girard perregaux - GIRARD-PERREGAUX LAUREATO 42 mm
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
girard perregaux - GIRARD-PERREGAUX LAUREATO 42 mm

GIRARD-PERREGAUX LAUREATO 42 mm

girard perregaux
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GIRARD-PERREGAUX LAUREATO 42 mm

GIRARD-PERREGAUX

LAUREATO

 

 

Connoisseurs and collectors have been awaiting its return for years. 2017 sees the birth of a complete Laureato family, incorporated within the Girard-Perregaux core collection.  

 

 

In 2016, the Laureato made a comeback onto the watchmaking scene, in the form of a limited edition in tribute to Girard-Perregaux’s 225th Anniversary. Following this highly successful edition, Girard-Perregaux is putting the Laureato in its rightful place: that of a contemporary watch combining a progressive, unique design with a feeling for detail, excellent timing capacity and perfect taste. These attributes are those belonging to a truly iconic watch, which finds its way through time with effortless ease. 

 

Equipped with Haute Horlogerie complication, self-winding or quartz movements, housed in cases available in four diameters and in versions made of steel, gold, two-tone steel & gold or featuring titanium elements, the Laureato range has never been this extensive or varied. With nearly 30 references, this watchmaking legend lives up to its true potential.

 

Girard-Perregaux infuses all its legitimacy into this character-filled timepiece, designed for men and women who are aficionados of design, technical sophistication and the art of living. They all bear the unmistakable imprint of the age-old skills and innovative ability characterising the Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a major centre of Swiss watchmaking.

 

 

 

Birth of an icon

 

“Nomen est Omen

This Latin proverb translates to “the name says it all”. It befits this Laureato model by Girard-Perregaux particularly well, as the following story reveals. 

 

Cast your minds back to the mid-1970s, an era in which the art of design was undergoing profound changes. In watchmaking, for example, an unprecedented demand was becoming ever more pronounced: the need for a watch that was sporty, elegant, could be worn on every occasion and featured striking aesthetics distinguished by the integration of the case and the bracelet that should become as one. It was in Italy that Girard-Perregaux sought the solution. Research for the watch was entrusted to a Milan-based architect. It was clear to him that the element of instant recognition of the watch must be the bezel. Working as a true artist to ensure that the circle and polygon were perfectly matched, he designed an octagonal bezel nested inside a circle. In order to play with light, the eight angles of the octagon were linked not by straight, sharply defined lines, but instead harmonious curves combining fully polished convex or concave surfaces. 

 

Let us dare make a comparison here between architecture and watchmaking design: the element of recognition of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence is its circular dome supporting its octagonal structure, which rises above the nave, the transept and the choir of the church. Did the architect wish to miniaturise this concept to the scale of a wristwatch? An octagonal bezel within a circle topping a perfectly integrated case and bracelet? The answer is certainly yes.

 

Technically, the 1975 Laureato held another surprise in store: its movement. Barely four years after having presented the first quartz movement produced in Switzerland which was relatively large, Girard-Perregaux’ engineers were ready to offer a new, particularly thin, compact movement. This was the calibre with which the Laureato was endowed. Its chronometric performance was amazing and it sailed with flying colours through official precision tests of legendary severity. It enabled Girard-Perregaux to become the watchmaking Manufacture that earned the most quartz chronometer certificates in the ensuing years. The well-born Laureato proved truly worthy of its name.

 

 

 

Essence and presence

 

The Laureato has a powerful identity. This exceptional personality draws on a genetic code that enables its appearance to evolve without ever affecting its essence. Thus, the Laureato is defined by its polished octagonal bezel, positioned on an integrated case, meaning without lugs or loops. Its metal bracelet is a natural extension of the case and an integral design element in its own right.

 

This metal bracelet is characterised by its large H-shaped satin-finished links and by its domed and polished inter-links. The play between polished and satin-finished surfaces creates a pleasing depth effect and enlivens the watch. When it comes to its feel on the wrist, the bracelet is endowed with the most important quality of all: exceptional flexibility. This makes the Laureato perfectly comfortable on any type of wrist.

 

The Laureato by definition has a Clous de Paris hobnail pattern, a collection of tiny pyramids which fill the entire opening of the watch and capture the light. But over and above this, the Laureato is a mind-set. Sporty because it is tough, chic because it is enriched with meticulous details, it is just as suited to important occasions as it is to everyday wear. This versatility is the result of intense thought around the idea of ergonomics, volume and style, which has given rise to four new lines.

Technical specifications

Laureato 42 mm

 

Case

Material: steel, or titanium and 18K pink gold

Diameter: 42 mm

Thickness: 10.88 mm

Glass: glare proofed sapphire crystal

Case-back: sapphire

Dial: silver-toned, or slate grey, or blue, with “Clous de Paris” hobnail motif

Hands: baton-type, enhanced with luminescent substance 

Water resistance: 100 metres (10 ATM, 10 bar)

 

Movement

Reference: GP01800-0008, mechanical self-winding 

Diameter: 30 mm (13 ¼ ’’’)  

Thickness: 3.97 mm

Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)

Number of components: 191

Jewels: 28

Power reserve: 54 hours

Functions: hours, minutes, sweep-seconds hand, date

 

Straps/Bracelets

Leather strap:  black or anthracite grey alligator with topstitching

Metal bracelet: steel

Clasp: titanium triple folding clasp

 

Who's who

When you ask Laurent Picciotto about the reason for his long-standing partnership with Grand-Perregaux, he’s likely to take some time to weigh his words; there are so many good reasons for working with ‘GP’ that he needs to be sure of highlighting the right one – the one that would endure even if all the others were no more. He finally chooses to illustrate this, the reason, with an occurrence over twenty years ago somewhere in the midst of BaselWorld. “It was in 1991,” recalls Picciotto. “I was doing my rounds of the exhibition, and suddenly came to a halt in front of the tourbillon with three gold bridges. I went into the stand and asked them for a case containing three numbered timepieces, one for each type of finish. This outstanding box set, sold a few months later to one of my clients with a collection of over one thousand watches, remains for me the defining moment of all my work with Girard-Perregaux”. What emerges is that the key reason for this work together is the brand’s ability to offer exceptional timepieces that take everyone by surprise – whilst seemingly blending in flawlessly with the traditions of haute horlogerie. And so, over the years, the production of limited editions – and sometimes even unique items for Chronopassion – has become a regular feature of the two big names’ collaboration. Most of the brand’s collectors became aware that in rue Saint Honoré, they could winkle out timepieces they would never see anywhere else. A friendship was formed between the two owners, Luigi Macaluso and Laurent Picciotto, which lasted right up until Luigi’s death in 2010. For Laurent Picciotto, the history of Girard-Perregaux is rooted in haute horlogerie; he’s particularly impressed with the complications in which the brand specialises. “The tourbillon is one of Girard-Perregaux’ strengths,” he says. “Twenty years ago, it was a characteristic that really made a watch stand out. There weren’t many on the market – it was a far cry from the extensive offer that can be found these days.” Picciotto’s expectation today is that Girard-Perregaux plays to some other defining characteristic of the world of watchmaking – the stuff that great manufactures are made of. “It’s an institutional brand that commands respect and sobriety,” he adds. “This kind of brand has a duty to anticipate and surprise people. Girard-Perregaux has done so on a number of occasions and will do so again.” Keep your eyes open – “GP” could well show up just where you’re not expecting it.

Journalist : Olivier Müller (11/2012)

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