If you’ve paid any attention to what Girard-Perregaux has been up to the past two years, then you know it’s been all about the Laureato collection. After being re-introduced into the Swiss watchmaker’s stable back in 2016, the collection exploded at SIHH this year when the brand debuted 20 different takes on the octagonal timepiece. That may seem like a large number to some, but I know I personally appreciated the diversity of options a collection of this size has to offer. Perhaps the most noteworthy of that group was the 45-mm Tourbillon Laureato, which became the first tourbillon produced by Girard-Perregaux to be priced under $100,000.
Over the past few weeks, Girard-Perregaux has gradually been unveiling a few new Laureato models that grow the collection’s physical presence even more. While the SIHH collection was all about introducing a variety of versions into the market, these past few additions appear to be honing in on the development of a specific aspect of the watch.
First, we have an all-black Laureato in ceramic. All-black watches have been en vogue recently and, personally, I’m a fan of the trend (though certainly there are others who feel differently). This version feels distinctly modern with a sort-of big city vibe. At 42 mm, it continues the sizing trend set at SIHH and fits neatly into the current offerings utilizing the same GP01800 movement as previous iterations.
Next up is a skeletonized take on the all-black, ceramic Laureato. This is the first time Girard-Perregaux has attempted a skeletonized Laureato in ceramic and, in my opinion, it’s quite the look. How you feel about skeletonized watches in general will determine your opinion of this watch, but the execution is done up nicely. The all-black surface is alternately polished and satin-brushed to create a texture that allows the depth of the darkness to lighten up depending on the lighting. A peripheral ring with suspended hour markers replaces a traditional dial, allowing the watch’s skeletonized movement, Caliber GP01800-0006, to be admired in its full, filigreed glory, from the front as well as the back. The movement’s balance is positioned at 12 o’clock, directly beneath the suspended “GP”-logo hour marker, and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Developed and manufactured entirely in-house by Girard-Perregaux, this is the first in the company’s GP1800 family of calibers equipped with a variable-inertia balance. Baton-shaped, luminous-coated central hands sweep over the openworked face of the dial to indicate hours and minutes, while the small seconds hand is unconventionally placed at 10 o’clock.
Finally, the heavy hitter of the new watches: the Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton. Here, we have a truly complicated timepiece and what feels like the culmination of Girard-Perregaux’s work in developing the Laureato line so far. Rather than continuing with the all-black theme, Girard-Perregaux opted towards the more traditional 18k rose or white gold for the case materials. The light-colored case, combined with the black PVD-treated intricacies of the caliber, creates an interesting juxtaposition between the smoothly streamlined case and bracelet and the busy interior of the movement. It remains in the comfortable 42 mm size and utilizes the openworked GP09520 movement.
Read our interview with Girard-Perregaux CEO Antonio Calce from earlier this year here.