Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato Is The 70s Sports Watch Taking Over The 2020s

"In 2023, the Laureato is finally receiving the attention it deserves."

Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato Is The 70s Sports Watch Taking Over The 2020s

Image: Girard-Perregaux

The following article was produced in partnership with Girard-Perregaux and The Hour Glass.

Dating back to 1791, Girard-Perregaux is one of the oldest watchmakers in the world. Crucially, Girard-Perregaux was one of the first true watch manufactures – that is, a vertically integrated business that controlled every aspect of the watchmaking process to ensure the highest possible precision and quality for their watches.

Over 200 years later, Girard-Perregaux retains that prestigious manufacture status, and remains an outlier in the watch industry for doing so. Through wars, recessions, the quartz crisis and COVID, they’ve been steadfast in their pursuit of high-end, truly luxurious watchmaking – and no watch better epitomises Girard-Perregaux’s enduring appeal than the Girard-Perregaux Laureato.

In 2023, the Laureato is finally receiving the attention it deserves, cresting a horological comeback the likes of which has been rarely seen in the watch industry – and for good reason, too: the Girard-Perregaux Laureato is, simply put, one of the most stylish and compelling luxury sports watches ever created.

Classical and modern, all at once.

Let’s go back to the 1970s, a time of great upheaval for the watch world as well as the world at large. The quartz crisis had rocked Switzerland’s prestigious watch industry, with many watchmakers failing and floundering to adapt to change. Girard-Perregaux, however, embraced the creative spirit of the time and released an avant-garde, highly angular integrated bracelet luxury sports watch – which proved to be instantly popular.

At the time of its launch in 1975, this watch was called the ‘Quartz Chronometer’ (again, using a quartz movement to embrace the innovations of the time). However, in Italy, the model soon became known among the cognoscenti as the “the graduate” (‘Laureato’ in Italian). This affectionate name served as an acknowledgement of the model’s prize-winning success as well as Girard-Perregaux’s ‘coming of age’ in this bold new era of watchmaking – as well as a reference to the iconic 1967 Dustin Hoffman film.

Girard-Perregaux eventually embraced the name. Coincidentally, the Laureato’s octagonal bezel sits atop the case, as a laurel crown sits upon the head of a graduate in the Italian academic tradition – indeed, that’s where the term ‘Laureato’ comes from.

That segues perfectly into talking about the Laureato’s design, actually. That distinctive octagonal bezel sits atop a circular plinth which in turn is positioned above an angular tonneau-shaped case. It’s very Roman in character. Despite these modernist, geometric design cues, the Laureato’s case also has a gentle character, reminiscent of a pebble shaped by water and devoid of harshness. It feels both man-made and organic.

That shapely character of the Laureato is emphasised by its amazing integrated bracelet that ergonomically hugs the wearer’s wrist. Many integrated bracelet luxury sports watches have rather uncomfortable, impractical bracelets that might look beautiful but aren’t really that wearable. The Girard-Perregaux Laureato’s bracelet, however, is genuinely very comfortable, as well as appealing to the eye, thanks to its alternating brushed and polished links.

The Laureato isn’t just a looker, either: under the hood of every Laureato beats an in-house movement that is finished to the highest standard and provides unparalleled accuracy and refinement.

Take this classic Laureato 42mm in stainless steel with a blue dial. Its GP01800 movement, proudly on display through a sapphire crystal caseback, not only boasts a 55-hour power reserve and 100m of water resistance but is finished immaculately with Côtes de Genève, perlage, mirror polishing and bevelling.

If we’re talking finishing, though, we really need to talk about the Laureato’s signature hobnail dial, which absolutely pops in blue. Its painstakingly executed Clous de Paris dial pattern accentuates the richness of the dial colour as it transitions from one shade to another as it catches the light. It’s pure 70s glam and luxury, and that’s why people love it so much.

The Laureato 42mm in stainless steel is the ultimate men’s watch, we’d argue: it’s sporty and casual enough to be worn day-to-day while refined and prestigious enough to be right at home at the most formal of situations. It’s an absolute cracker.

A chronograph that’s a cut above the rest.

But if you want an even sportier take on the Laureato, the Laureato Chronograph 42mm is the watch for you. On this timepiece, the Laureato’s Clous de Paris dial is now joined by deeply snailed chronograph sub counters and a jaunty date window at 4:30, with blue indices and hands providing a subtle contrast to the silver ‘panda’ dial.

It’s full of other clever design features, like octagonally-shaped shrouds for its chrono pushers and an octagonal crown ‘topper’, a triple-folding clasp and generous smatterings of Super-LumiNova for accurate timekeeping in low-light conditions.

No matter which sort of Laureato you invest in, you’re investing in one of the world’s great timepieces; the culmination of over 200 years of watchmaking prowess and dedication to doing things the hard way; the proper way. You’re investing in a legacy of avant-garde yet timeless design. Most of all, you’re investing in yourself. It’s time to graduate to another level of watchmaking…

The Hour Glass is the exclusive retailer of Girard-Perregaux in Australia and New Zealand. Visit their boutiques or discover more here.

NAME:Girard-Perregaux Laureato Blue
CASE MATERIAL:Stainless Steel
MOVEMENT: Manufacture Calibre GP01800-0013
POWER RESERVE:Min. 54 hours
WATER RESISTANCE:10 bar (100m)
PRICE:$22,500 AUD
NAME:Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph
CASE MATERIAL:Stainless Steel
MOVEMENT: Manufacture Calibre GP03300-0137
POWER RESERVE:Min. 46 hours
WATER RESISTANCE:10 bar (100m)
PRICE:$29,200 AUD