To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato, the brand just partnered with watch customizer Bamford to create this limited-edition watch it’s calling the Laureato “Ghost.” Done in an all-white ceramic case and bracelet, this a very cool and very niche watch that’s limited to only 45 pieces.
Intended as a unisex piece, Bamford wisely opted for the 38mm case variant of the Laureato for this white ceramic limited edition. In the past, I would have bristled at the idea of choosing a 38mm over a 42, but damn if it didn’t hit that just-right “Goldilocks” zone. The octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet go a long way in adding some necessary wrist presence.
While you don’t see white ceramic very often (though the Chanel J12 and the AP Royal Oak QP in white ceramic came to mind for me, immediately), some of you may be feeling some deja vu when looking at the Laureato Ghost. That’s because there actually was a white ceramic Laureato a couple of years back, in 2018, to be precise. In tandem with the launch of the black ceramic Laureato in the 42mm case, GP launched a 38mm women’s white ceramic model with a diamond-set bezel. However, this model had a steel base on the bezel, so technically, it’s not really “all-ceramic.” In any case, I do think the Laureato Ghost is both more thoughtful with its focused monochromatic design and less burdened by gender-specific marketing.
My appreciation for the Girard-Perregaux’s integrated bracelet sports watch is no secret, and I was also very taken with the Laureato Infinity that was released a few months back at Geneva Watch Days. That octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet with H-shaped links are two design signatures of the collection, and using white ceramic as a canvass really does bring a fresh attitude to the Laureato.
White ceramic is striking in person in a way that isn’t fully communicable through photos. It has a deceptively warm luminescence that’s evocative of a sunny day in an Arctic freeze. Where black ceramic has a sleek and stealthy quality that helps it blend in, white ceramic immediately draws attention to itself with what I can best describe as a distinctly unique ambient brightness.
Ceramic bracelets are nothing new, but if you’re remotely familiar with how the material is worked, then you know that precise and detailed finishings are exponentially more difficult than steel or other metal because of how hard ceramic is. While I can’t speak to specifics for Girard-Perregaux here, I do know that Audemars Piguet says its ceramic Royal Oak bracelet took 600 hours of R&D and it takes over 30 hours to create each bracelet (which is five times longer than it takes to create one in steel). Of course, the light weight and highly scratch- and wear-resistant nature of ceramic makes it all worth it (if you can handle the price premium, that is). I know many people go on about potential brittleness and the possibility of ceramic “shattering,” but I’ve never in my life once seen or heard of this actually happening. Not saying it can’t or doesn’t, but it’s not nearly commonplace enough to be a serious worry.
White ceramic has an additional challenge in that appreciating these details requires a much closer inspection than black ceramic does. The bracelet alternates between satin-finished H-shaped end links and polished center links with some very fine mirrored beveling done across the outer edges that carries through the sides of the case. You’ll notice with a close inspection that the H-links and the area around the “lugs” have matching horizontal brushing which is a very nice detail, as well. The entirety of the circular lower bezel plate and the flanks of the octagonal upper bezel are polished, while the upper surface of the octagonal bezel is brushed.
The Bamford touches to the dial are subtle but effective in keeping the cohesive theme going. The white dial has the Laureato staple Clous de Paris pattern, and around the dial, you can see the chapter ring is done in black. Finally, the seconds hand has a neat zebra pattern design on it, which is pretty appropriate to tie the monochromatic design together. I’m glad the touches to the dial were kept to a minimum, allowing the material to shine.
The case measures 38mm-wide and 10.2mm-thick and has a solid 100M of water resistance. The screw-down crown is done in black PVD-coated titanium, which is a nice little touch. Turning the case around reveals a view into the in-house automatic GP 3300 movement, which operates at 28,800 vph and has a 46-hour power reserve. The GP 3300 is a really nicely finished caliber that isn’t the flashiest but excels overall. An interesting fact about the GP 3300 is that MB&F actually has used it as a base for several of its watches, like the HM8.
The Girard Perregaux Laureato Ghost Bamford watch is a niche watch that is both fun in design and impressive in its finishing. It is limited to 45 pieces and is also available on a white rubber strap, but I think the bracelet is such a central part of its identity that it would be a shame to go without it. Price for the Laureato Ghost $13,900 on the strap and $16,100 on the white ceramic bracelet. The watch will be available at Dover Street Market and Harrods from now until December 15th, when it will be available at Watches of Switzerland in SoHo. You can learn more at girard-perregaux.com and bamfordwatchdepartment.com.