Old dog, new tricks: The Girard-Perregaux Laureato in black ceramicJames Robinson
Editor’s note: You know what’s really refreshing to see? A watchmaker take a timepiece that was first released 40+ years ago, grab it by its … lugs (?) and bring it into the 21st century. That’s exactly what Girard-Perregaux did when they unveiled the Laureato in black ceramic. Here is a timepiece that, for the most part, retains almost all the styling cues of the original Laureato, but thanks to material innovation, is reborn in this resolutely contemporary design. And, to Girard-Perregaux’s credit, they nailed the execution. It isn’t always easy to master the process of modernising something antiquated, but it’s been well judged, and could be one of GP’s hottest-looking watches right now.
Since its surprise reveal a little over a year ago, the Laureato has become an increasingly significant player in the luxury sports category, thanks to its crowd-pleasing good looks and impressive mechanics. SIHH 2018 showed us that the Laureato is an increasingly important part of GP’s lineup too, as handsome new chronograph variants dominated their latest batch of novelties.
But I was particularly taken by this black ceramic-on-rubber offering. Announced late last year, to me this Laureato really lives up to its sporty pedigree, thanks to its hard-wearing 42mm lightweight ceramic construction and rubber strap. Now, typically I’d advocate for the bracelet variant, especially on a integrated case style like this, but here I think the rubber really works. It makes the Laureato far more casual, and really wearer-friendly, and better honours the casual spirit of the design. While the bracelet versions of this watch (whatever the material) look quite work-ready, this Laureato really needs to be worn with short sleeves, preferably on a teak deck somewhere unseasonably warm. And with its 100m of water resistance, super-hard case and general air of masculine charm, this watch is more than up for whatever adventure you might have planned.
This watch proves that the Laureato is a versatile platform of Girard-Perregaux, ripe for reinterpretation and revision. I am really looking forward to seeing colour show up on the dial. Surely it’s only a matter of time until we see this watch with blue highlights?
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm in black ceramic Australian pricing
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm, black ceramic on rubber, $19,250 (indicative)