Girard-Perregaux – Laureato Absolute Chronograph
Like many watch icons, the Laureato collection was created in the mid-1970s. The combination of polygons, sharp edges and circles epitomizes the aesthetic of this decade and looks very much set to be an enduring emblem of timeless design. And while Girard-Perregaux offers highly distinctive and remarkably complementary collections, the Laureato collection is now clearly the commercial spearhead. We took a closer look at the “Absolute Chronograph” for you.
The collection is characterized by an octagonal bezel and this model measures 44mm in diameter and 14.65mm thick : very reasonable dimensions considering the functions it houses. The black PVD-treated titanium case contributes to the comfort of the watch while visually downplaying its size. The designers of this new model were clearly also concerned with ergonomics, since the chronograph pushers with their rectangular cross-section are slightly concave. While this detail is almost imperceptible from an aesthetic standpoint, it makes operating them much smoother and enhances the sense of precision when activating the functions.
It is however the dial of this new chronograph that particularly appealed to us. Its gradient of ‘sunburst’ blue shades is beautifully controlled and features exceptional linearity merging seamlessly with the black of the surrounding case. Finally, the recessed mirror-polished hour markers and luminescent white hands contribute to the legibility one would expect from a watch providing such functions, while the date disk blends into the black dial circumference. The screw-down crown and caseback guarantee water resistance to 300m, thus ensuring enhanced sportiness and absolute credibility.
The self-winding 3300-1058 movement is a chronograph version of a tried and trusted base caliber. It operates at a frequency of 28,800 vph and features a 46-hour power reserve. Its 11 ½ diameter reflects norms dating back 15 years or more. While one might have been tempted to pinpoint this as a flaw in this “Absolute Laureato”, it may in fact be its best asset, since this size guarantees an ergonomic feel reflecting the current return to more reasonable diameters. The 3300 caliber has moreover proven its worth and purchasers of such a watch will have no concerns regarding its reliability. Finally, its power reserve might seem outdated if this were not a self-winding movement.
There is no technological revolution on this watch, whether in terms of its ‘motorization’ or the materials used. Therein perhaps lies the intelligence of this chronograph, which entirely meets each criterion of its technical specifications. When on the wrist, ergonomics is one of the key assets of this chronograph and its integrated rubber strap is certainly the best we have ever been able to test in this material.
In terms of design, this chronograph compares favorably with the 1970s icons mentioned in the opening remarks of this test bench article. Its technical qualities and contemporary interpretation make it much more than a mere outsider on the watch market. In fact, it may be a forerunner, a model for the future. Given that its price is as reasonable as its ergonomics, it will doubtless appeal to those who care more about the quality of their watch than the social image it conveys.