The inaugural version of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato was released in 1975. From the outset, it embraced a new, highly original design language. Indeed, the masterful play with shapes, such as juxtaposing the octagonal bezel with circular forms and straight lines, infused the model with a distinctly sporty appearance, albeit with a sizeable quotient of elegance. With the advent of the Laureato, a legend was born.
In 2019, Girard-Perregaux released three contemporary novelties, with a very familiar look, forming what is now known as the Laureato Absolute sub-family. Each version was an evolution of the original Laureato, albeit with an overtly muscular torso and presented in a shade of brooding black. The models were suited to an adventurous lifestyle, manifest with their impressive water resistance of 300 metres. Now, the Manufacture has continued to develop the Laureato Absolute offering, releasing the Laureato Absolute Gold Fever. Once again, Girard-Perregaux has combined two seemingly disparate elements, day-to-day practicality with deliciously decadent pink gold components.
Often a watch is sporty or elegant, but seldom both. However, the Laureato of 1975 set aside this notion with its distinctive and legendary appearance. Indeed, Girard-Perregaux has always had a remarkable capacity for uniting two contrasting characteristics. The Laureato Absolute Gold Fever blends bold styling and practicality with a useful chronograph complication and luxurious touches of pink gold.
Measuring 44mm in diameter, the Grade 5 titanium case proffers much wrist presence but with a welcome absence of mass. The case is suffused with black PVD and encompasses a blend of straight and circular satin finished surfaces along with polished edges. Unusually for a watch that is not dedicated to diving, the model has an impressive water resistance of 300 metres. The caseback is secured with six screws and engraved with the Laureato Absolute logo, a characteristic found on the first models launched in 2019.
Consistent with several other Laureato Absolute models, the Gold Fever incorporates a sandwich dial. Where many watches have indexes applied upon the main dial membrane, the dial on this watch adopts a more unusual approach. The black upper dial has cut-out baton-shaped indexes and subdials, affording sight of a lower plate formed from 18K pink gold. By adopting this design, the dial masterfully plays with depths, augmenting visual interest while at the same time delivering impressive readability. The use of 18K pink gold extends to the hour and minute hands as well as the applied GP logo and the three counters gracing the dial.
Currently celebrating its 230th anniversary, Girard-Perregaux is a company rich in history. However, it has never shied away from exploring cutting-edge technology. In this instance, the Manufacture has endowed the Laureato Absolute Gold Fever with an innovative high-tech rubber strap, made of Girard-Perregaux Rubber Alloy suffused with pink gold for the first time. Made from FKM rubber, the strap is injected with 18K pink gold and features a fabric effect appearance. Consistent with the company’s no-compromise attitude, the FKM rubber delivers greater suppleness and resistance than conventional rubber. Moreover, the specification of the strap with its addition of noble metal bestows a sumptuous look and tactility. Similar to the Laureato of 1975, the strap affixed to this model is integrated, smoothly flowing into the case. The strap is fitted with a titanium folding clasp equipped with a micro-adjustment system which allows the wearer to fine tune the size, thereby granting the perfect ergonomic fit.
Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux, remarks, “The Laureato Absolute Gold Fever wonderfully showcases a marriage of materials and plays with depths to deliver a sublime combination. Furthermore, by working with Revolution and The Rake, we are extending our innovative spirit to the distribution of our products, what’s more, directly to their audience of connaisseurs that is clearly “in the know”. We have known Wei Koh, the founder of both platforms, for a number of years and he was an obvious choice for this partnership.”
Wei Koh, founder of Revolution & The Rake, added, “My Laureato Crystal Rock has made me into a Laureato convert, and I immediately asked the Girard-Perregaux team to let me know of any other cool launches they might have planned. That’s when they approached me about a collaboration on their latest model, the Laureato Absolute Gold Fever. What I like about it is the dynamic contrast to the 44mm blacked-out titanium case represented by the very targeted use of pink gold. The GP logo, the hands, the indexes and the counters are all 18K pink gold, and the dial’s multi-level sandwich construction creates a really nice sense of depth. And while, in absolute terms, this is not a lot of gold, the overall effect is one that endows the Gold Fever with a kind of louche, seductive opulence.”
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Gold Fever is a limited edition of 188 pieces and will be sold exclusively by Revolution and The Rake on their respective e-commerce platforms as of 15 November 2021 for a period of two months. Thereafter, the model will be available in all authorised Girard Perregaux retailers and on the brand’s e-commerce site.