Since reviving its fondly recalled 1970s sport-luxury watch, the Laureato, in 2016, Girard-Perregaux has introduced several bold variations on its classic design, from a concept piece in carbon glass to the racing-inspired Absolute Passion model in black PVD titanium with red detailing. The latest, unveiled this week, emerges from a partnership between the Swiss manufacture and the British watch customization experts at Bamford Watch Department — and it’s probably the last thing we would have expected from either of them. Here’s a look at the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Ghost, a limited edition of only 45 pieces.
The 38-mm case of the Laureato Ghost is executed in pearly white ceramic, a first for both the Laureato collection and for Bamford, whose customized timepieces tend to go for all-black looks (as an example, check out the carbon-cased TAG Heuer Monaco from 2018). This ceramic’s attributes include being lighter than titanium, scratch-resistant, stain-resistant and hypoallergenic; the particular grade used for the Ghost’s unisex-sized case was specially selected “for its perfectly vitrified surface and its uniform, lustrous appearance, allowing for finishes characteristic of classic steel and gold Laureatos,” according to Girard-Perregaux. These alternating finishes also distinguish the white ceramic bracelet found on some of the models.
Like its predecessors, this watch’s round case is topped by an octagonal bezel — the emblematic design that has defined the Laureato since 1975. Other attractive details abound on the case and dial: the crown is in black PVD-treated titanium, with a relief “GP” logo. A white Clous de Paris texture, another hallmark of the current Laureato family, is found on the dial, whose hands and hour indexes bear the same baton shape. A splash of contrasting black comes from the borders of the hands and markers, as well as the minute flange on the dial’s periphery. Luminous material coats the hands and indexes, the counterweight of the central sweep seconds hand has a striped black-and-white “zebra” motif, and the date appears in an aperture at 3 o’clock.
Ticking behind a sapphire caseback engraved with “One of 45” and “Laureato 45th Anniversary,” is Girard-Perregaux’s manufacture Caliber GP03300-0139 (below), a self-winding movement with 27 jewels, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a 46-hour power reserve. Its plentiful high-horology finishes include circular côtes de Genève on the rotor, circular graining, engraving and snailing. The Laureato Ghost is integrated into either a white calf strap with black stitching or the aforementioned white ceramic bracelet, each with a triple-folding blade closure. Priced at £10,300 on a strap and £12,000 on a bracelet, the timepiece will be sold exclusively at Dover Street Market and Harrods in the U.K. for a limited period of one month, from November 2020, before becoming available worldwide through authorized Girard-Perregaux retailers.
“I am known for my black watches and loving everything black,” says George Bamford, founder of Bamford Watch Department. “However, consistent with the other watches I have worked on, I wanted to push boundaries by designing a white watch this time. Whenever I collaborate with another company, I always look to achieve a synergy where both parties create something they probably wouldn’t produce on their own.” Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux, adds of the collaboration, “In this first true collaboration between Girard-Perregaux and Bamford Watch Department, we have come together and created something forward-looking and neoteric, a model ideally suited for today and beyond. The Laureato Ghost respects the spirit of the Laureato but looks new, fresh and original. Most of all, this is one ghost you don’t need to fear.”