25 May HANDS-ON: The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph
Let’s be real here. Ever since we saw the new Laureato last year, we knew the chronograph version was inevitable. After all, what’s a luxury sports watch without the option of the default sports complication?
There’s no doubt that this good-looking sporty option is the brand’s commercial focus, so it makes sense that a veritable bevy of chronograph models was released at SIHH 2018. Offered in 38 or 42mm, in steel or pink gold, strap or bracelet, and a range of dials (including a real cool black with blue registers option), there might not quite be something for everyone, but you’re certainly spoiled for choice.
I opted to look at what is perhaps the safest/most classic of the combos: 42mm, steel, blue dial on bracelet. Honestly, it’s a winning combination right out of the gate, but it’s the details that make it. Let’s kick off with the dial, the hobnail texture is familiar and looks good. There’s contrast thanks to the circular grain on the chrono registers, as well as the brighter blue hands and indices, which really go full-on electric in the right light. I’m sure the date at four will grind the gears of some reading this, but then again the fact that dates exist on the dials of watches at all is too much for some apparently. And while the date doesn’t really bother me, I’ve still got issues with the double logo on the dial. If you simply must have the full brand name and the applied logo, why not keep the same layout as the time-only Laureato? Move the applied brand mark up a fraction higher and do away with the 12 o’clock marker entirely. To my mind that stubby 12 isn’t doing anyone any favours.
The addition of the chronograph means some changes to the case as well, most obviously with the addition of screw-down pushers (which keeps the geometric theme with an octagonal profile), but also a subtle swelling of the crown guard. The bracelet is the same hot, integrated, polished-centre-link number as earlier versions, and it’s still a real winner. Inside is the automatic GP03300-013, in-house, as with all of GP’s movements.
This is a watch that — thanks to its bold style, sharp lines and generally photogenic personality — is a winner on the wrist, and I’m sure this alone is enough to win the Laureato chronograph lots of fans. The fact that it is comfortable, and really well built, is just the icing on the cake.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Australian Pricing
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph, 42mm in steel on bracelet, $20,550.