HANDS-ON: Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato in steel – is it a steal?

GP-laureato-blue-7Let’s get this out of the way early on. Does the Girard-Perregaux Laureato share some visual similarities with other well-known luxury steel sports watches? Sure, but we can easily think of half a dozen watches that fit that particular bill. AP and Patek don’t have a monopoly on ’70s design. And make no mistake, the Laureato is very much a ’70s design. In fact, as far as watch designs go, it’s got a great backstory. The first Laureato, released in 1975, was a quartz, arriving as it did six years after the invention of the quartz wristwatches. Not only that, it was (according to GP) the first quartz movement made entirely in-house, and it also determined the frequency standard 32,768 Hz that’s still used today. Quite a feat given the novel and complex technologies involved. The watch – designed by an Italian architect, its octagonal bezel inspired by the footprint of Florence’s famous dome – was a hit, and by the latter part of the decade it had become GP’s best-seller. Even then, the key elements of bezel, hobnail dial pattern and integrated bracelet were key design features. And it’s not like the Laureato has suddenly reappeared after a long absence. The collection was given an upgrade…

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