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Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Watch Hands-On

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

The new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute collection was a bit of a surprise for a few reasons when it was announced this year at SIHH. Just two years after the historic Swiss brand introduced the full range of the revamped Laureato, Girard-Perregaux releases this bolder and sportier iteration of their most famous collection. We covered the Laureato Absolute chronograph version back in January, but I wanted to take a look at the simple three-hand model that’s intended to be an everyday watch for a different demographic than the brand typically reaches out to.

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

Girard-Perregaux has had a remarkable past three years. During the short but impactful time Antonio Calce was brand CEO (2015-2018), the brand discontinued their “Hawk” collection. If you’ll remember, the Sea Hawk and Chrono Hawk were the primary sports watch offerings from Girard-Perregaux from about 2012 through 2016 when the brand was run by Michele Sofisti. Of course, the historic Laureato was discontinued in 2012 and returned in 2016, though the versions that were being produced in 2012 were models like the Evo 3 so it was probably necessary to wipe the board clean and start over with the revival Laureato of 2016. (Side note, older Girard-Perregaux Sea-Hawk watches like the reference 7100 or 7300 were very attractive and I’d love to see these get a Laureato-like comeback)

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

Patrick Pruniaux now runs two Kering Group brands as he took over as CEO of Girard Perregaux in late 2018, about a year after he became CEO of Ulysse Nardin. Of course, as almost everyone reading this already knows, Mr. Pruniaux worked at Apple before the Ulysse Nardin gig, helping launch the Apple Watch in the UK and Ireland. It probably won’t be until 2020 that we will really begin to see Pruniaux’s vision for Girard-Perregaux but I did want to note the speed and success with which the brand has revived their sport watch collection.

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

Now, onto the Laureato Absolute watch at hand. I think putting “985ft/300m” rather than “1,000ft/300m” was a clever way to draw attention not just to the impressive water resistance of the watch. Firstly, it’s a way to distinguish yourself from competitors by actually being more accurate, which is a trait you’d think watch brands would be more concerned with getting right since they are supposedly in the professed business of making precision instruments. The case of the Laureato Absolute is in close to black PVD-coated titanium with pretty good finishing. It also has a “controversial” rubber strap with the Girard-Perregaux brand name on it. Not everyone loves this strap but it does certain add personality.

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

The design and materials in this product make the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute an actual luxury sports watch that can function as a true “everyday wear.” A comfortable rubber strap paired with a not too-flashy dark titanium case with more than enough sport resistance makes for a truly versatile watch that many have not seen from the brand in a while. It can’t be underestimated how appealing worry-free versatility is in even a very expensive watch. People these days more and more watch products that will put up with the abuse from even a jet-setting lifestyle.


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

The blue gradient sunray-finish dial with the bright red seconds hand on the black PVD case is somehow both an easily distinguishable combination and also a pretty safe design choice. I think it looks great, though and the date-window at 6 o’clock is one of those appreciated touches that should get its due praise. Not everyone likes the red hand – which looks worse in the brand’s marketing images as it does in person. With that said, this watch would also look excellent if the central seconds hand was done in a more demure color.

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

As said above, what isn’t as unanimously well-received or safe is the decision to the put the words GIRARD and PERREGAUX on either side of the rubber strap (which of course can be replaced). The integrated rubber strap with blue stitching is fantastic… but I can imagine more than a couple of people who are on the cusp of buying a Laureato Absolute only to decide to wait until another strap option without this branding becomes available. Note: I actually see now that Mr. Porter is going to carry this watch that interestingly enough looks like it comes on the strap sans text. It looks so much better, in my opinion.

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

At 44mm wide, it’s the biggest Laureato out in production at this time as the classic version tops out at 42mm. It’s also thicker at 14.65mm, where the 42mm Laureato is considerably slimmer at 10.88mm thick. What’s pure Laureato is that octagonal case shape that dates back to 1975, and it’s a welcome bolder execution of the design. Girard-Perregaux has successfully refreshed and rebranded the Laureato line over the past three years, and the addition of the more aggressively designed, sporty Absolute collection within such a short time frame is a rarity among Swiss watch brands. 

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

Err, sorry. Please try and disregard that sticker

The Laureato Absolute differs from the classic Laureato collection for another reason ,which is that the case back is enclosed. Obviously, this is done for the sake of the water resistance and Girard-Perregaux finds this to be a worthy trade-off for the type of buyer they’re going for here. Inside is the in-house made GP 3300-1060 automatic movement that was actually found in the limited-edition Laureato from 2016, which was replaced with the more attractive GP 1800 in the classic, non-limited Laureato that came a year later in 2017. Fair enough, since the movement isn’t visible anyway. The GP 3300 found in the Laureato Absolute operates at 28,8000 vph and has a 46-hour power reserve. 

A good choice from the brand this year, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute is priced at $9,900 USD on the rubber strap which is about $2,000 less than the 42mm steel Laureato on the bracelet. You can learn more at

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  • dr3

    There are clearly bubbles and large defects in the lacquer of the second hand. Doesn’t bode well for finishing even if it is a prototype. Also lume unevenly applied on minute hand, and finishing of hour markers terrible. B&R always get a lot of criticism; they have far better finishing than this.
    Design seems flat and dull to me. Brand recognition also not great, though a good ‘discreet’ choice; I suspect GP fans/buyers generally not the types who who would want the brand emblazoned on the strap.
    Also, surely PVD should not be a thing at this price point.
    Not a fan.

  • SuperStrapper

    I’m in the ‘dont like the second hand” camp. I know it’s a sport watch but the touch of red seems so showy and unnecessary.

    • Joe

      I would only consider it second hand.

      Doh! That’s what you mean 🙂

  • Victorinox is stepping up their game

  • Agnar Sidhu

    Many nice things about this one, love the colors, but i cannot understand how they can make a watch for $10k with such uneven edges on the cut-out date window and hour markers!

  • Jon Heinz

    Offer options other than blue burst for the dial, and without the thickly painted red second hand, and we might have a real contendah. I like everything else, save for perhaps the large branding on the strap which appears to be getting addressed.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I’m deep in the Scottish Highllands. One word reviews for a few days. Haate tiepin on my phonne.

  • Mikita

    I wanted to like it, but the cutouts in the sandwich dial don’t look $10k-ish to my eye.

    • Independent_George

      I don’t dislike like this as much as others. I don’t dislike this line-up at all, but I agree with the sandwich dial cut outs, it looks like something’s missing. And there is also the issue with that strap.

      The PVD case and the blue gradient dial are executed much better with the 1966 Earth to Sky watch.

      • Mikita

        I actually quite like the Laureato family. Maybe I like it even more than some of it’s more famous competitors. But something just looks cheaper than it should in this new model. Not perfectly refined sandwich cutouts, flashy and shouting strap (perfect for Hublot et al), too many colors for my taste (black, blue, white, red – exclude one, change corresponding parts with one of the other three, and it starts to work).
        P.S. Nice 1966. Reminds me of some blue Moser models, in a good sense.

    • SuperStrapper

      Coming back for another look, I’d actually be really interested in seeing this same dial with a nice bevel on all of the dial cutouts. This would make it look less punched-out and spartan (which is not the look I think they were trying for) and give it a more luxe appearance.
      Despite how overall dark the watch is I doubt they were hoping for any real stealth in the appearance, a polished bevel on all of those markers and a polished metal seconds hand (and move the proud branding away from the strap and o to the hand counterweight) and I think appearance enjoyment would increase notably.

      • Mikita

        Yes, bevel will strongly improve the overall appearance.

        • SuperStrapper

          Did you check out the Laureato chronograph for the Only Watch event? Have a look at those dial cutouts.

    • egznyc

      Right with you. As for the strap this thing comes on, maybe a Rubber B – or that recent sponsored post – would actually be an improvement ;-).

      • Mikita

        Ah, if it’s a Rubber B – then it’s worth it!

    • Joe

      So it seems that VC made the first sandwich dial, although Panerai have made it part of their signature, filling theirs with lume.

      What does the sandwich dial do here…just add depth and more visual interest?

  • NaJo

    Worst gp i hv ever seen in resent time

  • egznyc

    I’m glad to see the comments are rather critical, because this looks okay for a $500 Kickstarter watch (though I find little beyond the case shape and hour and minute hands that I like). Except it’s a $10K supposedly luxury watch.

    Nothing against Kickstarter – there are occasionally nice offerings in a sea of mediocrity.

  • Han Cnx

    Not feeling it.. I get hints of Komandirskie, Victorinox Inox and a dash of Hublot.. Not sure I like that combo. 😉

  • DanW94

    The strap should actually be wider as I can’t quite make out the name on it past a quarter mile or so.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    We sure do milk the tourists 🙂

    • SuperStrapper

      As a regular tourist I’m sure you know all about being milked 😉

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Dont be filthy.

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    I’ve seen better from Victorinox. What is this, exactly?

  • Lode_Runner

    This watch is a pretty good illustration of what’s wrong with GP these days. No direction, no focus, throw something against the wall to see if it sticks. Those cut-outs in the dial look amazingly cheap, like one of those handheld ball/maze toys. And the lettering on the rubber strap is tacky. (Who really wants to see “GIRARD” in huge letters ever time you look at the strap.) It is no wonder that authorized dealers cannot give away the GP Laureato at 40% discount.

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