Since its introduction in 2019, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute collection has introduced a bolder, more adventurous spirit to the brand’s traditionally refined and demure integrated-bracelet Laureato line. With concepts ranging from larger, more aggressive cases to eye-catching experimental materials, the line has markedly broadened the scope of Girard-Perregaux’s sports watch offerings, and perhaps no other entry in the line showcases this dramatic spirit better than 2020’s sapphire-cased Laureato Absolute Light. With its theatrical skeleton layout and clear case design, the Laureato Absolute Light is a stunning exercise in horological spectacle, but for its latest release, the brand adds even further drama with a unique contrasting colorway. The new limited-edition Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue is a compellingly dramatic showcase of the brand’s haute horlogerie capabilities, with bold new blue accents that effectively highlight the complex depths of this skeleton design.
Although it’s not particularly thick at 11.6mm overall, there’s no denying the 44mm sapphire and titanium case of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue carries an attention-grabbing presence on the wrist. Beyond the obvious spectacle of a clear sapphire watch on the wrist, much of the visual drama here comes from the way Girard-Perregaux integrates its two case materials. Many similar designs choose to use a titanium inner ring or lower chassis to add rigidity to the sapphire form, but here, the brand opts for maximum visibility and restricts its use of titanium to the integrated hooded lugs. Not only does this add an intriguing “phasing in” effect as the watch transitions from the clear glossy case, to brushed and polished lugs, and finally, to its matte strap, it also allows the skeleton movement within to be as visible as possible. Nearly every viewing angle gives wearers a comprehensive view inside, and Girard-Perregaux compensates somewhat for the sapphire case’s lack of structural rigidity with a special oversized skeleton movement mainplate in vibrant PVD cobalt blue. The base Laureato Absolute’s angular tonneau case design is undoubtedly intricate, with an array of chamfers and facets accenting the line’s signature narrow octagonal bezel. While many sapphire cases struggle to convey the complexities of case forms, Girard-Perregaux does a solid job keeping these recognizable shapes distinguishable in practice. Despite the sporty ethos, however, the Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue offers a dismal 30 meters of water resistance.
The fully skeletonized dial design of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue follows the same pattern as the original Absolute Light, but the addition of blue PVD to the movement gives the design a much more distinct, layered appearance. Rather than the sometimes-obscure all-gray look of the original, the Bucherer Blue’s decision to split the design between gunmetal-gray PVD bridges and a light, web-like skeleton mainplate in rich PVD cobalt blue immediately gives the design more clarity. In addition, the new use of color immediately draws the wearer’s eye towards standout elements like the 5 o’clock mainspring barrel, the 12 o’clock variable inertia balance wheel, and the small seconds display at 10 o’clock. Although the new two-tone approach greatly helps to give the skeleton movement more visual clarity on the wrist, functional legibility remains something of an issue. Like many skeleton designs, the rhodium skeleton hands of the Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue are prone to disappearing into the complex backdrop at certain viewing angles and the minimalist brushed and polished outer hours track does little to aid accurate time reading at a glance.
Girard-Perregaux powers the Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue with its in-house GP01800-1652 skeleton automatic movement. Compared to the dial side view, the view of the movement from behind is dominated far more by its gray brushed bridges with polished chamfers, along with its intriguingly organic cutout rotor in white gold. Performance is solid, if unspectacular, with a 54-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. The brand completes the package with an integrated battleship-gray strap in Girard-Perregaux’s unique FKM Rubber Alloy material. Made from traditional rubber injected with titanium, the material feels as supple and comfortable as standard rubber on the wrist but should likely prove more rugged and wear-resistant over the life of the watch. The addition of a fabric-effect insert along the center of the tapering design gives this strap a sense of stylish complexity, while the flowing chamfered edges allow the form to seamlessly integrate into the lines of the case.
With a more dramatic, colorful presentation than the brand’s first sapphire-cased entry, the limited-edition Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue presents one of the most visually complex and striking entries in the current Laureato lineup. Only 18 examples of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light Bucherer Blue will be made, and the watch is available now through select Bucherer retail locations at an MSRP of 80,780 CHF. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.