Earlier this year, the Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux announced a partnership with Aston Martin, the iconic British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. The first watch to celebrate the partnership was a revved-up and skeletonised version of the brand’s signature Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges. Today, GP launches a sporty Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition with a green dial and other subtle references to the British carmaker as well as an open caseback, a first for the Laureato Chronograph.
As Girard-Perregaux CEO Patrick Pruniaux explained in an interview with MONOCHROME, the alliance with the British car manufacturer is two-pronged, covering Formula 1 and road cars. GP branding, for example, will appear on Aston Martin’s Formula 1 cars and the team’s livery. Regarding road cars, both brands will be involved in the design codes of the watches and the choice of materials for these limited editions.
Aston Martin Green
In the latest James Bond film, No Time to Die, four iconic Aston Martin models from the past, present and future race across the screen. Marking the first time four different models have appeared in a 007 film, fans of Bond and Aston Martin were treated to the 1965 DB5, the classic Aston Martin V8, the brand’s super GT-DBS, and the Aston Martin Valhalla, the much anticipated mid-engined hypercar.
Founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in a small London workshop, the luxury carmaker made its debut on the racetrack in the 1922 French Grand Prix. In 1959, Aston Martin won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its green DBR1. In the early 1900s, colours were assigned to distinguish the different nationalities of the teams. French cars were blue, Italian cars were red, Belgian cars were yellow, German cars were silver and British cars were painted in the British Racing Green. The lucky colour, now known as Aston Martin Green, has been used on all Aston Martin’s racing cars since 1959, including its Formula 1 cars competing on the tracks today.
GP’s sporty Laureato model made its debut in 1975, three years after Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and one year before the Patek Philippe Nautilus. A clear contender vying for a corner in the luxury sports watch category, the Laureato flaunted an octagonal gold bezel, a tonneau-shaped steel case with an integrated bracelet and a slim profile, all the prerequisites of a luxury sports watch. In keeping with the trends of the day, the Laureato was powered by a quartz movement. Having undergone various design tweaks and upgrades to mechanical movements over the years, the definitive commitment to creating a comprehensive collection occurred in 2016 with the time-and-date Laureato ref. 81000. Since then, the collection has grown considerably. Given its luxury sports credentials, a chronograph complication was mandatory, and the Laureato Chronograph appeared in 2017.
The Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition
The protagonist of this limited edition is the ‘Aston Martin Green’ dial. In a direct reference to the car brand, the green dial is decorated with cross-hatching, a diamond-like pattern first seen on the carmaker’s AM logo from 1921-1926 and then on the quilted seats of the brand’s sports cars. To obtain the exact tone of green, twenty-one coats of paint were applied to the dial.
Another allusion to the world of AM sports cars, where extraneous material is stripped off the body to improve performance, is the partially openworked hour and minute hands. Fans of the 1958 Aston Martin DB4 will recognise the sides strake on the counterweight of the central chronograph seconds hand.
Although the layout of the counters is identical to former editions of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato chronograph (small seconds at 3, 12-hour chronograph counter at 6 and 30-min counter at 9 o’clock) they are not solid and feature a grey brushed ring with white markings and snailed interiors. Like the baton hour and minute hands, the hands in the sub-dials are openworked. The grey ring of the sub-dials carries over to the raised flange with the hour markers that are slightly bent to reach down onto the dial. The tips of the hour markers and the tips of the hour and minute hands are all treated with Super-LumiNova that glows green in the dark. In a departure from the applied Girard-Perregaux 1791 inscription at noon on other chronographs, the inscription on this model features the brand name but substitutes the year with a bridge, a reference to the iconic Three Bridges model. A date window with a dark grey background to match the flange is wedged between the indices at 4 and 5 o’clock.
Like previous editions of the chronograph, the case has a 42mm diameter and a height of 11.90mm and is made of 904L stainless steel. Less common than 316L steel and more expensive, the higher level of chromium in 904L steel makes it more resistant to corrosion. It can also withstand a higher degree of polishing, lending the watch a brighter, more luxurious appearance. The octagonal bezel and case feature satin-brushed surfaces contrasting with the gleaming polished areas visible on the pushers, crown, central link of the bracelet, bevels, and the circular platform below the bezel.
The height of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato is quite contained, and that’s primarily thanks to the GP 03300-0141 calibre. A variation of the reputable GP 3000, which has been ticking since 1994 and is renowned for its slim height of 6.5mm, this modular chronograph movement beats at 28,800vph and has a 46-hour power reserve. Now visible through a sapphire caseback bearing the Aston Martin logo, the movement is decorated with circular and straight Côtes de Genève, perlage, thermally blued screws and polished sinks.
Availability and Price
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition is limited to 188 pieces. Available now at all authorised GP retailers worldwide, the watch retails for CHF 17,300, USD 18,100 or GBP 14,000.
For more information, please consult Girard-Perregaux.