February 11, 2016

In 1975, Girard-Perregaux introduced the Laureato, a timepiece that single-handedly broke all the conventions of that time in terms of the shape, the materials and the movement. Suggested by Girard-Perregaux’s Italian distributor, the name is a nod to the film world. It is inspired by and bears the same name in Italian as the Mike Nichols film The Graduate (1967) starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross.

A return to its original values

While preparing to celebrate its 225th anniversary, Girard-Perregaux returned to its iconic Laureato and the original design premise. Backed by the manufacturing arts and micromechanics expertise, the brand is honouring the timepiece with a limited edition of 225 pieces, over 40 years after the first steel Laureato was introduced and as a tribute to its success.

Steel to this day

Watchmakers and lovers of fine watchmaking have always appreciated the properties of steel and it is making a strong comeback as it is invariably associated with the sporty watch design. Once again there is the well-known hexagonal bezel and the understated seamless integration of the flexible bracelet, but this time a clasp has been added as well as a subtle interplay between polished and satin-brushed finishing.

The 41 mm diameter returns the watch to reasonable standards after allowing itself a momentary foray into the XXL era. The baton-shaped hands come from the original model and have been embellished with a hint of luminescent material while the dial (sometimes white grey sometimes navy blue) is stamped with a Clou de Paris small checkerboard pattern like the first 1975 models. The date appears at 3 o’clock. Among the inconspicuous signs that this is a modern edition is an anti-reflective treatment on the crystal and the addition of a sapphire crystal on the back. The quintessential enduring three date hands.

As with any fine watchmaking brand, the Laureato features a Manufacture movement: a 27-jewel self-winding mechanical movement with flawless finishing is equipped with an oscillatin
weight that can be viewed through the case back. It has a frequency of 28”800 vibrations per hour and a 46-hour power reserve.

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Post-vintage: New trend

Backed by 225 years of history, Girard Perregaux guards its expertise and centuries-old craftsmanship. Internally, it is preserving the treasures of its legacy and the museum is poised to reopen in La Chaux de- Fonds. Exploring the timepieces on display at the museum reveals a journey marked by impassioned artistry and boldness and displays a collection that has become timeless while capturing the spirit of founder watchmaker Jean-François Bautte in 1791. Created in 1975 and faithfully re-released for the 225th anniversary, the Laureato joins this hall of fame of iconic models.

This exquisite timepiece retails for $21,300, available in a 41mm steel case.