Girard-Perregaux has launched the new limited edition Laureato Absolute Ti 230 to mark 230 years since Jean-François Bautte, the watchmaker whose horological history was the basis on which the Girard-Perregaux brand claims the 1791 date, signed his first watch.
Jean-François Bautte set up a watch company in Geneva which was taken over by Jacques Bautte and Jean-Samuel Rossel in 1837. Later, Rossel continued his work alone, but was subsequently assisted by his son. There was no one with the name Girard or Perregaux involved until 1852, when watchmaker Constant Girard founded the firm Girard & Cie in La Chaux-de-Fonds. His marriage to Marie Perregaux two years later was the basis for the formation of the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture.
In 1906 Constant Girard-Gallet, who had taken over the reins from his father, took over the Bautte House and merged it with Girard-Perregaux & Cie.
The Laureato as it stands now was reintroduced in 2016 in a myriad of sizes, case materials (including titanium), colours, and complications, and it has continued as such since then.
So why the choice of grade 5 titanium for this new limited edition? Well it’s about that 1791 date. This was also the same year in which Englishman William Gregor, discovered a black sand called menachanite in Cornwall. He analysed it and concluded that it contained oxides of iron and an unknown metal which was subsequently identified as titanium and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth after the Titans of Greek mythology. after the children (Titans) of Uranus and Gaea.
The Laureato Absolute Ti 230 comes in a 44mm sandblasted Ti case (thickness of 14.65mm) with a water resistance of 300m. There are two variants – one with a blue dial, and one with a grey dial. It features, for the first time, a crown with a rubber ring that is colour-matched to the strap.
One distinctive feature is that the dials use a classic sandwich construction, with blue/ grey baton-shaped recessed indices on the lower layer that are lumed. The hands are also lumed.
Inside is the automatic Calbre GP03300-1060 which beats at 28,800VPH and has a power reserve of 46 hours.
Both of the two Laureato Absolute Ti 230 variants come on an integrated colour-matched FKM rubber strap injected with titanium with a ‘fabric look’, and grey stitching. They have a titanium folding clasp with a micro adjustment system.
Both colours come in limited editions of 230 pieces each, but they are not equally available in the first instance. The blue version is exclusive to Wempe stores in Germany, London and New York for this first month, whereas the grey dial is available through all authorised retailers and Girard-Perregaux online. After the initial Wempe exclusivity, the blue dial variant will also be available as per the grey dial model. The RRP is CHF 8,260.
[Photo credit: Girard-Perregaux]