The New Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Copper Is A Rich Take On Bracelet-Bound Perfection
One look at the new Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Copper and I’m re-smitten. The larger 42mm version does wear very well for its size, but about three years ago, I fell for the 38. After having it on loan for a long weekend, I was smitten to the point of obsession. But after procrastinating while the popularity of the cool GP re-emerged, the prices went up too far. And does this new release make my indecision feel worse?
In a word, yes. Lately, I’ve become even closer to proclaiming 38mm as my all-time fave size, and this week it seems to come to a head. My story on the new 38mm Kurono Calendrier Type 1 came out, and for some inexplicable reason, this Laureato story has a glaringly obvious set of similarities. No, it is not a revolutionary new Laureato, but it does have a warm dazzler of a dial. And its copper-toned hue is a deep and unusual autumn tone, just like the khaki green in the lacquered Kurono. For me, this spells success. For the monochrome brigade, probably not, but I really don’t care.
Girard Perregaux Laureato Copper 38mm in a nutshell
Yes, we have all seen the Laureato before, and there is nothing new here except the dial. But with Girard-Perregaux’s delicate Clous de Paris pattern, that’s still a pretty big deal. The Girard-Perregaux Laureato 38mm Copper retains what to me is a perfect size (38mm × 44mm × 10mm), and while it may seem too small for some, check this out. Girard-Perregaux is one of the few manufacturers that use warmer-feeling 904L steel instead of the run-of-the-mill 316L. What, surely there’s no difference here? Well, I agree with Rolex basically advertising it as a precious metal, as this steel feels warmer to the touch and takes a fantastic finish, lending it a soft feel. Yes, that does also have plenty to do with the Laureato’s execution, because you won’t find a single sharp edge or corner here. What makes it so special?
It’s all about proportions and detail
The GP03300 automatic movement is an in-house caliber, and it is just as intricate and well-finished as the last time I saw it. Its pink gold rotor is sublime, and there’s no need to change a winning formula. But that dial? From the official images alone, it seems like a veritable chameleon and vastly different from my previous favorite silver dial. The Clous de Paris or hobnail pattern seems somehow deeper with this copper flavor, and the color shifts from golden-red to brown with a slight undertone of green. With the soft brushing and polishing of the steel case with its octagonal charm, it’s a perfect soft counterpoint.
Why do I rate the underrated Laureato so highly?
My reason is a slim 10mm thickness that doesn’t feel too light. The decent thickness of the H-link bracelet has a balance of soft-touch brushwork and steel heft. It’s a slim sports watch that fulfills my need for the solid embrace of steel to underline my love of the ’70s —1975, to be precise, when octagons and sleek bracelets were at their peak. Is €15,000 / US$14,900 a high price to pay for non-Rolex Swiss watchmaking in 2022? Well, I’d rather say that this new, richly endowed Laureato is better value and slimmer on the wrist than any dry land-bound Rolex diver’s tool. Should you find 38mm too effete for your manly wrist, try on the 42mm version. You will, however, miss out on the coppery, warm dazzle of the miniature pyramids that make up the hobnail dial. This color suits them better than ever, and you’ll find it Girard-Perregaux.
Fratelli, had we already reached peak integrated bracelet chic? Or is this one of the best iterations of the venerable Laurato yet and enough to give it a boost into the limelight? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Find me and follow me: @thorsvaboe