Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato, which debuted in 1975 and was revamped and reintroduced to the market in 2016, begat the sportier, more avant-garde Laureato Absolute series in 2019. Most of the releases from this new family have sported a black-and-blue color combo, most dramatically in the recently released Absolute Rock, but the Laureato Absolute Passion, a limited edition of just 50 pieces, introduces a racing-inspired red to the expanding palette.
Launched at the Festival Automobile International in Paris, for which Girard-Perregaux serves as official watchmaking partner, the Laureato Absolute Passion features the stealthy-sleek black case of its predecessors and rich red detailing on its dial, pushers, integrated strap. The multifaceted case with its complex octagonal bezel measures 44 mm in diameter and is constructed of lightweight titanium treated with black PVD. Offering 300 meters of water-resistance — a level much more commonly found in professional-grade dive watches than in racing chronographs — it’s by far the most robust model from the young Absolute collection thus far. The black dial’s red highlights are found on the subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, the cutout baton indices, and the central seconds counter hand. Luminous material coats the baton hour and minute hands and the indexes, while a contrasting white serves to call attention to the track on the dial’s flange, the numerals and markings in the red-centered subdials, and occasionally the white-on-black date indication at 4:30.
On view behind another sapphire pane in the screwed-down caseback is Girard-Perregaux’s Caliber GP03300-1058, a self-winding mechanical movement graced with an array of haute horlogerie finishes, including five styles on the barrel bridge alone — engraving, cotes de Geneve, beveling, mirror-polishing, and circular graining. Comprised of 419 total components (63 jewels), beating at 28,800 vph, and storing a minimum power reserve of 46 hours, this modular movement is built upon on the manufacture’s base Caliber GP03300 and is also found in the previous chronographs in the Laureato series, including the original Laureato Absolute Chronograph.
The 14.65-mm thick case integrates smoothly into the bicolored rubber strap, with a red fabric-effect inlay and red stitching applied to a supple black base. Its wearing comfort is aided by the folding buckle, made of black PVD-treated titanium to match the case, which boasts a micro-adjustment system. This 50-piece limited edition is priced in the U.S. at $13,400.