By Harlan Chapman-Green

“Hey, look! It’s the new generation Royal Oak… oh, wait”. I’m sorry, every person I’ve spoken to about this watch has mentioned the similarity to the first Genta icon. Not that looking similar to a Royal Oak is a bad thing, but you must wonder what was happening in the design suite. It’s like there was a picture of the Royal Oak there and they had a competition to see who could get their watch to resemble it the most. The biggest upset for those I spoke to was the octagonal bezel, the same shape Audemars uses. However, as I eluded to, this watch was designed by the same man as the Royal Oak, not this particular version but the whole line from the beginning. That’s my little piece over because the rest of the watch looks fantastic.

The Laureato is, obviously, Girard-Perregaux’s answer to the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe Nautilus, Vacheron Constantin Overseas and now the Piaget Polo S as well. Although, it didn’t seem to catch on nearly as well as the others, which is a shame as all four combinations presented today are exquisite. The dial, for example, is subtle and clean to look observe. Covered in delicate Clous de Paris guilloché the Laureato dial is legible and classically laid out, with three sub-dials, and a date squeezed in at four thirty.

REF:81020-11-631-11A

My favourite colour combination is the black dial with blue subdials, and this one stands out purely because black and blue aren’t seen very often in this world which is full of panda dials (one of those is also in the new collection). I’m also very appreciative of the sunburst subdials which appear to have a ripple effect on them, like after dropping a pebble into a deep loch. The black/blue Laureato, as I’m now calling it, is presented on either a Nautilus-esque bracelet, or a leather strap, just like every watch in the new collection.

REF: 81020-11-431-11A

You’ll notice, as we go along in this collection, that the blue colour as seen on the last model runs throughout the family. On this one, the dial is all blue, which was one of the key themes at SIHH this year. Made of stainless steel and 42mm in diameter the blue dial Laureato brings to it a sense of calm and serenity. I can’t help but think back to one of my most favourite holidays when we visited the Bay of Naples and, most importantly, Capri. The view from the bar atop Anacapri is the single most breathtaking scene I’ve ever come across, where the ocean is so blue it melds into one with the sky on the horizon. This Laureato places me right back there with that seductively coloured dial.

REF: 81020-11-131-11A

This panda dial watch is quite sleek in appearance, and the splashes of blue on the hands and markers serve to make it a little more informal and relaxed. This Laureato, like all of them in the new collection, is automatic winding and powered by a 4Hz escapement. The movements last for at least 46 hours without the chronograph running. There’s also no mention as to whether this is a column wheel chronograph or not. The movement is finished with a simplistic Côtes de Genève striping, and a circular finish has been applied to that stainless steel automatic rotor. Although, you can’t see the movement, as it’s hidden behind a closed caseback.

REF: 81020-52-432-BB4A

Finally, we come to the big one, all solid 18K pink gold with a gold automatic rotor and gold triple folding clasp. I have been made to believe that you can get this watch on a solid gold bracelet if you so wished. Even if you couldn’t, Girard-Perregaux does make other Laureato watches with a solid gold bracelet. It’s in this colour configuration, with a blue leather strap to match the dial, that the Laureato does stand out as its design. It does look genuinely different and unique like this, so hats off to GP for making this look so darned attractive. girard-perregaux.com