“Laureato” translates to “Graduate” in English, and the Girard-Perregaux Laureato, the 1970s luxury sports watch whose modern incarnation was launched in 2016, graduates to the haute horlogerie big leagues with the just-unveiled Perpetual Calendar model, which makes its official debut next month at the SIHH watch salon in Geneva. Here’s what you should know about it, and what sets it apart from other perpetual calendar timepieces.
The Laureato Perpetual Calendar — a model several steps up in complexity from last year’s extension of the core line, the Laureato Chronograph — makes an instant impression with its all-steel look. The 42-mm diameter steel case flows ergonomically into an integrated steel bracelet; both case and bracelet sport a combo of satin-brushed and polished finishes. The octagonal bezel that made its 1970s predecessor a contemporary standout dominates the front, framing a galvanic blue dial with the clous de Paris hobnail pattern emblematic of Laureato models historical and modern. Contrasting baton hands and hour appliqués in blued steel with luminescent coating ensure an easy reading of the time amidst the distinctive, asymmetrical calendar indications.
The dial’s unconventional calendar-subdial dial layout features the day of the week at 9 o’clock, a pointer-type date display between 2 and 3 o’clock, and the month in a semicircular aperture at 6 o’clock, with a four-quartered circle just above it to indicate the “leap” or “non-leap” status of the year. What this means in practice is that the watch can keep track of the irregular lengths of months, whether consisting of 30, 31, 28, or even 29 days, and would require (assuming it remains perpetually wound and running) only one manual correction by the owner every 100 years.
The in-house-made, self-winding movement that drives all of these functions, Caliber GP01800-0033 (presumably G-P’s base GP 01800 with a new, added module) plies its trade behind a clear sapphire caseback. Technically, its notable innovation is the user-friendly configuration of its calendar correctors. Unlike most perpetual calendars, which require a separate corrector for each indication, the Laureato uses a single push-button at 8 o’clock to advance the day while the date, month and leap-year status are set via simple turns of the crown in either direction. From an aesthetic standpoint, the caliber flaunts the level of horological decoration that one has come to expect of the centuries-old Swiss manufacture — circular-grained mainplate, côtes de Genève on the bridges and rotor, and hand-crafted bevels, to name several. The movement is also relatively thin despite its host of complications — just 6 mm thick, contributing to the watch’s overall slimness of 11.84 mm — and packs a respectable power reserve of 54 hours.
The price and availability of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar, whose steel bracelet closes with a triple-bladed folding clasp, is expected to be announced at SIHH 2019.