Girard-Perregaux Laureato Crystal Absolute Rock
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock is a new avant-garde chronograph, housed in a lightweight case formed of Carbon Glass. This material combines carbon fibre with fibreglass which is subjected to high temperatures and pressure to form a homogenous material.
In 1975, Girard-Perregaux, the esteemed Manufacture based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, unveiled a contemporary watch, the Laureato. Interestingly, this model played with shapes, fusing a round case with an octagonal bezel. The bracelet was integrated, seamlessly merging into a lug-free case. This pioneering design has gone on to be a huge success for the brand, blending a sporty aesthetic with a ‘dressy’ appearance. Indeed, this watch is perfectly suited to both jeans and formal attire.
Last year (2019), the Maison released the Laureato Absolute, comprising of three models, each housed in PVD-treated titanium. This avant-garde triumvirate includes a three-hander with date, a chronograph and a worldtimer. The DNA of the 1975 original was obvious, however, these watches appeared neoteric and ‘edgy’.
Clearly, ‘edgy’ works as the Laureato Absolute is back with a vengeance. This time GP has released a chronograph housed in an interesting material, Carbon Glass. This material combines carbon fibre with fibreglass which is subjected to high temperatures and pressure to form a homogenous material. Thereafter, the case is milled into the desired shape. The Carbon Glass possesses a matt, slightly textured finish. Moreover, the layers making up the case are arranged randomly, meaning no two cases look the same, imbuing each case with its own unique appearance.
Another area of note is the dial which is comprised of two layers. The top layer features apertures which allow pockets of detail on the lower level to peep through. Girard-Perregaux has also played with tonal contrast, juxtaposing ‘gradient grey’ with ‘black-or’. This is a dial that demands to be examined closely in order to fully appreciate its masterful play with depths, hues and forms.
With only 100 pieces available, demand is likely to outstrip supply.
The brand’s press release (October 2020)
The story of the Laureato began in 1975. From the outset, this sports watch was always distinctive with its octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet. The styling combined straight edges and curving lines, while the surfaces of the case incorporated both polished and satin-brushed surfaces. Over the years, the design codes of the original Laureato continue to live on across its different iterations and its iconic status remains undiminished.
Last year, Girard-Perregaux unveiled the Laureato Absolute, a watch which highlighted the legacy of the iconic model of 1975 while at the same time evincing a strong and masculine character. Now, Girard-Perregaux is pleased to release the next chapter in this remarkable story, the Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock, a futuristic design that upholds the brand’s reputation for no-compromise craftsmanship.
Measuring 44m in diameter, this new chronograph is housed in a case formed of Carbon Glass. Carbon Glass is strong and very light. Indeed, the Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock weighs just 94 grams. This high-tech material combines layers of carbon fibre and fibreglass which is subjected to high temperatures and pressure to form a homogenous material. Thereafter, the material is milled into the desired shape. The resultant case exhibits a matte, slightly textured finish. Interestingly, the constituent layers create uneven strata within the material and are randomly aligned, making the appearance of each case unique and every watch exclusive.
A sandwich-type construction method is used for the dial. It is comprised of an upper layer, perforated with numerous openings, sat upon a lower layer. The apertures in the upper layer afford partial sight of the lower layer. The upper layer is executed in gradient grey, while the lower layer is presented in black-or, delivering an attractive contrast and making some dial details, such as the baton-type indexes, appear recessed. This design approach cleverly plays with depths, enriching the overall appearance of the dial. The chronograph is endowed with three snailed registers which sit below the upper dial layer, while a minute track is presented on a flange encircling the dial, thereby aiding readability.
The Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock is endowed with a Manufacture movement, the self-winding Calibre GP03300- 1058. It comprises of 419 components, all produced to Girard-Perregaux’s exacting standards.
In order to optimise wearer comfort, the Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock is presented on a grey rubber strap featuring a fabric effect motif and incorporating coordinating grey stitching. The surfaces of the case and strap facets flow seamlessly into each other, appearing as though they are just one component. The black tones of the case sit in concert with the grey hues of the bezel. The strap is made from a specific type of rubber that delivers superior flexibility and strength when compared with traditional rubber. The folding black titanium buckle is equipped with a micro adjustment system which allows the wearer to fine tune the sizing of the strap, thereby granting the optimal wrist fit.
The Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock is limited to 100 pieces and is available worldwide in all authorised Girard- Perregaux retailers from October 2020.