Just released as part of Dubai Watch Week 2021 is this pair of limited-edition Girard-Perregaux Laureato Eternity Edition watches done in grand feu enamel dials. While it was under-appreciated for some time, the Laureato seems to have picked up steam ever since the release of that beautiful Infinity limited edition with the black onyx dial. (I’ve also noticed a decent amount of chatter about the recent Aston-Martin chronograph.) The two new models we see here are each limited to 188 pieces each and will initially be exclusive to Seddiqi jewelers.
Grand Feu Enamel dials are beautiful and very difficult to create. The literal translation of “Grand Feu” is “Great Fire,” which refers to the repeated process of applying enamel substrate to the dial which is then heated to 800-900°C between five and ten times. The process is finicky, to say the least, and several things can go wrong (cracking, bubbling, discoloration, etc) that would require starting over from square one.
These two Girard-Perregaux Laureato models come in blue and green, each done with a guilloché sunray pattern. I have to say I’m so happy to see no lume on either of these watches, with the rhodium-plated hands looking crisp and clean. I know it’s a deal-breaker for some people, but not me. In fact, I’d personally be happy only owning watches without a speck of lume. These dials look beautiful and intricately finished, and small details like the matching date windows come together in creating a cohesive package.
It’s hard for me to choose which I would hypothetically prefer, but I think the green would win out most days. Enamel has a particularly rich and smooth depth to it, and GP points out that the glossy luster will never fade (enamel dials still being obscure to most consumers), hence the “eternity” designation.
The stainless steel case is in line with the standard Laureato, measuring 42mm-wide and 10.68mm-thick with 100mm of water resistance. Of course, there’s also the integrated steel bracelet with polished center links that create some contrast with the brushed case and outer links.
The in-house GP01800 automatic movement is visible from the exhibition caseback and is well-finished, as is par for the course with the Laureato. Featuring Geneva stripes, mirror-polished screws, circular graining, and bevelling throughout, it is a refined and worthy caliber. And, of course, there is the pink gold rotor that is also finished with Geneva stripes. Operating at 28,800 vph, the GP01800 has a 54-hour power reserve.
A luxury sports watch with an octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet is certainly on-trend these days, but let’s not forget that the Laureato was introduced way back in 1975 (albeit with ups, downs, and gaps since). The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Eternity Editions present a pretty compelling proposition for buyers in that low five-figure budget who are seeking something a little unusual and special. While pieces like the Moser Streamliner and Czapek Antarctique have been hits, they are a solid minimum of $10,000 more than the Laureato Eternity.
Limited to 188 pieces each, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Eternity Edition is priced at CHF 13,460 and will be initially available exclusively at Seddiqi during December 2021, followed by authorized dealers and e-commerce. You can learn more at girard-perregaux.com.