January 21, 2017
by Bilal Khan
Last year, Girard-Perregaux celebrated its 225th anniversary by releasing a new Laureato that we saw hands-on here, a totally new all-steel watch and the first redesign of the series since the 2003 Laureato Evo 3. Bringing the aesthetic focus back to the style of the original 1975 model, the new Girard-Perregaux Laureato was intended to serve as an injection of vitality into the somewhat stale GP watch lineup. It certainly got praise for its design with its dial options of blue or white, 41mm size, and in-house movement. What didn’t get a lot of love was the $14,300 price tag for the limited edition watch, which came in 225 pieces for each dial color. Now, for 2017, Girard-Perregaux is expanding the line and upgrading the existing steel models.
We went hands-on with the 42mm two-tone in steel and gold, the 42mm in steel, and the 38mm solid pink gold model. Before I go on, I want to add that GP has reduced the price for the standard 42mm steel Laureato by over $3,000 to $11,000. It’s also worth noting that the 42mm models get a movement upgrade as well, with the GP 1800 caliber being used. They also have introduced a 38mm steel model which comes in at $10,400. Further, there are 34mm ladies models as well as a 45mm tourbillon watch, which we’ll be sharing with you guys relatively soon.
I’ll start with the 38mm solid pink gold model. It’s equipped with the very well-regarded in-house caliber GP 3300 movement. It is an automatic mechanical movement that operates at a modern 28,800vph and gets a 46-hour power reserve. The Laureato was initially introduced with a quartz movement back in 1975, and even though GP was at the forefront of high-quality quartz movements, I’m glad they went this route and stuck with it. Last year’s steel Laureato in 42mm shared the same caliber 3300 movement as this 38mm pink gold version, but the new versions at 42mm have gotten the previously mentioned upgrade to the GP 1800 caliber for 2017.
The H-shaped bracelet used on the Laureato watches is a high-quality design with polished center links which look great. The smaller bracelet used on the 38mm watch is 24mm at the lugs and tapers down to 16mm. It’s way too small for a men’s piece, in my opinion, but again we see what is being called a “unisex” piece. Girard-Perregaux says it’s “freed from gender-related boundaries” which is spin worthy of a New York City real estate broker, but any smaller than 38mm would certainly be a ladies piece by today’s standards.
Now, for the 42mm pieces, Girard-Perregaux upgraded to the GP 1800 movement. While the 3300 caliber is 25.6mm wide, the 1800 measures at 30mm, allowing for a more appropriate fit in a 42mm case. The GP 1800 operates at 28,800vph, has a 54-hour power reserve, and is 3.97mm thick – allowing for the case to be a slim 10.88mm thick.
As for the dial, there’s no denying that the Clous de Paris work is really beautifully done, and the date window haters will be at least somewhat relieved to see that the date wheels match the dial colors. I have to say that I can’t help but find the hour hand to be too short and to look just out of place. It kind of gives me the same irritation as the old Rolex Explorer I did before it was updated last year.
The bracelet here is the same H-shaped links but 27mm wide at the lugs, tapering down to 18mm. Personally, the bracelet and dial go a long way in creating a well-thought-out, sporty but refined and luxurious watch. In fact, other than the hour hand, the only other complaint I have in terms of aesthetics is that at certain angles, the text on the dial of the two-toned watch with gray dial looks basically unreadable. The color scheme of the dial and text is actually a little hard on the eyes, overall.
In reading what Girard-Perregaux says about the 42mm Laureato, they are making a hard play for this to be an everyday watch that fits under a sleeve for work, has a sporty, aggressive, octagonal bezel that makes a play (as it always has) to be an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak alternative. A couple of brands have seen the everyday steel sports watch as an appealing category for buyers who want something a notch above Rolex but don’t see a lot of non-Audemars Piguet options. Notably among these, I’m referring specifically to two models from last year, the Piaget Polo S (I took a look at a pretty neat limited edition black ADLC bezel with rubber strap model earlier this week) and the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Simple Date.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Girard-Perregaux has released a lot of Laureato models ranging from 34mm pieces to a 45mm tourbillon. I think the watches covered in this article present the best range of options for our readers as well as the model’s larger market. The 38mm in pink gold (Ref. 81005-52-132-52A) is priced at $34,400, the 42mm two-tone (Ref. 81010-26-232-26A) is $22,600 and the 42mm steel model (Ref. 81010-11-431-11A) is $11,000. girard-perregaux.com