Ever since it’s rebirth in 2016 with the Anniversary Laureato, the Laureato has quickly become a key successful line for Girard-Perregaux. We know of course that GP is much more than only Laureato, take the classic Vintage 1945 or 1966 line or the Haute Horlogerie pieces, but the Laureato has hit a sweet spot where it gets much attention.
At SIHH 2018, the Chronograph was added to the line in two versions, 42mm and 38mm. Both versions come in a variety of dial colours and case materials.
For now, I’ll take the liberty to solely focus on the 42mm Chronograph in steel with the all blue dial. Why? Because I like this one best. In fact, I’m not that far away from pulling the trigger.
Much has been written already on the Laureato Chronograph and you can check my initial review here:
Hence I will not repeat much of the technical details, but rather want to focus on my personal impression.
With almost every watch, it is so important to actually handle the watch in the metal, trying it on, seeing it in different lights, how it feels on the wrist etc.
The Laureato Chronograph is no exception. In fact, I would say, it even more needs that personal experience.
So let’s focus on what I feel, looking at various aspects, starting with the dial.
That blue is really gorgeous, it just has the right hue and still has that touch of grey or darker shades that makes it very interesting to look at it over and over again. The Clous-de-Paris pattern is still a key feature, but on the Chronograph less dominating as you have the subdials and just a much more busy dial.
The date really is fine. Blends in nicely tone-in-tone and is absolutely no issue for me.
One element I was initially skeptical about were the blued hands. Blued hands on blue dial? Believe me, it works, it works very well. I can see why this was designed like it and that just shows how much effort and deep thought went into it by the design team. White luminova makes a perfect fit.
Let’s move on to the case.
We have essentially the same Laureato case as we see on the time-only version, but with a few yet significant differences. First, there is now a crown-guard similar as it was present on the mid 90s Laureato Chronograph Olimpico. For my taste, this is a great addition as it a) draws the line to the historic model and b) simply looks better on the Chronograph.
The Chronograph pushers are also screw-in with octagonal pushers. The operation of the screw-in and screw-out is very smooth, it is almost only a half turn that is a true pleasure to operate.
Case and bracelet is made from 904L steel. It provides a very special shine that makes the steel very white and works especially well on the brushes surfaces.
And finally, the backside: GP seems to have listened to us here. We now have a very nice solid back with a Laureato engraving and the octagonal shape. Thanks GP design team for taking that route.
Bracelet and strap options:
Most Laureato’s will probably be ordered with the bracelet. The bracelet is very flexible and of high quality. I’ve never been a bracelet kinda guy, so that will likely not change.
The strap options are either Alligator or Rubber. For the blue dial Chronograph both will be in matching dark blue. The Alligator does feel a bit out of place but for people who prefer leather straps, this is still a top choice.
My preference would actually be the rubber strap. It is surprisingly thin and flexible but you can feel the quality of the rubber strap and the blue colour matches perfectly.
So we have three choices that should suit every one and all three options are well executed.
Before we finish off with the wrist experience, one word on the deployant buckle. Here we now have some key improvements that are worth mentioning.
Now both opening sides are extra secured with small pushers. Previously, this was only the case for the outer one that closes last. It happened that you closed the inner side and then you wanted to close the outer side and oops, the inner one opened again (especially with the alligator when the strap is still new and stiff). No more now, the inner is secured and will stay in place until you push the release button. The buckle as you can see is like a pin buckle, so it provides double security with a small fixed pin and the normal buckle pin being exactly one hole apart.
Furthermore, you can also only use the pin buckle and store away the deployant if you prefer that. All in all, a great design that is a great improvement.
So, the Laureato Chronograph on the wrist is…
Breathtaking! The combination of all the above points together when the watch is starting play with light, it really grab attention.
It is also greatly fitting my not very large wrist, even in 42mm. In fact, the 38mm just feels to small in my opinion. It’s because of the proportions of dial size, bezel and case that make the 42mm the right size.
The combination with the strap (rubber) is very comfortable, it removes weight and makes it easy to adjust length when wrist size slightly changes during the day.
I guess my only “concern” would be that the blue dial plus blue strap is less versatile in terms of combining it with attire, but in general that is not a problem for me as I can always dress to suit the watch…
In summary, the Laureato Chronograph is a very convincing new addition to the GP line-up and has won my heart by storm. I like the all blue version, but other versions have their charm and I think there is something for everyone.
One thing is important: Go and see it, touch it, feel it yourself in the shop and don’t just judge by photos. It is certainly not “like” the competition watch is tends to get compared with all the time. The Laureato stands on its own and does have its own rich history and the new Chronograph is my personal highlight.
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