Watch appreciation and critique entails various factors including appearance, materials, case design, movement, performance and pricing—yet we can’t deny that the brand name can be a deal-breaker for many. While Swiss brands always emerge on top of the luxury watch industry, there is an undeniable stiff competition among the Swiss brands themselves, with Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin always recognized as the best three, even called “The Big Three.”
Girard-Perregaux, which has always overshadowed by its contemporaries, is one of those who deserve more recognition than it is given. With its more than 200 years of experience in the business, it has produced a lot of award-worthy pieces and outstanding designs, one of which is the Girard-Perregaux Laureato.
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Release date: 1975
Different iterations of the piece have been launched throughout the years, yet the release date of the pioneering Girard-Perregaux Laureato collection was in 1975. Even from the beginning, it has been compared to Audemar Piguet’s iconic Royal Oak, as it was also the time that the Royal Oak became a trailblazer of high-end sporty-looking steel watches. Even with the more modern and recent releases of the Laureato, it still cannot escape being compared to the Royal Oak, posing a bigger challenge to the brand: how to make Laureato uniquely stand-out from its competition.
- Case: Lightly domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating; size varies per model
- Case back: Sapphire crystal
- Water resistance: 3 ATM
- Movement: Automatic manufactured Swiss made (original timepiece released with quartz movement)
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
- Power reserve: Minimum 46 hours
- Strap: Steel with folding buckle
- Jewels: 27
- Oscillating weight: Steel
Despite the similarities with another timepiece, the original Laureato was still able to outshine many other watches with its outstanding techonology, including the in-house quartz movement originally added to it. The calibre of Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato carried the watch over decades of existence, even throughout the different changes that were employed on its outer look. Some of the more prominent appearance variations include the white or blue dial that are both stamped with Clous de Paris pattern, transforming shades of dials depending on the lighting, changes in straps and chains, shape of the bezel and finish. Other enhancements added to the timepiece include higher water resistance from 30m to 100m and the switching of movement from quartz to automatic—all done to provide the consumers a better Laureato each time.
Upgrades have paid off, giving us today’s Laureato with a sleek look, high quality movement of GP 1800 calibre, and a great range of options among models that range from 34mm to 45mm tourbillon.
For the longest time, the physical similarity of the Laureato and Royal had its back to reaching its best potential in the luxury watch market. While it is a great watch, the idea of having a general vibe similar to an iconic piece of a more prominent brand really puts Laureato at a disadvantage. It doesn’t help that Royal Oak offers impressive features that undercuts the great things about the Leaureato as well.
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