Hands-On: Angus Davies gets hands-on with the Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm.
This detailed review of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm includes live pictures, specification and price.
I don’t look back at the 1970s with fondness. My native country was blighted with industrial action and food was poor by comparison with today’s standards. Design was not much better with flared trousers, ridiculously high platform heels and kipper ties.
Surprisingly, in total contrast, the world of watch design delivered a plethora of meritorious outcomes. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, IWC Ingenieur SL and, of course, the achingly gorgeous Girard-Perregaux Laureato were just three of the highlights from the 1970s which continue to yield eye-appeal to this day.
Last year, Girard-Perregaux released a limited edition Laureato as part of its 225th Anniversary celebrations. This year, the brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds has returned with a collection of non-limited models to indulge those would-be wearers with nostalgic tendencies.
The new Laureato collection includes references with quartz and automatic movements, different case sizes and even a tourbillon option. Personally, I feel especially drawn to the Laureato 42mm, sporting a beguiling blue dial.
The dial is adorned with a Clous de Paris motif, with each pyramid-like ‘hobnail’ toying with the light. The hands are silver-coloured and lined with luminescent treatment. Applied indexes mimic the hour and minute hands in terms of style, heightening the sense of cohesion.
The central sweep seconds hand features a lozenge-shaped counterweight and its silver finish gleams pleasingly in ambient light. Girard-Perregaux has also employed silverwork for the logo, again granting a degree of brilliance familiar to any owner of a new car.
Encircling the dial, white strokes cleanly impart the minutes. Everything is crisp and simple to interpret. The date features white numerals on a blue disc, harmoniously blending with the main dial area.
Where this dial excels is by delivering peerless clarity with many eye-catching elements. Often the two qualities are mutually exclusive but, somehow, this watch delivers both lucidity and interest in equal measure.
Girard-Perregaux offers the Laureato in a choice of sizes including 42mm, 38mm and 34mm. This approach means there is an ideal Laureato for every potential wearer.
The glorious bezel is satin-brushed and sits atop a highly polished plinth which in turn sits above a satin-brushed case. This juxtaposition of the different case treatment bestows a wonderful contrast and illustrates an impressive aesthetic exactitude, making this timepiece feel special.
The Laureato is offered on a bracelet or leather strap. The latter variant is also supplied with an additional rubber strap. My press loan was supplied with a rubber strap and looked delightful. Indeed, I would favour the rubber strap over the leather option as it perfectly suits the sporty character of the timepiece.
Gracing the rear of the case is a pane of sapphire crystal affording a wide-screen view of the self-winding movement.
The GP01800 movement is a new movement, ‘entirely designed, produced, assembled and adjusted by Girard-Perregaux’. It is clear when inspecting the movement that Girard-Perregaux continues to uphold its reputation as a paragon of haute horlogerie.
The outer edge of the movement is adorned with petit perlage and numerous blued screws stand testament to the no-compromise standards of this Manufacture. The barrel bridge looks sublime with matchless bevelling, bestowing a comely brilliance. The oscillating mass is beautifully appointed with Côtes de Genève motif.
Girard-Perregaux has brought together 191 components to form the GP01800 self-winding movement. The balance oscillates with a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 28 jewels. The movement harnesses sufficient energy to provide 54 hours of autonomy.
Girard-Perregaux has cleverly taken an iconic design from the 1970s and distilled it for today’s audience. The size of the Laureato 42mm befits the current era, but, perhaps more surprisingly, the dial from the 1970s continues to look applicable to modern-day tastes.
Despite being imbued with many eye-catching elements, including the Clous de Paris dial, nothing mars ease of interpretation. The case treatment exhibits a wonderful interplay of satin-brushed and highly polished surfaces, proving very appealing.
Beyond the aesthetic prowess of the dial and case is an impressive movement, suffused with high-end finishing.
This is a gorgeous sports watch which references the 1970s but is ideally suited to the present day. It successfully blends beauty, practicality and exacting manufacture to glorious effect.
Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42 mm; height 10.88mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistance 10 ATM (100 metres)
Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date
Movement: GP01800; Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 28 jewels; power reserve 54 hours; 191 components
Strap: Black alligator strap with additional rubber strap. Supplied with titanium triple folding clasp.
Price: €10,300 (RRP as at March 2017 – Germany inc. taxes)
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.