Girard-Perregaux was founded 230 years ago in 1791, the same year an English clergyman, William Gregor, discovered titanium in Cornwall. With the release of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230, the new model unites the Manufacture’s know-how with the lightweight element. The resultant two watches are contemporary, rich in character and repeatedly play with contrasting shades and shapes. Further highlighting this important anniversary, the Ti 230 blue dial reference will be distributed exclusively through Wempe for the first month following its launch.
This year marks the 230th anniversary of Girard-Perregaux. As part of its celebrations, the Manufacture is revisiting its iconic models and releasing a number of new creations. The story of the Maison began in 1791 when Jean-François Bautte, aged just 19, produced his first pocket watch. However, the most romantic chapter in the brand’s history is when Constant Girard married Marie Perregaux in 1854, culminating in the birth of one of the greatest names in watchmaking.
In 1791, clearly a remarkable year, an English clergyman, William Gregor, discovered a black sand called menachanite in Cornwall. He analysed it and concluded that it contained oxides of iron and an unknown metal. This metal was subsequently identified as titanium, an element named after the Titans, the children of Uranus and Gaea in Greek mythology. Today, titanium is widely used, not only in watchmaking but also in the fields of aerospace, medicine and motorsport, selected for its array of benefits.
The Laureato Absolute Ti 230 unites the two stories of Girard-Perregaux and William Gregor, drawing on knowhow amassed over 230 years. Titanium comes in many forms, sometimes alloyed with other elements. GirardPerregaux prefers to use Grade 5 titanium as it is particularly strong, corrosion resistant, lightweight and hypoallergenic; attributes that enrich the wearer’s experience.
Another reason for using Grade 5 titanium is that the metal can be polished. Girard-Perregaux presents the Laureato Absolute Ti 230 in a 44mm lightly sandblasted case that encompasses polished facets, providing a beautiful gleam and subtle contrast. Successfully combining both types of finish proves more demanding, however, as Girard-Perregaux has repeatedly shown, it never shies from a challenge.
Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux, remarks, “With the release of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230 we wanted to create a new version of our iconic watch from 1975. This model is modern but encompasses traditional craftsmanship. The sandwich dial construction and GP’s world-premiere Rubber Alloy strap, this time incorporating titanium, are further sumptuous details that also feature on this watch. Finally, while the price may be more inclusive, the quality remains typically Girard-Perregaux and the watch feels just as exclusive as our other models.”
Kim-Eva Wempe, managing owner of Gerhard D. Wempe KG of Wempe, comments, “Once again, GirardPerregaux kindly approached us and offered exclusivity for this new model prior to its worldwide launch. We are delighted to have this opportunity and we appreciate the close working relationship we enjoy with GirardPerregaux, forged over several years but solidified last year when we were fortunate to become their exclusive retailer across Germany.”
The combination of curves and lines are juxtaposed with the octagonal bezel and crown, beautifully playing with contrasts. The Laureato Absolute Ti 230 is available with a choice of a blue or grey dial, augmenting eye-appeal. For the first time, the Maison offers a Laureato Absolute where the crown is encircled with a rubber ring, matching the hue of the rubber strap. This detail may not be obvious at first glance, but it will be familiar to those in the know.
The dial is of a sandwich-type construction, comprised of an upper layer, perforated with numerous openings, sat upon a lower layer. The apertures in the upper layer afford partial sight of the lower layer, presented in grey. By adopting this design approach, the apertures form recessed luminescent baton-type indexes, wonderfully playing with depths, thereby heightening the overall appearance of the dial.
Beating at the heart of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230 is a self-winding Manufacture movement, the Calibre GP03300-1060. It contains 218 components, all produced to Girard-Perregaux’s exacting standards.
Upholding Laureato tradition, the strap is integrated, a characteristic found on the original model released in 1975. The strap, made of GP Rubber Alloy, this time containing titanium, perfectly matches the colour of the dial, and features a fabric effect texture, tastefully enlivened with grey stitching. Girard-Perregaux, consistent with its no-compromise attitude, has selected FKM rubber, a specification that provides greater suppleness and resistance than conventional rubber. The Manufacture has chosen to pair the strap with a titanium folding clasp with a micro-adjustment system, allowing the wearer to fine tune the size to deliver the optimal wrist fit.
The Laureato Absolute Ti 230, as previously stated, is offered in two variants, blue and grey. Each option is limited to 230 pieces.
The blue dial version of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230 will be sold exclusively by Wempe for one month in its ten boutiques across Germany as well as its flagship stores in New York and London. Thereafter, the model will be available in all authorised Girard-Perregaux retailers and on the brand’s e-commerce site.
With immediate effect, the grey dial version is available in all authorised Girard-Perregaux retailers as well as the brand’s e-commerce site.