Girard-Perregaux is one of the oldest watch brands in existence, and in recent years, the manufacturer has embraced new designs and materials to attract new clients looking for bold, sporty aesthetics. The Laureato Absolute is a modern evolution of the brand’s iconic sports watch, the Laureato, which entered the scene in the 1970s alongside Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak.
The original Laureato ticked all the boxes for a modern sports watch, including an elegant design with sporty stylings and an integrated steel bracelet. Girard-Perregaux’s in-house team designed an unusual bezel that combines round and octagonal shapes to separate itself from the other new debuts.
The bezel itself is octagonal. It is placed above a circular plinth set atop a tonneau-shaped case. This layered design invites you to take a second look and study the construction, and it’s even more notable in a brand-new carbon design.
The Laureato Absolute collection debuted in 2019, and since then, the historic Swiss watch brand has used it as an experimental collection for groundbreaking materials. Past editions have featured metalized sapphire crystal, rubber alloy, and carbon glass. The newest model, which was unveiled at Geneva Watch Days, is crafted from a carbon-titanium composite using a novel, industry-first manufacturing process dubbed 8Tech.
The Laureato Absolute Chronograph 8Tech features a case that combines unidirectional, non-braided, and pre-impregnated carbon fibers with titanium powder in thin layers measuring .05mm. These ultra-thin layers were then stacked atop each other in different orientations and cut into octagons. These octagons are then heated and put under pressure before being cut into different shapes.
Finally, each piece is refined by hand, which achieves a shimmering look and attests to the high level of craftsmanship at Girard-Perregaux. The final 44mm case is five times lighter than a traditional steel case but is just as durable and hard.
The dial nicely complements the black-and-gray case and bezel. It has a gradient finish that is light gray in the center and fades to black on the rim of the dial. Instead of applying hour markers, Girard-Perregaux cut apertures in the top layer of the dial to expose the bottom titanium layer. The difference in colors acts as hour markers.
The chronograph watch has three counters, also in a titanium color. At 3 o’clock, there’s a small seconds counter; at 6 o’clock, a 12-hour counter; and at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute counter. The central hand indicates the seconds for the chronograph. The minute track is on the interior bezel and provides excellent legibility for precise measurements. The baton-style hands are coated with a gray PVD treatment and white luminescent material. At 4:30, there’s a discreet black date aperture.
The watch is powered by the in-house automatic GP03300-1058 movement, which offers a 46-hour power reserve and is water resistant to 100m. The finely finished movement is visible through a smoked sapphire glass caseback. A black rubber strap with contrasting gray stitching finishes the watch. The watch retails for $27,800 and will hit boutiques in October.