Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38 mm Copper: a work of light16 January 2023
What is the real strength of Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato? The design that has made it unmistakable for almost 50 years? The name that links it to a tradition beyond watchmaking? Is it the constant value it guarantees over time, like that of watches from other luxury brands? Surely all of this, but also and above all another one: the ability to reinvent itself without changing nature, together with versatility in terms of materials, complications, dimensions.
The watch reinvents itself and its look as well, i.e. the dial, as the symbol of an era: the 70s in which industrial design had a basic importance in defining the product in different fields. A period in which great designers had their names associated to watches that later became iconic; a trend which the Laureato escaped, thus marking its uniqueness in a deeper way.
The pen that sketched the idea of this watch on paper was that of an in-house designer; the fact that the name of the timepiece has obscured that of the designer is further proof of the fact that, for Girard-Perregaux, the Laureato represents above all a symbol – stressed by the will to keep the main focus on the product, and only than on communication.
A DIAL OPEN TO LIGHT
Fully belonging to the luxury sport watches segment, priding itself on the steel case and integrated bracelet also in steel, the Laureato has reinvented itself – sorry, its dial – again, transforming it into an ode to light. Which takes the name of Laureato 38 mm Copper.
Why light? Because the combination of color and dial processing enhances the effect of the light on the watch, embellishing its workmanship, materials and different finishes. The dial with the Clous de Paris motif takes advantage of the small pyramidal structures that compose it, so that the light interacts with them to create alternations of light and dark.
A sleight of hand that conceals the vision of the dial right up to the last minute: even looking at it closely, it is not clear how it will appear once placed on the wrist until the very end. Girard-Perregaux has defined this color as “copper”, but they did so by default: its nuances range from coppery brown to rosy gold, spanning countless nuances.
In addition to this amazing color, the dial is also enhanced by the balance of the various parts that characterize it. The faceted and applied indexes and hands are treated with luminescent material to improve their legibility in dim light; the central seconds hand has a golden finish and matches the copper color enclosing it, without hiding it.
The golden GP logo appears in place of the index at 12 o’clock and, below it, there is the Girard-Perregaux signature with the single-arrow bridge – symbol of the brand; all this is counterbalanced by the Laureato Automatic symbol positioned above the 6 o’clock index. The glossy background on which the writings appear recalls that of the internal rehaut with the minute track: both contribute to enlivening the surface of the dial, in contrast with the Clous de Paris finish. The date window, at 3 o’clock, has a date disc matching that of the dial.
THE CASE ENCLOSING THE LAUREATO’S DNA
The Laureato 38 mm Copper has a case size designed to meet both the tastes of female and male wrists. It fits one of the trends in modern watchmaking, the diameters reduction, with cases that become more wearable and less ostentatious.
Speaking of cases, that of the watch is in steel, worked with the alternation of polish and satin finishes. A studied and accurate alternation. The Laureato 38 mm Copper is built according to the usual collection structure, with the octagonal bezel on a circular ring placed above a tonneau-shaped angular case. And on this structure Girard-Perregaux has worked masterfully on the finishes.
The bezel is satin-finished on the surface and polished on the sides; the ring is polished; the angular tonneau case is satin, horizontally finished. An alternation of processes embodying the highest quality and attention to detail, and which is also found in the integrated bracelet made up of alternating links: the central, rectangular ones are shiny and combined with the classic H-shaped, satin-finished links. They culminate in a steel triple folding buckle. Finally, an ergonomic detail: the winding crown is oversized and well knurled, to be easily handled.
THE GIRARD-PERREGAUX CALIBER GP03300
This kind of watch could only be put in motion by a mechanical caliber. Housed in a slim case just 10 mm thick, the self-winding GP03300 caliber is the heart of the Laureato 38 mm Copper. With a thickness of only 3.36 mm, it fits comfortably in the case and beats at 28,800 vibrations/hour, with a power reserve of 46 hours.
Since the case back of the Laureato 38 mm Copper is made of transparent sapphire crystal, the in-house movement is embellished with many refined processes that have been among the hallmarks of Girard-Perregaux for centuries. Some components have no less than four different decorations, from chamfering to mirror polishing, from satin finishing to the colimaçon finish, from the soleil motif to various engravings. The bridges are decorated with a linear Côtes de Genève motif, while on the pink gold oscillating weight there is a circular Côtes de Genève pattern.
In addition to aesthetics, the use of pink gold for the oscillating weight also has a mechanical purpose: thanks to its specific weight, this alloy makes the watch winding process more efficient.
For the sake of completeness we should recall that Girard-Perregaux was at the forefront in the creation of quartz and mechanical movements: the first Laureato, in 1975, was equipped with a Manufacture Caliber 705 quartz movement with COSC certification. Today, the 34 mm Laureato is driven by quartz, while the 38, 42 and 44 mm models are equipped with in-house mechanical movements.
AN EVER-LASTING SYMBOL
To prove Girard-Perregaux’s commitment to this watch, the Laureato Copper will be the only 38 mm model in the permanent Laureato collection. It is available worldwide, in limited stock, from Girard-Perregaux authorized dealers. In Europe, its price is appropriate to its status: 15,000 euros.
The right price, in our opinion, for a timepiece that has always been synonymous with versatility and is perfect in all situations, from sports to casual time, up to formal occasions. An approach consistent with a design which gives the watch a timeless aesthetic, free from trends and fashion.
By Davide Passoni