A classic 20th-century sport watch with an integrated case and bracelet and a fashionably octagonal bezel, the Laureato from Girard-Perregaux has evolved gracefully since its debut in 1975. Case in point is the newest model to join the collection, the Laureato Absolute Rock, a timepiece with retro origins but an unmistakably contemporary vibe.
Introduced as a concept watch in January at Geneva’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the Laureato Absolute Rock chronograph is now available as a production model, albeit in a limited run of 100 timepieces.
“It was a real challenge to move from a single piece presented as a concept at the SIHH in January to a complete collection of 100 pieces,” says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux. “Indeed, working with Carbon Glass is a first in the industry and we wanted to make sure we can reproduce this innovation across the 100 pieces, with a full water resistance without the help of a container.”
Housed in a 44 mm carbon glass case—the newfangled material is known for its water resistance, strength and lightness—the watch is made by a proprietary manufacturing process that involves extreme compression. The resulting density contributes to its resistance, as well as its smooth and uniform texture. (How resistant? Carbon glass is reportedly 100 times more so than steel.)
“The challenges were mainly linked to the full water resistance of the carbon glass as, unlike any other manufacturing process of other types of carbon, this innovation guarantees it,” says Pruniaux. “The patented manufacturing process involves an extreme compression of the materials during an injection procedure at high temperature. This compression prompts a high density of the material which secures an absolute homogeneity of the material. Therefore, carbon glass is a truly unique material on the market as it guarantees a full water resistance without help of a container.”
In the case of the Absolute Rock, blue fibers threaded throughout each model in a camo-style pattern make each piece truly one-of-a-kind. Other aesthetic touches include a dial composed of two superimposed, hollowed plates—the top one comes with a sleek black matte finish. The sporty theme continues with a fully integrated black rubber strap.
“We have reworked several details in terms of design to come up with the accomplished timepiece, as demonstrated by the ‘black or’ finish brought to the hands, indexes and logo which brings beautiful contrasts with the mat black dial,” says Pruniaux. “In terms of functionality, the Laureato Absolute Rock now features a buckle with a micro adjustment system that ensures a perfect comfort on the wearer’s wrist. These are only a few examples that emphasize the attention to detail that we, at Girard-Perregaux, bring to our products and to each of our creations.”
As far as its mechanism goes, the watch is equipped with the GP03300-1058 automatic movement, which has a 46-hour power reserve and an impressive 419 components. Buyers will have to take the brand’s word for granted when it says the movement is finished with the Côtes de Genève motif, circular graining and bevelling: The watch has a solid caseback that’s been engraved and lacquered with the Laureato Absolute logo.
Girard-Perreguax is playing up the Laureato’s octagonal silhouette in its Absolute Rock promotion campaign, which uses aerial shots of eight iconic locations—from Tokyo’s Shibuya crossing to the densely packed streets of Paris—redrawn to emphasize the eight-sided shape.
The limited-edition is available at select Girard-Perregaux boutiques globally for 15,900 Swiss francs (about $15,940).