In 1784, an orphaned 12-year-old named Jean-François Bautte began his watchmaking apprenticeship. Seven years later – under the permission of his employer, Jacques Dauphin Moulinier, Bautte signed his first few watches. In doing so, Bautte became the forebears of Girard-Perregaux. Two years later, in 1793, the two join forces and begin trading under the name Moulinier Bautte & Co. Initially making watch cases, the company soon branched out to become an established watch manufacture.
By 1804, Moulinier Bautte & Co were fully autonomous – for the first time in Genevan history, a firm had created a manufacture, bringing together all the essential skills needed to make a watch from scratch under the one roof. While the company remained in the family, it was eventually remained J. Rossel & Son. The Rossel’s carried forward the imaginative, ornamental style of watchmaking Bautte had built a reputation on. The Rossel’s would go on to develop an envious list of clientele, receiving commissions from industrialists and Kings the world over.
Meanwhile, the firebrand Constant Girard founded Girard & Company with his brother (Numa) in 1852, in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 1854, Constant married Marie Perregaux – the daughter of well-known chronometer makers. And so, the merger of two great watchmaking families created Girard-Perregaux.
Around the turn of the century, the Hecht family saw themselves managing the company originally founded by Bautte in 1791. In 1906, ownership of the company was handed over to Constant Girard-Gallet (Constant Girard’s son), who was a friend and relative of the Hecht family. And so, the merger of Girard-Perregaux with the company founded by Jean-François Bautte brought together two distinct yet complementary styles of watchmaking. The artistic legacy of Bautte combined with the award-winning precision of Girard-Perregaux remains at the heart of the manufacture to this day. It’s this dualistic approach towards watchmaking that enables Girard-Perregaux to combine traditional watchmaking with exotic materials.
Case in point, the Laureato collection. First revived in 2016 as a special commemorative piece to mark the brand’s 225th anniversary, it has since ‘graduated’ in the literal sense, becoming a fully-fledged collection spanning various levels of complication. Including the Laureato Absolute Rock with its 44 mm Carbon Glass case and tri-compax matte black dial and the red and black Laureato Passion.
Laureato Absolute Passion
An exclusive limited edition of just 50 pieces, the Laureato Absolute Passion features a bold faceted 44 mm case in black PVD with touches of red adorning the entire watch, in homage to the use of red in Girard-Perregaux’s history-making chronographs. The rubber strap seamlessly integrates into the watch as if it were made of a single piece with red inlay and stiches. The micro-adjustment system on the buckle ensures ultimate wearing comfort as part of the supple, but highly resistant rubber strap. Uncommon in non-dive watches, the Laureato Absolute Passion has a water-resistance of 300 metres. While it’s not positioned as a dive watch, it could most certainly be used as one.
Laureato Absolute Rock
Revealed as a concept watch at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in January 2019, Carbon Glass makes its appearance on the Laureato Absolute Rock. Unlike other carbon manufacturing processes, Carbon Glass guarantees full water resistance. Its patented manufacturing process involves an extreme compression of the materials during an injection procedure at high temperature. Aesthetically, unlike other types of carbon, it results in a smooth and uniform texture on all its surfaces. The integration of blue fibres associated to those of the carbon makes every one of the 100 pieces launched truly unique. It’s also highly resistant, boasting a density close to 1, when steel is close to 8 and titanium 4.5.
Both the Laureato Absolute Passion and the Absolute Rock house the Calibre GP03300-1058, a 419-component, 63-jewel, self-winding mechanical movement. Featuring hours, minutes, small seconds, date and a chronograph complication. It beats at a frequency of 4 Hz and has a power-reserve of 46 hours.
Interested in the Laureato Absolute Collection? Feel free to contact our watch specialists.