Girard-Perregaux presents two new Laureato Absolute models – the Laureato Absolute Light & Shade and the Laureato Absolute Light & Fire. Housed in a metallised sapphire crystal case, the new Laureato Absolute models juxtapose curves and lines on their translucent sapphire case construction.
While the Light & Shade model (Ref: 81071-43-2022-1CX) is a study in shades of grey, the Light & Fire model (Ref: 81071-44-3115-1CX) features a distinctive translucent red case to mark the advent of the Chinese New Year, and is limited to just 18 pieces.
Since Girard-Perregaux debuted the inaugural version of the Laureato in 1975, the line has united contrasting elements to glorious effect. Over the years, the maison has introduced new complications and worked with a variety of materials and colours, but has always remained the model’s signature elements.
In 2019, Girard-Perregaux unveiled the Laureato Absolute line. Many of Laureato’s recognisable design codes were carried over to this bolder interpretation of the 1975 model, including the octagonal bezel set atop a circular ring. However, this new line also incorporated an integrated rubber strap, along with many additional changes, some more subtle than others, ultimately contributing to the appearance of the Laureato collection.
The new Laureato Absolute model has a case made from metallised sapphire crystal, measuring 44 mm in diameter. As a result, this model exhibits a visually light and transparent appearance, while also possessing a dark and reflective look. The visual lightness is made tangible by a low mass of just 85 grams. Throughout its composition, the watch juxtaposes contrasting characteristics.
The sapphire crystal case makes it possible to reveal the movement within in all its glory. The mainplate of the in-house movement, the Calibre GP01800-1143, is octagonal-shaped, in a nod to the original Laureato’s bezel. The skeletonised movement reveals a plethora of parts normally hidden from view, providing a fascinating vista of curves and lines enriched with pockets of light and shade. The barrel is open-worked, affording sight of the mainspring in various degrees of tension.
Likewise, the balance wheel can be seen oscillating to and fro in a bewitching dance. The gold oscillating weight is open-worked, inviting the wearer to admire the bridges below. The NAC-treated bridges and mainplate incorporate sandblasting, traits-tirés, circular satin finishing and bevelling, with no less than 55 hand-polished inner angles.
The Calibre GP01800-1143 is fitted with a variable-inertia balance. Most watches feature an index regulator that alters the effective length of the hairspring, making the watch run faster or slower. With a variable-inertia balance, the length of the hairspring is fixed and the rate is altered by adjusting the inertia weights fitted to the spokes of the balance wheel. This system delivers greater stability as well as superior shock resistance.
The elegant, open-worked hour and minute hands offer excellent readability. A three-dimensional ring sitting between the bezel and the movement plays host to the GP logo at 12 o’clock and the remaining 11 indexes. Girard-Perregaux has employed a unique construction method, obviating the need for a conventional casing ring. The case and the movement are assembled on a single axis, from the caseback to the bezel, by a very specific screw system. The design of these screws requires micron-level precision to hold the different components together.
Two black, PVD-treated titanium lugs are integrated within the case, uniting the watch head with a black rubber strap. This arrangement not only looks modern but also ensures the strap is optimally positioned on the wrist, thereby offering excellent wearer comfort. The lugs incorporate satin-finished surfaces with polished angles. The strap is made from FKM rubber, a material that offers suppleness and resistance when contrasted with conventional rubber.
To further heighten the visual allure of the strap, its appearance is enriched with a fabric effect façade. The buckle is fitted with a micro-adjustment system, allowing the wearer to fine-tune the union between the strap and their wrist. The crown is made of polished and sandblasted PVD-treated titanium, echoing the appearance of the lugs.
The new Laureato Light & Fire, paying homage to the Chinese New Year, reveals a deep and captivating intense red colour that plays with light. Limited to just 18 pieces, the model shares much in common with the Laureato Absolute Light & Shade but is housed in a new polycrystalline material named YAG.
Similar to sapphire crystal, this translucent material is hard and scratch-resistant, but also offers a variety of dark shades. This latter characteristic was particularly important to the maison’s design team who were keen to dress the limited-edition timepiece in a deep red vibrant hue.