After the slew of Laureato releases that appeared earlier this year—34 variants to be precise—the announcement of a new model this week came as a bit of a surprise. That said, this new release is a welcome one; a black ceramic Laureato ($16,700) lands right in the brand’s 42 mm sweet spot.
Though ceramic is anything but a new innovation in watchmaking, it continues to serve as a means for luxury watch brands to showcase their technical prowess. While the Laureato Skeleton (also launched this year) highlighted the brand’s movement-finishing capabilities, the new Laureato Ceramic spotlights the brand’s ability to master alternative materials that we haven’t seen them use since the 2013 Sea Hawk Ceramic.
Offered in a sleek black-on-black dial-and-case combination, the juxtaposition of brushed and polished finishes ensures the new piece doesn’t appear too stealth on the wrist. As far as fit and dimensions go, you can expect a mirrored execution to its steel sibling; the ceramic case increases in thickness by a microscopic 0.05 mm. Other than aesthetics, the new Laureato remains unchanged, featuring the same in-house GP01800 self-winding caliber with Côte de Genève finishing.
As a value proposition, the ceramic Laureato is quite well-positioned when you check the math against the year’s other major release in the material: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual. Yes, their calibers are in entirely different leagues; however, when comparing the price difference between steel and ceramic versions, this ceramic Laureato commands a reasonable $2,400 premium over the steel version, whereas at Audemars Piguet, the jump up to a ceramic perpetual will add over $30,000 to its list price. Even though the AP’s bracelet alone requires over 600 hours to complete, that is still a significant jump.