A little while ago, we put together a list of luxury sports watches and it went – to use a technical term – bananas. There’s something about the combination of utility and exclusivity that really appeals to people. And as I look down at the Laureato on my wrist as I type this, I can honestly say, I get it. Sure, tool-like dive watches and sporty chronographs fill a place in our watch-loving hearts that crave functionality and purpose, but a watch like the Laureato offers something more. Purpose and practicality, with ample lashings of beauty. I mean, just look at how that Clous de Paris dial, or those bracelet links, blaze in the light. This watch looks good in pictures, but it comes alive on the wrist. Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Australian Pricing Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm, in steel on bracelet, $16,080
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… Read More
One of the most impressive collections we saw at SIHH 2017 was that of Girard-Perregaux, dominated by the sporty, ’70s-inspired Laureato collection. And while most of the Laureatos walked a pretty established product path — a top-end tourbillon, 42 and 38mm models in a few dials and case materials, as well as smaller, diamond-decked women’s models — one model stood out, both in terms of style and construction. I’m talking, of course, about the watch in the above picture, a 42mm two-tone Laureato in a bi-metallic case. And while two-tone is hardly unusual (especially this year, when it’s launched into legit ‘trend’ status), you don’t see too many watches in a mix of precious pink gold and technical titanium. Which, looking at this piece, is a little bit of a surprise, because, boy, does the combo work. Both metals have been given the brushed treatment, resulting in a slightly more muted, matt look that especially suits the grey titanium. There’s a version with fully integrated two-tone bracelet … that is, as they say, a strong look, but there’s also this croc-equipped option, which is nice and dressy. Of course this Laureato isn’t just a pretty case. It’s also got a dial to… Read More
As one of the oldest continuing watch manufacturers in the world, Girard-Perregaux have a long, illustrious history of sharp and innovative designs. In 1889 at the Paris Universal Exhibition, the brand’s legendary pocket watch “Esmeralda”, a tourbillon with three gold bridges, was awarded first prize, establishing the motif as an emblematic design for the brand. Since then, the iconic Tourbillon with Three Bridges has formed the cornerstone of GP’s top tier collection. This year saw the addition of the Neo-Bridges, a “retro-futuristic” take on the design, which embodies the long-standing traditions of the brand while adopting its rediscovered forward-looking approach to watchmaking. Distinctively modern, the dial of the Neo-bridges is fully open-worked and essentially consists of an outer ring with suspended indices and minute markers – laying bare the front side of the newly developed automatic calibre GP08400-0001. However, the movement is anything but bare, with its inner workings showcased in a mixture of matt sandblasted finishes, an NAC-coated mainplate, and a PVD treatment on the hallmark bridges. These bridges span across the dial, with the lower bridge supporting the large, 10.15mm diameter, variable-inertia balance wheel (instead of the familiar tourbillon as seen on other models) – its generous size… Read More
Girard-Perregaux is one of Swiss watchmaking’s best-kept secrets. The La Chaux-de-Fonds based brand offers a complete — and compelling — package, fine pedigree, and a catalogue that ranges from the highest of high horology, through to some more accessible (yet still exceptional) pieces. But, for whatever reason, GP has long lacked the sort of name recognition they deserve, and which is enjoyed by some of their Helvetican siblings. But it feels like that’s on the cusp of change. Girard-Perregaux is back at the SIHH, with a particularly strong and focused collection. And while the Laureato is their shining star, there are plenty of other worthy offerings in the catalogue. Take, for example, the 1966 WW.TC in steel. The 1966 collection is GP’s clean, classic – and dare we say it, conservative – collection, and this is the first time the WW.TC (short for World Wide Time Control) has joined its ranks. Personally, I don’t think that the brand’s world timer has ever looked more at home. Previous versions of the watch have added chronographs, dates and superfluous complications. The 1966 WW.TC is stripped back to the essentials. A clean, legible city ring, easy to read 24-hour disc and small seconds…. Read More
Following on from their somewhat controversial releases at SIHH, Girard-Perregaux has surprised us with not one but two new pieces to add to their already brimming Laureato collection. Originally launched back in 1975, the then cutting-edge, quartz-powered Laureato was designed by an Italian architect who, the story goes, drew his inspiration from the dome of the famous Cathedral in Florence. With its octagonal inner bezel and integrated bracelet, the watch bore more than a passing resemblance to other very recognisable ’70s designs (read AP and Patek). These two new skeletonised pieces seem to be doing their best to shake that association and delve back into the architectural design roots of the Laureato. The 42mm wide, 10.88mm thick Laureato Skeleton is available cased in either stainless steel or 18k pink gold. It sports GP’s own in-house GP01800-0006 skeletonised movement with a 54-hour power reserve and small seconds – a movement most recently seen in last year’s skeletonised 1966 model. Derived from the GP01800, the movement has been upgraded with a variable inertia balance, ensuring greater precision. But the most obvious addition is, well, what’s been left out. The openworked design seems to be well done, and the movement has been galvanised with an… Read More
While the watches at SIHH change every year, one thing stays reassuringly the same, and that is the drama surrounding them. Sometimes it’s big, like the deregulation of the Swiss Franc. Sometimes it’s small, like a brand being a little too obsfucatory in a press release over the origins of a movement. This year everyone’s tongues seemed to be wagging about a) Moser’s cheesy take on the industry, and b) the Girard-Perregaux Laureato. Feel free to disagree with us, but we think the majority of noise around the Laureato – specifically around its look and legitimacy – is well and truly blown out of proportion, as is so often the case with ‘controversies’ like these. But that’s just the tip of the GP iceberg in 2017, with lots to discuss around other models, too. Watch on!
In the spectrum of colour, grey is quite the double agent. There it goes, trudging along amid notions of overcast skies, mind-numbing office cubicles, uncertainty. But just as we’re all stifling a yawn at its inherent dowdiness, what’s this we see? There goes grey playing its other hand in a realm populated by wolves and weimaraners, silver foxes with steely gazes, marble and moodiness. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the grey matter we’re interested in – executed perfectly, as it happens, in the anthracite hue of this Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Power Reserve. We’ve talked before about embracing colour at the wrist, but let’s be honest: though this is a world away from your usual black and brown options, it’s a far less daunting leap than anything genuinely bright. Adding to the style quota is the horizontally elliptical case at 37.84mm by 32.84mm, which, combined with the slender grey alligator strap, makes this watch an excellent choice for daintier arms. Sixty-four diamonds stand guard on the bezel, while eight more act as indices on the dial itself, dotted between Arabic numerals at 6, 9 and 12. Meanwhile, the backdrop of two contrasting textures – a smooth crescent hugging a guilloche section – create… Read More