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Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

SIHH 2019 saw exhibitor brand Girard-Perregaux release a surprisingly nice collection of new products mostly focused on the Laureato collection. These pieces mainly fall into the new Laureato Absolute collection — which, for the purposes of 2019, are black-coated titanium-cased with gradient black-to-blue-dials. It’s a somber color palette that ends up looking spirited and mysterious, thanks to overall clean looks, comfortable wearing experiences, and very legible dials. One of the best new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute watches is the Laureato Absolute Chronograph reference 81060-21-491-FH6A, which I discuss in this hands-on article.

Let me first defend the Laureato for a moment because I think it is a collection that gets an undeserved jab for being a Royal Oak copycat. That’s not really fair, especially given that the Laureato has been around for about as long as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. They both came around the same era in the early 1970s, and it was before the Royal Oak or any of these watches were even hot. Each of these timepieces was trying to be a high-end sports watch, and to be distinctive, there was an emphasis on shedding the typical purely round look of a case most common at the time. Watches with case and bracelets that had more angularity were popular for about a decade — and it’s not uncommon for some of them to look alike or share common design language. It’s one thing if Girard-Perregaux mimicks a popular watch by a competitor decades after its success, but I think, in the 1970s, it wasn’t clear how any of these timepieces would do, and it would have been impossible to predict the success of luxury sport-style watches in today’s wrist-watch market landscape.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

If the Laureato reminds you of a Royal Oak, then so be it. If you can get over that, you have at your disposal a very competent and attractive men’s sports watch that will also cost you less than a Royal Oak. Perhaps that is a conversation best left for another time. Going back to the Laureato, Girard-Perregaux is understandably eager to tweak the range as much as possible in order to attract collectors and timepiece enthusiasts. What makes the Laureato Absolute Chronograph most novel is the case size, which is 44mm-wide. That adds to the existing Laureato cases sizes of 34mm, 38mm, and 42mm-wide.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Girard-Perregaux uses a new strap and dial, as well as the larger, black-coat titanium case for the Laureato Absolute Chronograph. The strap attaches in a new way, which, in my opinion, makes the watch very comfortable to wear. That was the first thing I noticed about the timepiece, in addition to how legible the dial is. You can thank the light-color lume paint on the otherwise black hands, and the matching hour markers, for this high level of contrast. The dial feels like the hands and markers almost float against the black and blue void of the watch face, itself.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Notice interesting dial details, such as the inset hour markers that give the watch a sort of “sandwich dial” look. The dial is otherwise devoid of extra elements, colors, and textures that would otherwise take away from its attractive purity and sense of utilitarian focus. This is really a black watch for the blue-watch era that we seem to live in today. Note that around the dial is a small blue ring under where the sapphire crystal is attached.

At 300 meters water-resistant, capped with an AR-coated sapphire crystal, the 44mm-wide case is on the thicker side at 14.6mm, but wears extremely comfortably. The titanium case construction also helps prevent the timepiece from feeling too heavy on the wrist. One of the interesting quirks about the Laureato Absolute is the branded strap which reads “Girard” on one end and “Perregaux” on the other. This caused at least a few people to compare the collection to Breitling (who has used branding similarly in the past). I actually feel that, while wearing this watch, the branded rubber strap would help give the watch personality — even if, from a strict minimalist standpoint, the branding isn’t necessary there. In a world where personalty not only helps to sell watches but also helps keep them on people’s wrists, I am not bothered in the least by the brand’s name on the strap. That said, if you otherwise love this watch, but can’t handle the strap, no doubt Girard-Perregaux can likely do something for you.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Laureato Absolute Chronograph is the existing in-house-made Girard-Perregaux caliber GP03300-1058 automatic chronograph movement. The movement offers the time, date, and 12-hour chronograph operating at 4Hz with 46 hours of power reserve. The movement — not visible through the caseback — is otherwise nicely finished, and has proved itself by being featured (very similar versions) in many other Girard-Perregaux timepieces, including other versions of the Laureato Chronograph (such as the 42mm-wide and 38mm-wide variants).

I have smaller wrists, and the beefy 44mm-wide Laureato Absolute Chronograph was very comfortable on my wrist. I don’t think people who are interested in smaller watches will feel that the more durable case and special colors of the larger Laureato Abosolute are worth it over the smaller 42mm- or 38mm-wide versions (in steel or gold, and not offered in a black color as a chronograph) if that is your thing. Likewise, I feel that people less interested in the traditional-looking Laureato watches might find new interest in the collection with the larger and sportier looking Laureato Absolute watches. So, this collection for Girard-Perregaux isn’t just about offering something new, but I think it gives a whole pool of people who wouldn’t otherwise be Laureato customers have a reason to discover the timepiece family. Price for the reference 81060-21-491-FH6A Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph is 12,900 Swiss Francs. Visit girard-perregaux.com for more information.

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Comments

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  • Alex A

    Very nice

  • Agnar Sidhu

    It’s a nice watch, and the dial color is really nice, but I can’t help over look the uneven edges of the cut outs on the dial though….

  • That strap – yikes – I thought some of the “OMEGA” straps were shouty. Love the blue/black gradient dial but the lume/paint on the sub-dial hands seems crudely applied for a roughly $13K watch. I can pull off a 44 mm watch but with this case shape the 42 might be better for me anyway. Than again, black cases “wear smaller” visually. And as I mentioned in the previous post about this collection, I don’t get the need for the sandwich hour marker which looks like they have something clever in mind but didn’t do it in the end.

    • IanE

      All true – and another awful date window which kills it for me.

    • Berndt Norten

      Black cases
      Look better
      In the shade

    • Independent_George

      I never noticed the sandwich hour markers. It’s like someone forgot.

  • Geoffbot

    …”Girard-Perregaux release a *surprisingly nice* collection…”

  • Swiss_Cheese

    That strap needs to be taken out back and shot… twice.

    • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

      May I show up with a can of petrol ??

    • Nello Alexandri

      It needs to be burned. Cremation really. No trace should remain, but ashes. Just awful.

    • Independent_George

      Just watch, at the end of the year, GP announce that the Laureato Absolute is a hit and their best selling line-up. Never bet against bad taste.

      • Alex

        The watch is terrible

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    I never understood the appeal of this brand. Everything about this watch looks horrible. Case, dial, strap & cheap looking blue accents.
    Fail.

  • Steve_Macklevore

    44mm wide? No thanks.
    Hideous strap as well…

  • DanW94

    The strap is obnoxious.

  • SuperStrapper

    I think it’s pretty handsome. It has some shortfalls, but I dont understand such hate. Well, from some I do. But, the strap being bad os easily remedied. I dont like white painted hands, that chrono seconds should just be polished metal.
    Love the gradient blue dial. Maybe a bit brooding in some light, but otherwise quite masculine without being overly aggressive

  • PR

    Just does not match the price. Looks like one of those RSW monstrosities. There is nothing appealing about the watch, the dial and color is dull, the subdials look cheap and the strap just does not suit the rest of the watch. Plus sizing the large bezel only makes it look dated already. GP is done

    • Bobby

      Nice looking piece, albeit a bit pricey.

      Should be a ceramic case at that price point.

      The hate is typical these days, however.

      It seems that a lot of people these days just roll out of bed in a bitter, bad mood and they’re just looking for something to bitch, moan and be negative about.

      Who, knows, maybe it’s attributed to Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      Others might actually like it, but fear being an outcast if they admit it, so they just jump on the hate bandwagon.

      • Independent_George

        I like it. I quite like the entire Laureato line. Just not a fan of coated watches and that strap is hideous.

  • Abdulaziz Almulla

    Amazing , I appreciate the work and I am looking to get one very soon.

  • Marc Newson

    Black coated Titanium case for 13k????
    A sport watch with this coating is scratched after a week wearing….. And then i have to pay thousands to replace the case? This case should have at least been made out of Ceramic. GP will destroy its image with this coated watches and loose one collector after the other. Everyone who had a coated watch even in low price range understands that this is a NO GO!!!!

    • Use a black Sharpie to touch up scratched black PVD – look I just saved you thousands!

      • Alex

        You nailed it, the watch was color with a sharpie

        • Actually, I’m serious about using a Sharpie. Cheers.

  • I dont mind it. GP is smart to try this sort of thing in a world that is obsessed with steel sports stunners. At least it’s not a small gold dress watch.

  • Federico Mengoli

    Shame watch. Coated sport watch is for girls

  • DanW94

    Watch the tumbleweeds blow
    And the Orinoco flow
    For this azul tinted Perregaux…..

  • Greg Dutton

    I hope this watch is prototype. The dial has all kinds of crude manufacturing artifacts and that strap is awful. I like the Laureato line, but this one is just gross.

  • Expat

    Wow, lots of negativity in the comments. It’s just a watch, folks. I fail to see how one can enjoy watches and spout such one-sentence blurbs filled with venom.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      You`re obviously not often on this blog. Complaining about watches is the meaning of our life.

      • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

        Well stated!!

      • egznyc

        Cue the ’80s music:
        It brings meaning to my life
        It’s my inspiration …

    • SuperStrapper

      There are some that only come here to spit venom. It’s the internet we live in.

    • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

      Thanks for your in depth analysis of our commenting toxicity and rancor………. Mr 9 comments : )

  • What fresh hell is this?

    What’s absolute about it?

    • Sheez Gagoo

      The disaster.

  • Yanko

    The labor of reading Ariel’s stories is always enjoyable and, I’m sure, it’s part of his nature never to quiet down when it comes to watches. This is a comment about Ariel, not the watch. I have nothing to say about this watch.

  • Alex

    Very dark watch. Need lighter colors

  • Or they are down there so she can look down at your…

    • egznyc

      I would like to keep this movie playing in my mind … but that is where it probably should stay ;-).

    • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

      “Look down at your”……….watch ??

      • egznyc

        I think you’re “watch”ing what you say …

      • Uh, yeah…watch…that’s what I had in mind…sure thing…

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Do you have enough phys. contact with whatever you prefer?