Ever since its launch in 1975, the Laureato collection from Girard-Perregaux has enjoyed immense success, whether because of its association with Aston Martin or because of its unusual dial colours, namely copper and green. In 2019, the Maison released a new variation of the 1975 classic, Laureato Absolute, which shared the same genetic codes as the first Laureato; it had an avant-garde design, bestowing on each reference an overtly sporty appearance. The lineup attests to the luxury watchmaker’s relentless quest for more and more sophisticated materials. Continuing the legacy, the brand has just launched the all-new Laureato Absolute Chronograph 8Tech (Ref. 81060-41-3222-1CX) watch at the ongoing Geneva Watch Days 2023.
The weight of a watch is one of the key parameters in horology; being lightweight implies better performance. Most watchmakers have realised this and started experimenting with newer and bolder materials as a single entity or as a combination. While experimenting, one can choose to focus on sustainability or on pure aesthetics or on both. All in all, perhaps the time has come for watch manufacturers to look beyond stainless steel for their most successful novelties.
The 44 mm Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute 8Tech watch is crafted from a combination of carbon and titanium composite. It has the signature octagonal bezel. The case material is composed of unidirectional, non-braided, and pre-impregnated carbon fibres, combined with lightweight titanium powder to form extremely thin layers. These layers are superimposed upon one another, each oriented differently to form ‘stacks’, which are then cut into octagons — this is indeed the first of its kind in the industry.
The dial is made using a sandwich-type construction method. In this case, the upper surface is sandblasted and presented in a gradient grey finish. The lower layer is made of grade 5 titanium, partially revealed via a series of apertures on the upper surface. The chronograph gets baton-type, arrow-tipped hour markers in grey PVD treatment with a white luminescent material. There are three subdials — a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at 9 ‘clock, and a 60-second counter at 3 o’clock. You can find a date window at 4:30.
The dial also has baton-type hour and minute hands, presented in a grey titanium shade, with a white luminescent material, and a central chronograph hand. There is a white minute track on the outer periphery of the dial. The chronograph function is activated by a pusher at 2 o’clock and restarted by a pusher at 4 o’clock. The watch can be wound and the time set with the crown at 3 o’clock.
Powering the watch is the self-winding Calibre GP03300-1058 movement, boasting 46 hours of power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the sapphire caseback with a titanium oscillating weight and finishing with the signature Côtes de Genève. The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute 8Tech watch is presented on a black rubber strap with a fabric-effect look, incorporating grey stitching, coupled with a folding titanium buckle with black PVD treatment. This strap is well integrated into the case, a tradition being continued since the first Laureato launch.