SIHH 2019 is gearing up to be one wild ride, and one of the latest pre-SIHH releases come from Girard-Perregaux in the form of the Laureato Perpetual Calendar. The Laureato has seem some high horology revisions since its recent re-introduction into the watch world. From the time-only Laureato to the very appealing chronograph variant, the Laureato has indeed gained some tail wind. And now, with the introduction of the Laureato Perpetual Calendar, it’s safe to say that Girard-Perregaux have every intent in keeping the Laureato alive in the luxury Swiss watchmaking game.
Distinguishable from its iconic octagonal bezel, the Laureato does, of course, share some similarities with the Royal Oak. But the Laureato is its own watch through and through. The Perpetual Calendar variant is catered for the complicated watch enthusiasts and collectors, and whilst the similarities with the infamous Royal Oak may cause some to choose sides, I like to think of the Laureato Perpetual Calendar as a bit of a market opener, especially so a $49,700AUD (where the Royal Oak’s direct competitor costs about $85,000AUD – yikes!).
The Laureato Perpetual Calendar’s dial features a striking Cloud de Paris motif in galvanic blue, along with blued steel hour markers filled with luminescent material. The asymmetrical arrangement of the dial is not very typical of the standard perpetual calendar layout. Top right you have the date sub-dial, indicating only the odd-numbered dates. Middle left you have the day indicator. Bottom-most you have a window displaying the passing months, indicated by a red marker also acting as the 5 o’clock hour indicator. And just above it you have the leap year indicator. In the centre stack of hands you have the passing hours and minutes, as well as the passing seconds. I’ve long said that my biggest pet-peeve with the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is the stagnant nature of the dial, in that there is no sweeping seconds hand. Its addition to the Laureato Perpetual Calendar is a big plus for me. I love theatrics, and even the smallest touch of the same works wonders for the Laureato Perpetual Calendar’s appeal.
The stainless-steel case measures 42mm in diameter and 11.84mm in height and features polishing and satin-brushed finishing throughout. The Laureato Perpetual Calendar comes on a stainless-steel bracelet, with a similar look to that of the Nautilus. There’s alternating polished and satin-brushed finishes, and it’s all secured to your wrist with a triple-blade stainless-steel folding clasp.
The Laureato Perpetual Calendar is powered Girard-Perregaux’s in-house GP01800-0033 calibre. This is an automatic perpetual calendar movement beating at a frequency of 4Hz and with a power reserve of at least 54-hours. It measures 30mm across and 6.06mm in thickness, and features circular-graining, Côtes de Genève and hand beveling throughout.
This is a very special watch that I think marks Girard-Perregaux’s true intent with the Laureato line. In terms of fine Swiss luxury watches, it’s often hard to come by a product that can be called justifiably priced. Everything seems so exorbitantly expensive purely because of the name adorning the dial. The Laureato Perpetual Calendar is an exquisite proposition into the market of sporty perpetual calendars, and whilst it does have its drawbacks (i.e. a dial that looks kind of like a weird smiling face and a case that does look similar to the Royal Oak’s), on a whole I think this is a wonderful addition to such an overlooked collection.