It has been about a month since Girard-Perregaux introduced the wrist-friendly 38mm version of its emblematic time-and-date Laureato in steel with a copper dial, and we all had plenty of time to contemplate and express our feelings towards this watch. Back then, the overall reaction was highly positive. A month later, this Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Copper does not look any less attractive, inviting favourable comments, which is no surprise. And now it’s time for me to give you mine.
Girard-Perregaux was at the roots of the now incredibly popular “sports watch with integrated bracelet” trend in the 1970s, with its first Laureato offered in 1975 – as per request from the Italian distributor of GP. The company was one of the leaders in quartz tech research. Girard-Perregaux’s quartz calibre 350, introduced in 1971, set the frequency standard adopted by the entire watch industry at 32,768Hz. When released in 1975, the Laureato was a 35mm watch equipped with a thin quartz movement of the third generation calibre 705 – luxury mechanical sports watches with integrated bracelets already existed. Hence, the brand chose to make a unique offer betting on a “fashionable” technology, which also provided better accuracy. Girard-Perregaux continued to expand its quartz Laureato line, adding functions up to 1995.
Then, for the 20th anniversary of the model, the company released its first reference in this collection powered by a mechanical movement with automatic winding. The collection received a significant impetus in 2016, when, to mark its 225th anniversary, Girard-Perregaux produced two Heritage Laureato Automatic models in limited series of 225 pieces. In 2017 the company relaunched the Laureato collection, all to great public enthusiasm. Today, the Laureato is a pillar of the brand, with plenty of cool watches in a recognizable case. They are a great alternative to over-hyped competition (we do not speak their names). Laureato editions are impeccable and comfortable to wear, especially the models in the 38-42 mm range. The Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Copper got its looks from the fifth generation of the Laureatos, introduced in 2017.
Available data show that, on average, the height of men and women populating Mother Earth has not changed much since 1975. Still, the weight did, so it would be logical to assume the average wrist circumference did not change much, and if it did, it got slightly larger. Then why does this rather slim (10mm), small-size diameter Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38 mm Copper get the applause? You have to wear it to understand.
A bracelet is referred to as ‘integrated’ when it has been conceived as an integral part of the design of a watch. It has to look and feel like a continuation of the case design – something Mr Genta understood perfectly in 1972. The Laureato 38 mm Copper delivers on the promise. The smaller diameter allows for more of the bracelet, which is not a simple thing to produce, to show so that you and others can fully admire the designer’s work.
The case of this Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Copper and the bracelet are made from stainless steel, polished and satin-finished. The design of this reference is very much the same, which can be observed throughout the Laureato classics collection. A familiar octagonal bezel is on top of a round but seemingly angular case, and the H-link bracelet looks just like the ones of the other, larger GP Laureato references. The bracelet flexes well and gets to sit comfortably all around the wrist, and – I apologize for this personal bit – doesn’t tug on your arm hair, as the links are tight and do not allow for the manly growth to get in between. To me, this is ergonomic. The anti-reflective sapphire crystal is flat, and the transparent caseback is fixed by six screws, not aligned. I guess this is of no importance, but since AP puts an effort to set the screws straight on the dial side, why not offer the same, but where only a true watch lover could notice, on the caseback?
The sapphire crystal caseback shows the self-winding mechanical calibre GP03300-2034, with its winding rotor in 18k pink gold, which recalls the colour of the copper dial. We will get to the dial in a minute; let us spend some more time with the movement with respect to Laureato 1975, which was a certified (quartz) chronometer.
The GP03300 is an in-house calibre with hours, minutes, central seconds and date functions, and it delivers 46 hours of power reserve. It is built using 218 components, some featuring up to four different decorating and finishing techniques. There is beveling, mirror-polishing, satin finish, snailing, sunray finish, and engraving. The movement bridges are straight Cotes de Genéve, and the rotor bears a circular Cotes de Genève pattern.
About the dial. It has a multi-dimensional surface thanks to its “Clous de Paris” pattern, and the play of light makes a unique impression. From a dark copper tone to pink and almost brown, framed in a steel case, this decorated metal dial communicates an emotional impact. Perhaps it is the cult status any shade of pink enjoys these days, but the Laureato 38mm Copper does feel delightful when worn on the wrist. Note the gold-plated logo and the central hand that mimic the dial colour, with only hour and minute hands, and indexes, treated with white-emission lume, to stand out. And the date window background matching the dial colour is a nice touch.
It is said that a genuinely iconic watch does not have a gender preference attached to it. Hard to disagree. Girard-Perregaux labels this edition of Laureato 38mm as unisex and mid-size. Should you buy this watch, be prepared to share it with your partner. Unfortunately, the bracelet’s triple-folding buckle doesn’t have micro-adjustment on the clasp or any comfort release, but the links are connected with screws, not pins, so it will be easy to size the bracelet.
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Copper has a water-resistance of 100m. The watch will be available in December 2022, and the price is EUR 15,000.
For more details, please visit www.girard-perregaux.com.