Introduced earlier this year during the Festival Automobile International in Paris, this Laureato Absolute Passion is decked out in racing red and sleek black livery to celebrate the brand’s partnership with the event. A limited edition of 50 watches, this chronograph joins the edgier, more contemporary Laureato Absolute watch sub-family distinguished by black PVD-coated titanium cases, impressive 300m water-resistance and in-house movements.
Origins of the Laureato
When it was first introduced in 1975, the Laureato was positioned as the brand’s take on the luxury sports watch, a new genre that had just hit the markets in 1972 onboard Gérald Genta’s trailblazing Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet. Originally presented in a matte steel case with touches of gold, the modular design of the Laureato was distinguished by its polished gold octagonal bezel, a cushion-shaped case, an integrated bracelet with a gold stripe and a white hobnail pattern embossed on the dial. Revisited in 2016 after years of inactivity as a limited edition and then as a fully-fledged collection in 2017, the Laureato is now the standard-bearer of GP with everything from QPs to skeletonised tourbillons and from three-hand and date models to chronographs.
The more recent Laureato Absolute line is distinguished by larger 44mm models with black PVD-treated titanium cases and integrated rubber straps for an edgier, darker and more up-to-date look and feel. The new Laureato Absolute Passion belongs to this particular sub-family of the Laureato.
Titanium black PVD-coated case
With a diameter of 44mm and a height of 14.65mm, the case of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Passion is large and on the thick side but in tune with its sporty character. Housed in a black PVD-coated titanium case, the watch is lightweight and resilient and the black case will make it seem smaller than its measurements indicate. Matched to an integrated black rubber strap, the watch will sit comfortably on most wrists, despite a large diameter.
Using a mix of brushed and polished surfaces, the bold angular architecture of the case and the octagonal bezel are underscored. The two pushers on either side of the crown guards are not piston-shaped like those on the ‘regular’ Laureato chronographs. The pushers on the Laureato Absolute, decorated with a touch of red, are rectangular and curved to match the shape of the case giving them a sleeker profile and improved ergonomics. The caseback is closed with six screws ensuring the impressive water-resistance of 300 metres on all Laureato Absolute watches – particularly surprising in the context of a chronograph.
Contrary to many chronographs with tachymetre scales and busy dials, the matte black dial of this Laureato Absolute Chronograph relays the essential material in a graphic and legible manner. The inner flange with the white seconds track slopes at an angle giving the dial additional depth. Another interesting detail is the way the hour indices are cut out from the black surface of the dial and painted red creating a sandwich-like dial. The three sub-counters are also slightly recessed with bright red snailed interiors and clear white markings and hands. Luminescent material on the central hour and minute hands and at the tip of the hour indices ensures legibility in poor light conditions. Naturally, the central chronograph hand is also red. Although not everybody appreciates a date window, it is here integrated a way that you might even overlook its presence – it’s tucked in between 4 and 5 o’clock and has a black background to match the dial.
The black-and-red colour scheme continues on the integrated rubber strap with a red fabric effect, red stitches and a black PVD-coated titanium folding clasp with a micro-adjustment system.
The Laureato Absolute Passion is fitted with an in-house automatic chronograph movement, the Calibre GP03300-1058. This movement is based on the brand’s manufacture 3-hand self-winding calibre 3300, on top of which sits a chronograph module. Operating at 4Hz/28,800vph, this manufacture movement will keep the time, date, small seconds and chronograph functions ticking for 46 hours. Although the caseback is sealed, the movement is nicely finished with circular graining, bevelling and Côtes de Genève on the steel rotor and bridges.
Availability and price
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Passion (ref. 81060-21-692-FH6A) is a limited edition of 50 watches and retails for CHF 13,500 or EUR 13,500. More information is available at girard-perregaux.com.