Crystal Clear: Girard-Perregaux’s New Laureato Absolute Light Combines Aesthetics, Clarity, and Functionality
After the launch of the Laureato Absolute collection at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie last year, Girard-Perregaux returns with a new limited edition Laureato Absolute Light.
The idea behind the Laureato Absolute collection was to reinvent some of the brand’s iconic timepieces with new materials, designs, and technology. The Laureato Absolute Light is the perfect example of this reinterpretation with its sapphire crystal and titanium case, which allows an uninterrupted view of the movement from all sides.
“Since we launched the Laureato Absolute collection last year, we have continuously reinvented the iconic Laureato, and this latest addition is for sure one of the most audacious pieces in this collection,” shares Patrick Pruniaux, CEO Girard-Perregaux. “It really goes back to our brand heritage of bridging technical mastery and iconic design. The movement becomes a design element of the watch too, as we managed for this piece to make each technical element an integral part of the watch design.”
Highlighting The Octagonal Shape
For the very first time, the Laureato Absolute Light is constructed around an octagonal mainplate. Attached to a sapphire crystal case, bezel, and caseback with screws on all eight sides of the octagon, the mainplate's unique shape is beautifully highlighted.
“Sapphire was the perfect material for this new addition to the collection. It lets the movement fully express its harmonious shape, aerial skeletonization, and high-end finishes,” notes Pruniaux. “Light runs along its curved and taut lines, reflecting with different intensities, whether on its polished or matte surfaces. The combination of sapphire with titanium adds rhythm to the pleasing aesthetic and contributes to the light and comfort feel on the wrist.”
The Challenges Of A Sapphire Crystal Case
Producing a sapphire crystal case is no easy feat, as the raw material must first be perfectly transparent before it is machined. Add to this the extreme durability of sapphire (rated 9 out of 10 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale), and it is extremely difficult to sculpt and polish. These operations are carried out using diamond-tipped tools, the only material harder than sapphire.
“The case construction contributes greatly to the watch’s complexity. The caseback, case, movement, and bezel are screwed together along one single axis, which requires perfectly precise milling and adds tensions and constraints within the case. Consequently, producing a case in sapphire is indeed a real technical challenge,” explains Pruniaux.
The Skeletonized Movement
Beating at the heart of the watch is a re-worked version of the skeletonized GP01800 automatic movement comprised of 172 components and featuring a 54-hour power reserve. There are four different finishings on the movement, and the anthracite coated bridges and mainplate create a particularly bold look. Also, to maximize the view of the movement, the gold rotor was hollowed out in Girard-Perregaux’s signature style.
A High-Tech Strap
The Laureato Absolute Light is fitted with a black rubber strap, perfectly integrated into the case as if it was made from one single piece. Furthermore, the strap features a micro-adjustment system on the buckle for the utmost comfort on the wrist – linking aesthetics and functionality through every last detail.
The timepiece is limited to 88 pieces, with each numbered edition engraved on the caseback.