This year’s SIHH 2017 saw Girard-Perregaux follow on from 2016’s reintroduction of the Laureato extended to a bigger range – as they put it, “the rebirth of an icon”. With a collection now available in stainless steel, pink gold, white gold and titanium, the sizes have also expanded in scope to 34mm, 38mm, 42mm and 45mm, and with movements ranging from quartz to a tourbillon. It is important to note that like other SIHH 2017 attendees, it was stressed that sizes, particularly the 38mm models, are not gendered.
Bearing in mind that the 42mm sized models (which are probably going to become the most popular ones) come in a variety of options (titanium, stainless steel and titanium and pink gold), the ones that caught our eye were the 42mm one in stainless steel with a blue dial and the 45mm tourbillon model. Today we are talking about the former.
Launched in 1975, the first Laureato was, in the spirit of the times, quartz, and its looks even now are recognisably from that period, with its octagon and round bezel/ case combination, integrated bracelet and other design cues that other 1970s brethren such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Nautilus and the IWC Ingenieur. Each has its own identity, each has managed to stand the test of time and yes due acknowledgment needs to be given to the design father of the luxury sports watch, Gerald Genta, whose influence is still felt today.
The Laureato has had a few upgrades since the 1970s, with complications, new movements, slightly altered dimensions and bracelets, and even the use of rubber. This year’s releases, however, hark more to the past rather than go all out and push new boundaries. It’s safe yes but it’s also a tricky time for the industry at the moment, and watches which are either vintage-inspired or direct nods to the past have increasingly become a ‘thing’ in recent years.
The new 42mm Laureato has a combination of satin-brushed and polished finishing on both the watch and bracelet. The ‘hobnail’ dial comes in silver-grey, slate-grey and blue (my favourite is the blue, which is why I’ve chosen to highlight it). The baton hands and the applied indexes are polished and filled with luminous paint. If there was one change I’d make to this otherwise very comfortable and good looking watch it would be to lose the ‘Laureato’ on the dial, but that’s a small thing.
Flipping over the 10.88mm thick case will show you that there’s a new development – an open case back to show off the automatic Calibre
GP01800, which has fifty-four hours of power reserve and beats at 21,600 VPH. Water resistance is 100m (10 ATM/ 10 bar).
All models are available on bracelet or strap. The pieces that will come with a strap, also come with a rubber strap. The leather strap is black or anthracite, the bracelet steel or titanium and pink gold and the clasp, titanium.
The Swiss RRP is CHF 10,370 excluding tax.