2010 marks a double anniversary for Girard-Perregaux: 35 years of the Laureato collection and 40 years since its first quartz wristwatches. The Manufacture played an important role in the development of quartz movements; it set the frequency of 32,768 Hz, since adopted by all manufacturers as the universal standard.
The Story of Quartz at Girard-Perregaux
In the 1960s, Girard-Perregaux was one of the few brands with an in-house R&D department, positioning the firm to respond to the advent of then cutting-edge quartz movements. American, Japanese and Swiss firms raced to bring the technology to market. While most Swiss watchmakers were undertaking joint research, from 1962 the G-P manufacture struck out on its own, not wanting to be dependent on outside suppliers. In 1969 the brand received its first patent relating to quartz technology.
At the 1970 Basel fair, G-P unveiled the Elcron, a quartz wristwatch featuring an 8,192 Hz quartz oscillator. The Manufacture independently announced this discovery at Basel at the same time as the arrival of the CEH consortium’s watches equipped with the Beta 21. Other brands also launched quartz watches in 1970. The following year G-P presented a second generation of watches, with the quartz oscillating for the first time at 32,768 Hz, a frequency adopted since then as a universal standard.
The GP-350 movement had a rate error of just one minute per year. Girard-Perregaux submitted it to the Neuchâtel Observatory. For the first time, quartz wristwatches passed both static and dynamic tests. Following 38 days of testing, Girard-Perregaux quartz watches were certified by the Neuchâtel Observatory in 1971-1972, testifying to their precision and reliability. More than 20,000 GP-350 movements were created for Girard-Perregaux and for other brands. A few years later, in 1975, the Manufacture decided to devote all its progress in the field of quartz to its latest creation, the Laureato.
The Anniversary Laureato Quartz
Introduced in 1975, the Laureato was completely redesigned in 1995 and equipped with the brand’s GP3100 automatic mechanical movement. The line underwent a further transformation in 2003 and several complications were offered. The new anniversary model is equipped with a new quartz movement. The GP13500 naturally oscillates at a frequency of 32,768 Hz. This important number in G-P history is inscribed on the dial at 6 o’clock. The new movement is produced in Girard-Perregaux’s own workshops, which focus as much attention on its technical performance as on its finishes. The transparent case-back reveals the movement with its Côtes de Genève decoration and blued steel screws. The battery cover is customized with “golden-bridge” shaped retainers and stamped with the Manufacture’s logo.
The 35th Anniversary Laureato Quartz watch will be produced in a numbered limited series of 40 pieces in stainless steel with a suggested retail price of $12,000.
Technical specifications appear below the images, which may be enlarged with a click.
Dimensions: 42.60 mm diameter x 11.6 mm thick.
Antireflective sapphire crystal
Sapphire case-back secured by 6 screws
Water resistance: 100 meters
Girard-Perregaux GP13500 quartz movement
Calibre: 11 ½’’’
Frequency: 32,768 Hz
Functions: hour, minute, second, date
Steel bracelet with folding buckle
Limited and numbered edition of 40 pieces