Girard Perregaux: Your Guide to Buying Your First GP Watch

Girard Perregaux is a name that you probably don’t hear as often as the likes of Rolex, Omega, and Audemars Piguet. But, it’s a luxury Swiss watch brand essentially of the same pedigree as these household names. It’s home to the iconic Laureato line, a range known for its classic, sporty watches that exude style, function, and comfort. 

In this article, we will get to know the brand, the Girard Perregaux Laureato collection, and some of the best watches available in the market today. Continue reading. 

Girard Perregaux: History & The Laureato 

The humble beginnings of GP can be traced all the way to 1791 when Jean-Francois Bautte created his first watches entirely in-house—from engineering to assembly and finishing. Later in 1852, the watchmaker Constant Girard founded Girard & Cie. He then married Marie Perregaux in 1854 and two years later, founded the Girard-Perregaux Manufacture. 

In 1906, his son, Constant Girard-Gallet, took over control of the company, acquired the Bautte House, and merged them together. This formed the modern GP that we know today. From then on, the brand has achieved several breakthroughs and had numerous accolades under its belt. 

  1. Girard Perregaux Laureato was the first ever to mass produce wristwatches in 1880. About 2000 watches were made and used by German naval officers. 
  2. The brand started the trend for high-frequency movement in the 1960s with the release of the first high-beat movement, the Gyromatic HF. 
  3. It received the Centenary Award from Neuchatel in 1967.

Fast forward to the present, GP is arguably one of the brands that make some ridiculously grand complications yet are undervalued. They may be a little less than that of Patek Philippe, but the overall product is compelling just the same. This much is true with the iconic Girard Perregaux Laureato. 

Girard Perregaux Laureato: A Deep Dive into the Iconic Watch 

Launched in 1975, the Girard Perregaux Laureato was positioned as a competitor to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. They share a similar case design, featuring a flat top and an octagonal-shaped bezel. But, the case of the Laureato looks somewhere in between an AP Royal Oak and an IWC Ingenieur. Its name was inspired by the Italian title of the 1967 film, “The Graduate”—Il Laureato

Overall, the contemporary watch pioneered a design that proved to be a major success for the brand, integrating a sporty aesthetic with a classic, dressy appearance. It looks appropriate whether you’re looking to dress up or dress down. Check out some of the latest Laureato watches you can find in the market today. 

1. Laureato ref. 81010 

Considering today’s competitive watch market, it’s almost impossible to find an AP Royal Oak or a Patek Nautilus with a blue dial, let alone pay retail price for each. The good news? When you can’t have either, the GP Laureato ref. 81010 is another best option. 

In celebration of its 225th anniversary, GP released a 2016 model that can easily compete against the two other prestigious watches. It was initially released in limited 225 pieces and is  presented in a 41mm stainless steel case with either a blue or white dial. In the following year, it was released in three different sizes—34 mm, 38mm, and 42mm. 

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2. Laureato Infinity 42mm 

In 2020, GP released a series of three new infinity watches. But, the highlight is the classic steel Laureato 42mm which was limited to just 188 pieces. It is defined by the use of a black onyx dial and pink gold markers, complemented with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass, and a sapphire display caseback. The use of black onyx creates a classic appeal that can’t easily be replicated. It’s by far one of the brand’s most elegant watches to ever be released. 

In addition to the 42mm, GP also made a 38mm version of the 2020 Laureato Infinity. It features a diamond-set bezel and is limited to just 88 pieces. Both watches are powered by the in-house GP01800-1404 automatic movement that boasts a pink-gold rotor and 52-hour power reserve. It’s visible through the display caseback.

3. Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock 

For an avant-garde take on a chronograph watch, look no further than the Absolute Crystal Rock watch. GP has integrated carbon fiber with fiberglass and subjected them to high temperatures and pressure to form an interesting material: Carbon Glass, which boasts a matte, slightly textured finish. 

Another characteristic of this model is that the layers that make up the case are arranged randomly. It means no two watches are the same, giving you a timepiece that’s unique down to its DNA. You’ll have to look at it closely to fully appreciate its clever play with colors, depths, and hues. Its release came almost a year after the debut of the trio of Laureato Absolute watches in 2019, which featured a PVD-treated titanium case, date display, chronograph, and worldtimer. 

4. Laureato Absolute Infrared

The Laureato Absolute line embodies the history of traditional watchmaking, incorporating world-class design and advanced movement technology. The same holds true for the Laureato Absolute Infrared which was released just this year in celebration of the brand’s 230th anniversary. Unfortunately, it’s limited edition and only exclusively available through an authorized Chinese dealer. 

The all-new Infrared watch sports a 44mm case made with PVD-treated Grade 5 titanium, while the dial is composed of lightweight forged carbon blend. Inside is the in-house manufactured self-winding mechanical movement, which offers a 46-hour power reserve and 300m water resistance. Engraved on the titanium back case is the Laureato Absolute Logo. But, what completes its red and black color scheme is the black rubber strap with red stitches and a matching black PVD Titanium folding clasp.

A Girard Perregaux Laureato Watch Just For You

From the beginning, the GP Laureato is distinctive with its octagonal bezel and seamlessly integrated bracelet. Few other brands are recognized for their ability to use straight edges and curved lines as well as both polished and satin-brushed surfaces to create classic watches that appeal to many watch enthusiasts. 

Which of these GP Laureato watches appeal to you most? Let us know by leaving a comment. 

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