Next year, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato will turn 50. I’m telling you this now, well ahead of the anniversary, so you can prepare yourself for a wave of novelties. One year before the watch’s big anniversary, two very fresh yet rich versions make their debut. The Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Pink Gold Sage Green and Ultramarine Blue show shade-changing dials that keep the watch young and fresh.

Next year will be the year of Adolfo Natalini. Who? The Italian man who designed the original Girard-Perregaux Laureato in 1975. Natali (1941–2010) was an internationally acclaimed architect who also served as a professor of architecture at the University of Florence. While (almost) everybody knows Genta, hardly anyone knows Natali, and that’s a shame because the Laureato is a design that stands the test of time. It debuted as a quartz chronometer dressed in steel and yellow gold. The name came from the Italian title of the famous 1967 The Graduate movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robbinson (can you hear Simon and Garfunkel sing, “And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson. Jesus loves you more than you will know. Whoa, whoa, whoa”?) The Italian “GP” distributor at the time thought it would be a good idea to name the new watch after the hugely popular movie.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato

Introducing the Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Pink Gold Ultramarine Blue and Sage Green

The Laureato lives in the shadow of the Nautilus, Royal Oak, and, to a lesser degree, the Overseas. It competes for attention with newcomers like the Chopard Alpine Eagle and Czapek Antarctique. But it shouldn’t have to. It’s part of the “Old Guard” and deserves respect. The mix of an octagonal bezel on top of a circle with an angular tonneau-shaped case underneath is just so architectonic.

The new Laureato 42mm Pink Gold Ultramarine Blue and Sage Green also show a delicate and dynamic interplay between polished and satin-finished surfaces. The case measures 42mm across (as you would guess from the name) and 10.68mm thick. Admittedly, with that thickness, it doesn’t comply with the “rule” I established in the article “High-End Integrated-Bracelet Sports Watches Deserve To Be Slim.” However, the 49.1mm lug-to-lug length is pretty agreeable. And since this is, in essence, a sports watch, the water resistance is rated at 50 meters.


The soft shimmer of the Sage Green model

The version with the Sage Green dial (reference 81010-52-3333-1CM) comes on a pink gold bracelet and has a price of €54,700 / US$51,900. Under the antireflective sapphire crystal, pencil-like hour and minute hands with tapered bases and a central seconds hand featuring a GP-themed counterweight turn over a lovely backdrop of sage green with a Clous de Paris (hobnail) pattern.

The date is displayed at 3 o’clock in white numerals on a sage-tone background that blends in with the dial. According to GP (who got it out of the dictionary), the word “sage” means “wise, especially as a result of great experience.” Well, that says more about GP’s 233-year history than the appearance of the dial, if you ask me. Nevertheless, the soft hue is very subtle — “retro-chic,” if you will — and could also be labeled “Italian,” if you know what I mean.

So, the choice of color is spot on, but what I find strange, to say the least, is the fact that the green-glowing hands and the indexes are plated rather than solid gold. That doesn’t sound luxurious and certainly not like an over-50K watch.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato

The Laureato Ultramarine Blue is new and old at the same time

When we dive further back in time, way further than 1975, we end up in the age of the Renaissance. The Renaissance started around 1300. In paintings of the period, ultramarine blue, sometimes called “true blue,” was a defining feature. The color was incredibly costly, so it was only used in small amounts. However, due to its expressive nature, it still stood out. Does the Laureato 42mm Pink Gold Ultramarine Blue executed in the same expensive shade also stand out?

It does, especially when you look at the reference 81010-52-436-BB4A. This is the version that comes on a blue alligator strap and an extra rubber strap in the same color. Because it forgoes the pink gold bracelet, the price of this version is €37,300 / US$35,400. But fear not, you lovers of gold; there’s also a version with a gold bracelet. The reference 81010-52-436-52A will set you back €54,700 / US$51,900, just like the Sage Green. That makes sense. At the same time, it tells you that true blue is not as expensive as it once was.

A GP in-house movement inside

Both watches run on the in-house caliber GP01800-0004. It’s a self-winding movement comprising 191 components that received extensive finishing from the Haute Horlogerie brand. The main plate shows perlage, other components feature beveling, and we also find mirror polishing, satin finishing, and various engravings. Through the sapphire window on the back, you will also see that the bridges are decorated with straight Côtes de Genève, while the pink gold oscillating weight shows circular Côtes de Genève. The 30 × 3.97mm GP01800 is not the youngest movement, and its age shows in the 54-hour power reserve.

What do you think? Are these two new models good enough to make the Laureato, which still shows the original Adolfo Natalini design, step out of the shadow of Genta’s creations? Or is it too soon, and will that happen next year when the Laureato turns the respectable age of 50? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.

Watch specifications

Laureato 42mm
81010-52-3333-1CM / 81010-52-436-52A / 81010-52-436-BB4A
Sage green or ultramarine blue with Clous de Paris pattern, applied rose-tone luminous indices, and color-matched date indicator
Case Material
18K pink gold
Case Dimensions
42mm (diameter) × 49.1mm (lug-to-lug) × 10.68mm (thickness)
Case Back
18K pink gold and sapphire crystal
Girard-Perregaux GP01800-0004: automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 54-hour power reserve, 28 jewels, pink gold rotor
Water Resistance
50 meters
Pink gold integrated H-link bracelet (81010-52-3333-1CM and 81010-52-436-52A) or blue alligator strap (81010-52-436-BB4A), both with butterfly clasp
Time (hours, minutes, seconds) and date
€54,700 / US$51,900 (bracelet) or €37,300 / US$35,400 (strap)