February 2, 2020
by Ariel Adams
Building on the Laureato Absolute watch collection that it debuted last year at SIHH 2019, Swiss Girard-Perregaux has just released a lovely high-end limited-edition watch that helps promote this new family of timepieces. This is the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light, and it is limited to 88 pieces with a price of over $80,000. It also happens to be very desirable as a modern yet traditional luxury watch that focuses on visual mastery and functional practicality. I think Girard-Perregaux got it right in a lot ways here.
The Laureato Absolute is an aesthetic variation of the larger Laureato family. The case is different but retains the octagonal case that is a key feature of the Laureato (which, itself, was originally released around the same time as the Royal Oak in the 1970s). The Laureato Absolute Light Girard-Perregaux went with a case structure that combines carefully machined transparent sapphire crystal as well as grade 5 titanium. The case is 44mm-wide and 11.56mm-thick (and water resistant to 30 meters). A design feature I like is that the caseback mirrors the octagonal shape of the bezel. Also note how the three-piece case is, indeed, held together by the screws that enter from the rear of the watch and can be seen in the bezel for a neat effect.
With sport sentiments in mind, the Laureato Absolute Light is called such for its light weight, in addition to how it is supposed to actually play with the light. Girard-Perregaux matched it with an integrated rubber strap that comes on a deployant with a micro-adjust feature. While this is not a true sports watch, it is meant to be worn on urban adventures where comfort, classiness, and practicality are all equally important. Aside from Hublot, there are few other sapphire-crystal watchmakers who produce timepieces that have as much daily-wear appeal as the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light.
Inside the watch is an in-house made Girard-Perregaux caliber GP01800-1143 automatic movement that has been nicely skeletonized and anthracite-tone-coated for a masculine look that pairs well with the black strap and titanium colors. While the dial doesn’t really have too many indexes to help read the time (there appear to be notches for each hour on the chapter ring but without seeing the piece hands-on it is hard to predict legibility), the hands (albeit a bit short) are easy to see and legible. The upside is a really attractive skeletonized style offering a view of the balance wheel and mainspring barrel through the dial of the watch. I like how the curved bridges echo tradition but are also contemporary and strong-looking in their execution.
The GP01800-1143 automatic movement operates at 4Hz with 54 hours of power reserve. Note that the dial also features a small second dial with a three-pronged propeller-style seconds hand at around 10 o’clock on the dial. The movement is made up of 172 parts and is a major reason for the high-end pricing of this timepiece, in addition to the mostly sapphire crystal case. I am personally quite excited to experience more about this watch soon as I believe it is a great mix of features that watch collectors in particular are seeking today. The reference 81071-43-231-FB6A Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light is limited to 88 pieces and has a retail price of $84,700 USD. Learn more at the Girard-Perregaux website here.