One of the first luxury steel sports watches, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato was released in 1975. Named after the 1970s film “Il Laureato”, or The Graduate, the timepiece was befitting of its title; after all, it was a noteworthy advancement from the maison’s previous watches. The Laureato is often considered to be one of the forerunners of the luxury steel sports watch category. Along with other watches such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Laureato helped to define what a luxury steel sports watch could be. With its elegant yet sporty design, the Laureato has remained popular with collectors and enthusiasts over the years.
The rich history of Laureato
At a time when sports watches were just gaining traction, Girard-Perregaux came up with a design that would eventually become the inspiration for other sports watches to come. Fashioned by Italian architect Adolfo Natalini, the sporty-chic timepiece was sleek and elegant, with a raised octagonal bezel that was unlike anything on the market at the time. This unique design element set the Laureato apart from other watches of its time and helped to solidify its place in watch history. The watch was an instant hit with buyers, and soon became one of Girard-Perregaux’s most iconic models. With Laureato, the watchmakers focused on easy wearability paired with a touch of luxury, which made it an instant classic. What’s more? The maison became the first to introduce a Swiss ultra-precise quartz movement, which boasted remarkable thinness and accuracy.
Girard-Perregaux has always been known for their attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship. The Laureato is no exception, with its beautifully finished case and bracelet. The Laureato has seen many different variations over the years, including a ladies’ model and a skeletonized version. No matter what version you choose, you can be sure that you’re getting a watch of the highest quality.
The Laureato in the recent years
To say that the Laureato has been an underdog for years would be an understatement. Despite its niche following, the timepiece was somewhat overlooked with the birth of newer and sturdier watches. Though Girard-Perregaux released some iterations of the watch, it made its official comeback in 2016 on the occasion of the watchmaker’s 225th anniversary. The watch (Ref. 81000) paid homage to the original Laureato while also offering modern updates that make it relevant for today’s buyer. It features a 42mm case, which is slightly larger than the original. The bezel had also been updated, with a “Clous de Paris” hobnail pattern. And finally, the bracelet was redesigned to be more comfortable and stylish, and the movement was upgraded to Girard-Perregaux’s in-house caliber 3000.
In 2019, Girard-Perregaux released another update to the Laureato, dubbing it the collection’s “Absolute expression”. This version featured cases made of black ceramic, an updated movement, and a skeletonized dial that gives a glimpse into the inner workings of the watch. It’s a bolder take on the classic Laureato and one that is sure to please collectors and enthusiasts alike. It has a 42mm case and a new in-house caliber GP4500. The new movement offers a longer power reserve and is more accurate than the previous one. It’s also been skeletonized, so you can see the inner workings of the watch. The 2019 Laureato is a stunning update to an already iconic watch, and proof that Girard-Perregaux is still at the top of its game.
Racing to the top with Aston Martin
In 2021, Girard-Perregaux was crowned the Official Watch Partner of Aston Martin and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ Team. To celebrate this partnership, it has launched three timepieces: The Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition; the Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition and, the latest, the Laureato Absolute Chronograph AM F1 Edition.
It’s the first time the watchmaker has worked directly with the AMF1 team, and it reflects in the watch’s architecture which features many firsts. The robust 44 mm case is crafted from materials that have never before been used in the watchmaking industry. It is a combination of titanium powder and carbon elements that you would find in 2021 F1 race cars. Along with that, it boasts a strap made from FKM rubber in the Aston Martin Racing Green.
Now coming to the recent hype around Laureato. Did you know that the Laureato Absolute Chronograph AM F1 Edition is going for nearly twice its price in the secondary market today? Is the Laureato the “hyped” newcomer in the premium sports watch category? Although initially dismissed by various watch collectors given the Royal Oak similarities (design and shape), on a closer look and over time many have finally understood the distinct design language of the Laureato.
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato is a watch with a rich history and timeless design. Whether you’re looking for a vintage model or something more modern, the Laureato is sure to impress. With its elegant aesthetics and high-quality craftsmanship, it’s no wonder this watch has remained popular for over 40 years.