The Tale Of An Icon – Girard-Perregaux Laureato

04 May, 2023 Chat 0
The Tale Of An Icon – Girard-Perregaux Laureato

The story of Girard-Perregaux Laureato started with its debut in 1975, epitomising the quintessential 1970s luxury sport watch style. The sporty and chic collection made its mark with its unique design integrity combining octagonal and circular shapes for the bezel, an integrated bracelet, and a slim profile. The maison has been captivating watch enthusiasts for decades, and Laureato continues to be one of the most iconic watches in the industry. Its design is not only striking, but it is also timeless, and the Laureato’s popularity shows no signs of waning. As a horological titan dominating the golden age of sports watches, Laureato flourished among other notable timepieces by emerging a year ahead of Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and IWC’s Ingenieur, and three years after Audemars Piguet’s iconic Royal Oak.

Design Inspiration for Girard-Perregaux Laureato

The inspiration behind Laureato’s iconic design comes from Adolfo Natalini, an accomplished Milanese architect responsible for bringing the iconic aesthetics to life, rather than the legendary watch designer Gerald Genta who designed stellar creations across several horological brands. Natalini drafted his sketches for the Laureato, revealing an architectural foundation, including facades and domes, and a precise distribution of visual weight in its structure. The watch was christened ‘Laureato’ at the suggestion of Girard-Perregaux’s Italian distributor, referencing the iconic 1967 film The Graduate, known as Il Laureato in Italian.

A Quick Glance at the Laureato’s Design Elements and Characteristic Features

The Case

For decades, Girard-Perregaux Laureato has captivated watch enthusiasts with its exceptional features and design. As one of the remarkable elements of the Laureato, the case is meticulously handcrafted in an eight-sided shape. Inspired by the complex architectural design of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, Italy, the Laureato case features a slim, octagonal bezel with a rounded base that sits neatly on a substantial yet elegantly curved base, into which the horizontal links integrate seamlessly.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato with black dial
Laureato's iconic eight-sided shape is inspired by the complex architectural design of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, Italy

The Clous de Paris Dial

Laureato’s dial is equally captivating. Its intricate Clous de Paris pattern is a decorative technique dating back to the 18th century. The Clous de Paris or Paris stud is a type of guilloché pattern that has been a staple in the world of haute horlogerie for centuries. It is characterised by a three-dimensional pyramid shape with ridges that resemble the studs on a saddle. The pattern is meticulously crafted using a specialised machine with a rose engine, which makes precise and intricate cuts on the dial surface.

Clous de Paris dial in Girard-Perregaux Laureato
Laureato's dial is equally captivating. Its intricate Clous de Paris pattern is a decorative technique dating back to the 18th century

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato pays tribute to this venerable decorative technique with its dial. The pattern adds depth and texture to the dial, catching the light and creating a play of shadows that gives the watch a dynamic presence. The Clous de Paris dial is available in several colour variations, from classic silver to bold blue or black, adding to the versatility of the Laureato collection.

Integrated Bracelet

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato collection is renowned for its integrated bracelet, which is considered a hallmark of the series. The bracelet is made up of individual links that are designed to interlock seamlessly with the case, creating a cohesive and uninterrupted aesthetic. Such integration is not only visually striking but also contributes to the overall comfort and wearability of the watch. The bracelet is crafted with meticulous attention to detail, featuring satin-brushed and polished surfaces that complement the watch’s octagonal bezel and Clous de Paris dial. The Laureato bracelet is a perfect embodiment of the brand’s commitment to precision, craftsmanship, and innovation in the art of horology.

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato is renowned for its integrated bracelet, made up of individual links that are designed to interlock seamlessly with the case

The Evolution of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato

Girard-Perregaux’s impact on the watchmaking industry stretches beyond aesthetics. The evolution of the Laureato collection has been a fascinating journey since its inception in 1975. Initially, the Laureato was introduced as a simple, time-only watch with an octagonal bezel and an integrated bracelet. Its design was sporty and elegant, and it was an instant hit among watch enthusiasts.

The Swiss manufacturer made history by producing the first-ever Swiss quartz movement. The 1970s saw the rise of quartz movements, and Girard-Perregaux responded with the launch of the Laureato, featuring the first Swiss chronometer-certified quartz movement. The watch was a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence in horology, featuring a two-tone, three-hand design powered by a quartz chronometer calibre.

Over the years, the Laureato has undergone several design changes and technological upgrades. In the 1980s, Girard-Perregaux introduced the Laureato with additional complications, such as chronograph and moon phase. The watch’s case size was also increased to meet the demand for larger watches. In 2003, the Laureato Evo 3 was introduced with a larger case size and a more complex dial layout. This version of the Laureato was a significant departure from its original design but still maintained the iconic octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet. In 2016, Girard-Perregaux reintroduced the Laureato collection with a more refined and modern design. The new Laureato featured a more prominent octagonal bezel with a more polished and streamlined appearance. The dial design was also updated with a Clous de Paris pattern, which added texture and depth to the dial.

Today the Laureato collection continues to evolve with new materials, designs, and technological advancements. The maison introduced Laureato Absolute in 2019, featuring a sportier and more rugged form with a carbon fibre case and rubber strap. Another excellent iteration, the Laureato Infinity Edition, was introduced in 2020. It carried a more luxurious and refined design, equipped with an in-house self-winding movement.

The Laureato represented a significant milestone in watchmaking technology and style, cementing its place in the pantheon of iconic timepieces. It was a reflection of the era in which it was born—the period of innovation, experimentation, and progress. But over the years, the maison did not shy away from taking a departure from traditional and classic design elements, immediately picking itself up to innovate more possibilities and combinations.

Five Girard-Perregaux Laureato Watches We Absolutely Love

1.  Girard-Perregaux Laureato Evo3

One of the most interesting iterations of Girard-Perregaux Laureato is this Laureato Evo3. It is replete with numerous elements on the Clous de Paris dial placed in a 44mm stainless steel case. The dial is bordered by a tachymeter scale and features luminous hour indexes. And even with four sub-dials, it looks sleek and not overcrowded. In lieu of a date aperture, the watch showcases a date sub-dial at noon, sitting in the company of other chronograph sub-counters at three, six, and nine. In contrast to the balanced mien of the watch, it boldly features a bright red seconds hand. Overall, this Laureato Evo3 retains the original integrated bracelet style and octagonal bezel and comes with a sapphire crystal caseback to expose the movement.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Evo3
Girard-Perregaux Laureato
Laureato Evo3
Laureato Evo3 80180-1-11-6516
Girard-Perregaux 80180-1-11-6516

2.  Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute boasts a distinctive 44mm PVD-treated titanium case for a striking look. Its dial features silver-tone hands and markers, with a date aperture at six o’clock. The recognisable design elements make the wristwatch an essential creation of classic watchmaking from the maison. In 2019, the brand introduced the Laureato Absolute collection, featuring an identifiable silhouette. This Absolute reference exhibits a closed caseback with the brand name and signature engraved at the centre. Unlike other elements that were switched, this model has retained the typical Laureato design characteristics, like the octagonal case shape. In place of the Clous de Paris, this model exhibits a sandwich dial with blue and black gradient sunray finish with luminous markers, hands, and red seconds hand. Also, the bracelet is swapped for a black integrated rubber strap with a folding clasp.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute with a blue dial
Laureato Absolute 81070-21-491-FH6A
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute was introduced in 2019, and it carries a refreshing sandwich dial in lieu of the signature Clous de Paris
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3.  Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph 42

This Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph is an understated yet elegant iteration of Laureato, which stands as a superior and functional timepiece with immense resistance to corrosion. Its 42mm robust 904L polished steel case has high chromium content, ensuring corrosion resistance. The iconic octagonal bezel is thick, and an interplay of polished and brushed finishes adorn the case and the integrated bracelet. The Clous de Paris pattern dial invigorates a tangible look through the ribbed sub-dials and legitimate luminous hands and indexes. It also features a date aperture between the four and five o’clock markers.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph 42
This Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph is an understated yet elegant iteration of Laureato, which stands as a superior and functional timepiece with immense resistance to corrosion
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4. Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Rock

This Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Rock collection is a head-turner. Bearing some original design characteristics, like the octagonal bezel, the watch is identifiable as a Laureato. The 44mm watch features a black sandwich dial with chronograph sub-dials in a horizontal configuration. It also bears the date aperture between four and five o’clock, luminous indexes and hands. It is made from carbon glass- a robust and lightweight material created from carbon fibre and fibreglass, rendering it a unique finish. A Swiss-made automatic movement powers the watch and features a black rubber strap that is both comfortable and stylish.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Rock 81060-36-691
Girard-Perregaux Laureato
Laureato Absolute Rock
Girard-Perregaux Absolute Rock 81060-36-691
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph

5.  Girard-Perregaux Laureato Classic 42

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Classic 42 is an exceptional model with a dapper form. Its stainless steel case is sleek and elegant, featuring smooth curves, an octagonal bezel, a logo-engraved crown, and a mesmerising brushed finish. The Clous de Paris pattern dial is retained in a classic black hue, in contrast to the silver tone luminous hour markers and the brand logo at 12 o’clock. The subtle date window complements the watch’s slim and charismatic design at three.

pre-owned Girard-Perregaux Laureato 81010-11-634-11A
This Girard-Perregaux Laureato Classic 42 is an exceptional model in a stainless steel case with a striking Clous de Paris black dial
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Summing Up

The Girard-Perregaux Laureato is a watch that has stood the test of time. Its octagonal case, unique dial, and integrated bracelet make it an icon in the world of luxury watches. With various models to choose from, there is a Laureato for everyone, whether you prefer a more understated look or a timepiece that is sure to turn heads.


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