You’ve heard of a silver anniversary and a golden anniversary, so why not a titanium anniversary, along with a watch to celebrate it? As it turns out, the discovery of titanium, by English clergyman William Gregor, occurred in the same year, 1791, as the first watch produced by 19-year-old watchmaker Jean-François Bautte, regarded as the founding moment of the watch manufacture today known as Girard-Perregaux. To mark the dual anniversary, Girard-Perregaux is releasing two special models in its recently established, avant-garde Laureato Absolute collection, with meticulously finished grade 5 titanium cases and a world-premiere “rubber alloy” strap.
Both models of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230 come in a 44-mm-diameter case made of grade 5 titanium, with a light sandblasted finish and a gleaming polish on the facets, of which there are plenty thanks to the octagonal bezel and curving lines of the Laureato case. In addition to its ability to be polished, grade 5 titanium — the type used regularly throughout the aerospace, medical, and motorsport industries — is known for its strength-to-weight ratio, its corrosion resistance, and its hypoallergenic properties. A new element distinguishing these models from previous iterations of the Laureato Absolute, including last year’s red, racing-inspired Absolute Passion, is the rubber ring around the crown that matches the color of the dials.
The sandwich style dials are available in either blue or gray, with recessed, baton-shaped indices whose luminous material shines through the openings on the top surface. The hands are also baton-shaped and luminous-coated, and the date appears in a small window above the 6 o’clock index. Debuting on the new timepieces is the latest version of Girard-Perregaux’s Rubber Alloy strap, first used on the Aston Martin-branded Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges that launched earlier this summer. Instead of the white gold elements used in the first one, this strap incorporates titanium into its fabric-effect structure, combining the metal with FKM rubber, a type both more supple and more resistant than conventional rubbers. The straps, which match the dial colors, culminate in titanium folding clasps equipped with a micro-adjustment system for easy wrist sizing.
Girard-Perregaux’s self-winding Caliber GP03300-1060 is installed behind a solid, engraved caseback secured by six screws. Consisting of 218 components, including 27 jewels, the in-house-made movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph and holds a power reserve of 46 hours. Like all movements from Girard-Perregaux, its has been finished to exacting haute horlogerie standards.
Both Laureato Absolute Ti 230 timepieces are limited, appropriately, to 230 pieces, though their availability varies at first. The version with the gray dial and strap is available now at authorized Girard-Perregaux retail outlets and via the brand’s e-commerce site. The blue-dial-and-strap model will be sold exclusively through Wempe Jewelers’ 10 boutiques across the United States and Germany, as well as its flagship stores in New York and London, for one month, after which it will be available in all the same outlets as its gray counterpart. Both versions are priced at $9,300.