Girard-Perregaux celebrated its 225th anniversary last year by releasing a new Laureato watch in stainless steel, which I thought was rather handsome with some interesting design elements. And earlier this year, Girard-Perregaux updated the Laureato collection with new gold options. Now, there’s a new skeletonized version called the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton that we are looking at today.
In the past year, we have seen an increase in the number of new luxury sports watches. As I mentioned, Girard-Perregaux introduced the new Laureato last year, and most recently, Piaget also put out its new Polo S and Polo S Chronograph watches. Clearly an attempt to reach a wider audience, luxury sports watches make a lot of sense because they are versatile, hardy, and therefore can be seen as practical purchases. For most readers, luxury sports watches can be worn almost anywhere and on any occasion. On the other hand, dress watches are really only suitable for more formal occasions, unless you are a style god and you want to put a swerve on your getup, but that’s another matter entirely.
The new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton comes with a 42mm case and is available in stainless steel or 18K pink gold. Thickness is 10.8mm, which makes it a rather thin watch. The case design is similar to the earlier Laureato watches that Girard-Perregaux announced last year and earlier this year. It has a striking satin-brushed octagonal bezel with beveled edges that breaks into a mirror-polished ring where it meets the case. The case is largely satin-brushed. The contrast and differing finishes should give the case a handsome look, but I’m reserving my final judgment until I have the chance to handle the watch in the flesh. Curiously, water resistance is rated at 100 meters for the stainless steel version and 50 meters for the pink gold version. The bracelet is unchanged, so the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton gets the same integrated H-bracelet with a mix of satin and mirror-polishing.
It goes without saying that the biggest change is the dial. In place of the Clous de Paris pattern on the earlier steel and gold models, the new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton has a skeletonized dial – what else were you expecting? On show is an openworked version of Girard-Perregaux’s in-house GP1800 caliber. The movement is said to be hand-finished, but it’s hard to tell from the press images. All I can say, however, is that the skeletonization seems extensive and a lot of the movement is on display.
Turned into black porcelain, the Laureato’s case and bracelet layout remains largely unchanged apart from the fact that the grip turned into somewhat wider and the links of the bracelet currently have holes in every link up to the case, unlike the steel ones that could be disassembled only from the initial 5 links down. Fearfully aware of the fragility of ceramic, this might really be a neat and thoughtful detail which will theoretically allow a clumsy or just plain unlucky owner to substitute only a few links near the instance, rather than getting ripped off for an entire replacement bracelet.All outside components are ceramic, for instance, triple-blade ceramic clasp, but the quality and attention to detail in implementing the ceramic parts’ completing we are going to have to check in the metal (ahem). What is immediately apparent, though, is the way a nice variety of different finishing techniques are implemented as satin, brushed, and glistening surfaces meet upon the bezel, case and bracelet.The dial is black also, obviously, which isn’t the most creative alternative — having found the Laureato less than two years ago with all these references, this can be a little bit of a dropped ball, as the black dial, black instance combination does look and feel a little dated. Swapping in among those rather magnificent blue dials from the other 42mm model shouldn’t prove difficult though. Nevertheless, the hobnail dial must provide enough contrast against the nicely proportioned and generously sized main hands, so legibility should not be too bad — looking forward to checking that out reside along with the additional details.The movement within the 42mm wide and slender-ish 10.90mm thick instance is your GP01800-0025 automated caliber, which was designed for a bigger, but broadly usable caliber that finally allows Girard-Perregaux watches to boast a fundamental in-house movement in larger instances, hence moving the date screen neatly towards the edge of the dial, where it actually belongs. The GP1800 (as it is also called) runs in a modern 4 Hertz and still provides 54 hours of power reserve and is on screen via a “smoky sapphire” case-back — that usually just disturbs the view in the movement, but hey, we won’t judge until we see it hands-on. In the event you would like to see an open-worked version of this caliber (who would not?) , then have a look at the 1966 Skeleton hands-on here.
To aid legibility, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton gets thick baton-style hands coated with a luminescent material. And on the flange of the dial are hour markers which also have luminescent material. Also, if you look really carefully, there’s a small seconds display at 10 o’clock. Finally, regardless of whether you opt for the stainless steel or pink gold model, the watch will come with a skeletonized rotor carved out from a single block of 18K pink gold. The movement is made up of 173 components, beats at 4Hz, and offers a power reserve of around 54 hours.
Overall, the new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton seems like a fine addition to the Laureato collection. With stainless steel, gold, a tourbillon, and the new skeletonized models, there’s just about something for everyone. I suppose the next logical step for Girard-Perregaux would be to introduce new Laureato models with complications like the chronograph or perpetual calendar. The stainless steel version of the new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton watch is priced at $32,000, while the pink gold version is $60,700. girard-perregaux.com