To celebrate the 225th anniversary of their manufacture, Girard-Perregaux is bringing back the iconic Girard-Perregaux Laureato. The GP Laureato was originally launched in 1975 as a competitor to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with a very similar type of case design with flat top around the bezel, and also sporting an octagonal-shaped bezel. The case was in between a Royal Oak and an IWC Ingenieur SL. Originally suggested by Girard-Perregaux’s Italian distributor, the name was inspired by the name in Italian of film The Graduate from 1967 —Il Laureato— starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross.
Using steel like the Royal Oak in a sporty and luxurious way, the Laureato was truly the result of the trend set only three years earlier by Genta's child —the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 1972. With the exception, that right from the beginning, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato was also available in a two-tone stainless steel/gold version and its look was as bold as the seventies commanded. Powering the original GP Laureato was a Quartz movement, obeying the transformation that the Swiss watch industry was going through with the appearance of quartz calibres, Girard-Perregaux decided to launch its own in-house quartz movement. The Laureato’s polished octagonal bezel embedded in a satin-brushed case makes it a pioneering model in the integrated bracelets category. The bracelet’s aesthetically pleasing design didn’t sacrifice comfort or flexibility and not long after, a polished strip was added across all of the polished- hinge satin-brushed links. The watch featured a beautiful interplay of shiny and matte and a combination of precious yellow gold and sporty gray from the stainless steel. As soon as the Laureato was introduced, it was a notable part of the emerging trend for two-toned watches.
Almost ten years later in 1984, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato had its first face lift and complications were added to the Laureato that increased its allure and presence across all market segments. This is when it was equipped with the famous Equation movements that supplied astronomical indicators. The bezel on the case and integrated braceletwas still octagonal and polished, but slightly transformed. The bracelet was enhanced with domed interlinks with a polished surface that nicely offset the shiny bezel, which also resulted in a pleasantly rounded form.
For the 20th anniversary of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato in 1995, larger dimensions and complications where necessary. A new case size needed to fit the new thin automatic movement GP 3100. The new design featured more room for the bezel and case-band while the links in the bracelet began resembling a letter 'H'. In 1996, the chronograph version led to the creation of the Olimpico collection and in 1998 the design was changed in order to encase the well-known Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges movement, a signature feature that is synonymous with Girard-Perregaux. In 2003, the Laureato design entered into the third millennium by advancing toward diameters larger than 40 mm. The Laureato EVO3 case came in at 44 mm and had an octagonal bezel —the first one to be satin brushed— that was nestled inside and enhanced by the circle. Seamlessly integrated, the screwed winder and pushers
showcased the collection’s sporty style. Inside the Laureato EVO3, the 52-jewel in-house Girard-Perregaux GP 033C0-A0VAA with a 46-hour power reserve made its appearance.
Finally, 40 years later the Laureato makes a solid comeback with all the aesthetics and design that made it an icon, next to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the IWC Ingenieur SL, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Vacheron Constantin 222 and the Rolex Oysterquartz. Backed by the manufacturing arts and micromechanics expertise, the brand is honoring the timepiece with a limited edition of 225 pieces in stainless steel to honor the original Laureato. Fitted this time with a 41 mm x 10.10 mm case in stainless steel and its iconic octagonal bezel, the new Laureato will be available with two different 'Clous de Paris' dials embellished by the baton-shaped hands from the original model —but with a slight touch of luminescent material. Among the inconspicuous signs that this is a modern edition, the crystal is anti-reflective treated and the watch features a display case back.
Perhaps the most significant change to this re-edition of the original Laureato, is that this time, the watch is powered by the Girard-Perregaux in-house automatic calibre GP03300-0030. This 27-jewel automatic movement with flawless finishing, is equipped with an oscillating weight that can be viewed through the case back. It beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph to provide a power reserve of 46 hours.
The watch is water resistant to 30 meters and the references that will become available are silvered dial ref. 81000-11-131-11A and a stunning blue dial ref. 81000-11-431-11A.
Honestly, this is a release that we can't wait to go hands-on with during our time at Baselworld 2016. Stay tuned as we will be reporting live from Baselworld 2016 with this novelty and all other novelties from GP and the rest of the exhibiting brands starting next March 16th, 2016.
Sticker Price $14,300 USD. For more info on Girard-Perregaux click here.