The Girard-Perregaux Laureato is one of the most recognisable sports luxe watches around but, more than that, it’s a testing ground for Girard-Perregaux to explore different materials. That’s especially true of the bold Laureato Absolute line, which last year saw the Aston Martin F1 edition which used parts from an actual F1 car, and the Light model, with its emphasis on sapphire crystal – the latter of which they’re now they’re revisiting in the Laureato Absolute Light & Shade and Light & Fire models.
Both the Light & Shade and Light & Fire retain the classic Laureato Absolute design, with 44mm cases featuring octagonal bezels and integrated bracelets. However, Girard-Perregaux have begun experimenting with ways to colour the traditionally clear crystal. In order to create the smoky grey of the Shade model and smouldering red of the Fire edition, they have used a process called metalisation. GP describe it as a surface treatment applied in a vacuum, which adds colour to the crystal while preserving its translucent qualities.
Both colourways are really cool. The grey tone of the Light & Shade gives it a stealthy aesthetic that suits the sporty design while highlighting its crisp lines. The Light & Fire is a limited edition version created in celebration of Chinese New Year, with the red colouring symbolising wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture. While the Fire is the more striking, I find myself favouring the comparatively understated Shade.
However, while the cases might be individual, the two watches house the same skeletonised Calibre GP01800-1143. It’s a pretty interesting calibre, featuring an octagonal mainplate to match the model’s signature bezel. It’s also finished spectacularly with a combination of sandblasting, traits-tirés, circular satin brushing and bevelling. Specs-wise it has a 54-hour power reserve and features a variable-inertia balance.
Despite the fact that the Laureato Absolute Light & Fire is limited to just 18 pieces, both versions have the same price of £77,000. That’s slightly more than the original Light model, which was £73,000, but then these new versions feature an additional surface treatment. Plus, the Light & Shade model is the first sapphire Laureato Absolute that isn’t limited, meaning collectors who missed out first time round are more likely to get one now.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light & Fire/Light & Shade
- Ref: 81071-43-2022-1CX (Light & Shade)
81071-44-3115-1CX (Light & Fire)
- Case/dial: 44mm diameter x 11.56mm thickness, sapphire crystal case with PVD treated titanium, 3D ring skeletonised dial
- Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
- Movement: Girard-Perregaux calibre GP01800-1143, automatic, 25 jewels, 172 parts
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 54h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
- Strap: Black rubber with fabric effect
- Price/availability: £77,000, Light & Fire edition limited to 18 pieces