The Girard-Perregaux Laureato dates to the 1970s, and true to the era, its origin story is in quartz. Since then the watch has embraced a variety of iterations, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that the first mechanical Laureato was introduced. Numerous references followed, comprising a whole variety of exceptional details and interesting complications.
Laureato 38mm Copper
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato’s most recent metamorphosis is the Laureato 38mm Copper, a unisex model based on the fifth generation of the Laureato, introduced in 2017. Its most engaging aesthetic feature is its dial, which displays a Clous de Paris motif that captures the light in a most enchanting way. Clous de Paris, or the guilloche “hobnail” design, is one of my favorite techniques, and here its small pyramids transform the coppery dial surface into a range of light-driven tones. From tawny brown to pink-toned gold and everything in between, the dial is a vision to behold, especially true when viewed on one’s wrist.
The fixtures on the dial add to its intrigue. Rhodium-plated baton-style hands and indexes display the hours and minutes; both are treated with luminescent material, once again emphasizing the importance of light on the overall architecture. A golden central sweep seconds hand is another perfect accompaniment, while the Girard-Perregaux logo, depicted in golden hues, is at 12 o’clock.
The company’s single bridge emblem is evident on the dial and offers a reminder of the Tourbillon with Three Bridges movement from the past. This nod to history is a visual reminder that while the 38mm Copper is undisputedly new, its decades-long origins are apparent. Some of its signature details include the octagonal bezel and limber integrated bracelet that provide memorable details on the steel-cased timepiece.
The slender case is just 10mm in height, and a see-through caseback offers a clear view of the finely decorated caliber GPO3300. Some components feature multiple decorations, such as beveling, mirror polishing, satin and sunray finishing, snailing and other engravings. The bridges are decorated with a Côtes de Genève motif, while the pink gold oscillating weight reveals circular Côtes de Genève.
It’s important to mention here that the Laureato, from its outset in the 1970s, demonstrated vision—a vision that was neither made irrelevant by time nor impertinent by progress. It has since become a classic thanks to its distinctive look that comprises an octagonal bezel atop a circular base, which has changed but a little over the years. This multi-dimensional quality is further enhanced by the interplay between the polished- and satin-finished steel surfaces. The integrated steel bracelet is an ergonomic dream, hugging the wearer’s wrist with a comfortable fit and a fashionable flourish.
At the time of the Laureato’s launch, during the height of the quartz upheaval, the watch was named the Quartz Chronometer. But it soon became known as the “Graduate,” which is the English translation of the Italian laureato. The name Laureato was adopted by Girard-Perregaux, and the octagonal bezel atop the case is now chronicled as a laurel crown that sits atop the head of a laureate.