Happy birthday Girard-Perregaux! How old? 230. Yes, the Swiss brand from Le Chaux-de-Fonds is 230 years old this year. That’s quite an accomplishment, and not one many other brands have even come close to matching.

As such, despite 2021 appearing to be 2020 in disguise, the brand intends to celebrate throughout the year. The first such celebration is the new Laureato Absolute Wired, exclusively available via Girard-Perregaux’s new e-commerce platform. The Laureato Absolute Wired pays its respects to the iconic Laureato, first seen 46 years ago back in 1975, while incorporating modern technological know-how.

…carbon glass.

We need to talk about this case. At first glance, it is the most striking feature of this watch. What is this weird and wonderful material, I hear you ask? Well, if not for the fetching blue bezel, I’d have assumed it was just a nice example of carbon fiber. But no. This is something even cooler — carbon glass.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Wired

Carbon glass

This jazzy composite is formed from layers of carbon fiber and fiberglass, which are subjected to high temperature and pressure. This combines the two ingredients into one solid, stable composite. Interestingly, unlike any other manufacturing process of other types of carbon, this innovation guarantees full water resistance. When you see carbon fiber watches, most will have a steel or titanium inner skeleton to allow for water resistance. This watch case is made entirely from gorgeous carbon glass.

This watch certainly isn’t shy…

Once ready, the carbon glass is milled into the famous 44mm Laureato shape. The finished case takes on a matte, slightly textured finish. Due to the unpredictable, chaotic nature of the production process, the mixture of the carbon fibers and fiberglass find themselves randomly aligned, making every watch unique. The bezel uses the same material and manufacturing process as the case, however, it is further augmented with hues of electric blue. This watch certainly isn’t shy, and I like it! I’d also be quite keen to see the bezel and case materials/color swap over to a blue case with black bezel.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Wired

Letting the Laureato case shine…

The black dial is a little more demure, allowing the character of the case to take center stage. The sandwich dial construction offers some visual depth and detail, and the chronograph registers feature a subtle snailing effect. That is a wise move from the brand, as something as visually bold as the case, needs some room to breathe, but it didn’t just leave the dial to fade into boring obscurity. Looking at the images, I wonder perhaps if the steel hands are a little bright in comparison to the rest of the watch face, but I can’t imagine an alternative that would tick all the boxes. Black hands would have the opposite effect and they would likely get lost against the blackness of the dial. Perhaps I’m being overly picky!

…this example is spot on.

Strapping this bad boy onto your wrist is a cinch, thanks to the pliable rubber strap. I like the way that the lines of the case and lugs continue flowing into the strap, seamlessly integrating the two. Some integrated rubber straps can really miss the mark, but this example is spot on.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Wired

Caliber GP03300 is running the Laureato show

Girard-Perregaux has fitted this fetching case with its in-house self-winding chronograph movement, driving three sub-dials, and a date display. Whilst the main allure of the Laureato Absolute Wired is undoubtedly the case, the movement is no slouch. Its horological qualities are complemented by exemplary finishing including “Côtes de Genève”, chamfering and straight graining, all stemming from the multiple skills cultivated within the manufacture.

…available to UK and US-based customers only…

The Laureato Absolute Wired is a limited edition of 88 pieces. Girard Perregaux will make it available exclusively via the brand’s new e-commerce platform. This service will initially be available to UK- and US-based customers only, with more countries added down the line. Priced at $17,700, you can find out more on the brand’s website.