An important part of the process when reviewing a watch is imagining who the watch is for. Sometimes this perceived wearer can be quite general: “someone who wants a nice dive watch”. Or it can be a little more specific: “a 35-year-old frequent flyer who wants to make a subtle statement with their wrist”. In the case of these 38mm gold Laureatos my imagined wearer is a little more specific. Gianni Agnelli. If you’re not familiar with Mr Agnelli, you really should be. He was one of the most stylish men of the 20th century, a politician, industrialist and international playboy. In watch circles he’s also (in)famous for wearing his watch over his shirt cuff.
So, how does all this relate to the Girard-Perregaux Laureato? Well, aside from the Italian link (the Laureato was originally designed by an Italian architect in 1975), if I had to describe this watch in two words it would be Retro-industrialist chic (I’m claiming the compound word as one). It’s really a watch that’s defined by lifestyle rather than function, an object of beauty that speaks to business, purpose and an extravagant life punctuated by long lunches.
It’s also a dressier, more sartorially suited option than the larger 42mm versions, especially on the integrated alligator strap. I really like how smart Girard-Perregaux have been with texture on this watch, the recessed circular bezel and bracelet end links are polished, adding a few glittering surfaces to the heavy, rich matt-ness of the rest of the case. Note also that the main case has an even, horizontal brush treatment, while the octagonal bezel is finished radially: smart, sophisticated stuff. The two dials, in white or grey are — if you’ll pardon the obvious metaphor — as different as night and day. The white dial is, unsurprisingly, a fresh, summery option, more casual and just begging to be worn with colourful linen, preferably on a yacht. The dark is more sombre, serious, and powerful. To bring it back to the Agnelli analogy, the light is suited more to play, while the dark is business. Having said that, either model is more than ready for either.
On the movement front, it’s worth noting that while the larger versions are powered by the newer GP01800, these 38mm versions have the GP03300, an older movement, with slightly less power reserve. It’s still a quality, in-house automatic, to be sure, but given that the two movements are essentially the same size, the decision to use the GP01800 is a little odd.
Aside from that, there’s a lot to like about this smartly sized, high-end Girard-Perregaux. Overall, the Laureato is a mature collection, full of clever details, and these full gold models will have you expressing your inner Italian industrialist in no time. Maybe it’s best to wear it under your cuff though, you’re probably not that cool.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Australian Pricing
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm, in pink gold on leather, $29,050, on bracelet, $49,850.