Watch! • 18 Mar 2024

Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato explores a new (material) world

by Anandhi Gopinath

The new Laureato Chronograph Ti49 goes from strength to strength, uniting the model’s intricately-shaped case design with grade 5 titanium

Since Girard-Perregaux’s landmark sports watch family Laureato was launched in the 1970s, it has undergone several design changes and technological upgrades. In the 80s, it was endowed with additional complications, in 2003 given a more complex dial layout, while in 2016 manifested a more polished and streamlined appearance with the now-iconic Clous de Paris pattern to the dial. It was in 2019 that Girard-Perregaux incorporated the innovative use of materials such as carbon glass in its Laureato Absolute collection. Now in 2024, it introduces grade 5 titanium for the first time to the classic Laureato Chronograph line.

With its lightness, resistance to corrosion and anti-allergenic properties, titanium has been a well-loved metal in watchmaking, with sports watches especially benefitting from the use of this robust metal. Girard-Perregaux has taken its time with the new Laureato Chronograph Ti49, but its streamlined aesthetics, dynamic appearance and flawlessly finished engine makes this watch more than worth the wait.


The year that connects Girard-Perregaux and the titanium used in the new Laureato is 1791. It is at this point in history that Jean-François Bautte signed his first watches and sowed the seeds for the manufacture that would later become known as Girard-Perregaux. As fate would have it, clergyman William Gregor discovered titanium 1400km away in Cornwall, England in the very same 12-month period. He initially named it manaccanite, but it was subsequently called titanium, a name inspired by the titans in Greek mythology.

While titanium may have been discovered years ago, it was only in fairly recent history that numerous grades of this metal have been developed. The kind most commonly used in watchmaking today is referred to as Grade 5, and was created in 1951 by Professor Stan Abkowitz. Outside of timekeeping instruments, grade 5 titanium also finds use in the chemical, medical, marine, firearms and aerospace industries.

Grade 5 titanium comprises 90% titanium, 6% aluminium, 4% vanadium and small traces of iron and oxygen. It is light, strong, stiff, corrosion resistant, non-magnetic and hypoallergenic; all useful attributes for an accessory worn close to the skin. A further benefit of using this particular form of titanium alloy is that it can be polished to a brilliant gleam, a characteristic that Girard-Perregaux has wonderfully exploited with the Laureato Chronograph Ti49.

On its part, this iconic collection was created in 1975 under the admittedly inelegant moniker of Quartz Chronometer, reflecting the fuel source that powered the watch. Its elegant aesthetic drew a huge following, particularly in Italy – the maison’s largest market at the time. The Italians did Girard-Perregaux a huge favour and started referring to this model as ‘the graduate (Laureato in Italian) of the school of Girard-Perregaux’, in acknowledgement of its success. The name stuck, and coincidentally, the Laureato’s octagonal bezel sits atop the case, like a laurel crown would rest upon the head of a graduate. History was thus made.

The Laureato celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, and in anticipation, welcomes this all-titanium model for the first time with the new Chronograph Ti49.



The Laureato Chronograph Ti49 is housed in a 42mm case and subscribes to the iconic design language first seen on the inaugural model of 1975 – the octagonal bezel sits atop a circular plinth which in turn rests upon a tonneau-shaped case. The elaborate profile of the case freely engages with light, courtesy of its many facets and angles, producing pockets of brilliance and shade. The use of titanium has endowed the watch with refined, contrasting finishes – brushed surfaces are juxtaposed with polished highlights, while the plinth, case edges, chronograph pushers and central links of the bracelet gleam.


The manufacture has sought to accentuate titanium’s grey hue by embracing a palette of monochromatic shades. The Clous de Paris pattern on the dial is sure to please long-time fans, while legibility is assured by PVD-treated baton-style hour and minute hands and matching baton-type indices lined with white luminescent material. Three snailed counters punctuate the textured dial: a 30-minute chronograph register, a 12-hour chronograph register and a small seconds display, while a date display between 4 and 5 o’clock completes the list of functions. The brand’s logo, name, minute track and the rings around the counters are in white, which provide a strong visual contrast to the grey of the dial.

The watch is powered by the self-winding calibre GP03300, which is beautifully finished with a range of decorations – a move that celebrates the breadth of the skills possessed by Girard-Perregaux’s artisans. Since the screwed-down caseback of the Laureato Chronograph Ti49 does not allow views of the movement, you’ll have to use your imagination – the Côtes de Genève stamp both in circular and straight form, circular graining, satin finish, chamfering, mirror polishing, snailing, engravings, sunray finish as well as featuring blued steel screws.


Tags: girard-perregaux laureato

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