Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin released today their next collaboration, the Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition. Bearing iconic elements from two iconic brands, the new 188 limited edition watch pays a tribute to a magnificent heritage and looks into the future. With great pleasure, I am able to reveal to you the new watch with first-hand images and video.
Two special brands, both deeply rooted in history with the craftsmanship and iconic designs: Girard-Perregaux with 230 years of history and a profound understanding of Haute Horlogerie in contemporary and Aston Martin, a car manufacturer that creates and created some of the most beautiful cars in the world. I love both brands to the extreme. So what if you take significant elements of both brands and create a collaboration watch to subtly celebrate the maisons and those who love them? Let’s take a look at the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition:
Steel my heart away
One of the most important aspects of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition could escape even to an expert eye. The case of the new piece is made of steel. Why not titanium or precious metals? – You might ask… But the choice was deliberately taken for the way the watch wears and feels on the wrist. A lightweight metal (like titanium) will not confer that perpetual presence on the wrist. And precious metal will be an unnecessary show of (and not the scope of this watch).
But instead of the 316L steel, Girard-Perregaux opted on Laureato for a special alloy – the 904L. This metal contains a higher chromium and molybdenum percentage. These metals confer increased resistance to rust, corrosion and pitting to the 904L alloy. The copper contained brings a slight warm note. Besides the excellent anticorrosive characteristics, the metal alloy offers an exceptional appearance when properly finished. This gives an unparalleled strong and powerful contrast between the polished and satin-finished areas. This is well visible on the links of the bracelet or on the various surfaces of Laureato’s case.
The legendary Laureato case with shapes within shapes is an excellent stage for how the metal alloy behaves. More details about the construction and the finishes of the Laureato Chrono can be found in the review of the 42mm chrono: Review Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Chronograph Ref. 81020-11-131-11 or on the classic 42mm: Hands-on review Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Ref. 81010-11-634-11A. Also useful if you want to understand the differences between the classic Laurato and the AM Edition.
The spotlights shine upon you
The striking and unusual detail of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition lies on the dial. A strong and fresh British Racing Green (most probably inspired by Britain’s crude green fields and specific to British racing cars) is used as a playground for the dial’s elements. The Aston Martin green is present on the manufacturer’s sportiest cars (and not only). A good and actual example will be the Aston Martin Vantage F1® Edition, and enthusiasts will know that the AMR line came in green, highlighted by a touch of yellow to refine and highlight the sporty lines.
But in the case of Laureato, the dial is designed to be more subtle, for those in the know, and the second present colour is a dark metallic grey, another special colour that highlights in a more sophisticated way the Aston Martin cars (one of my favourites being the DB9). The beautiful sunburst colour is obtained by 21 pulverisations in green lacquer that are meticulously applied on top (avoiding crevices) for 7 resulting layers of lacquer. The car manufacturer uses the same amount for the number of coats of paint and lacquer going into finishing an Aston Martin car.
The dial is where the connoisseurs will recognise the Aston Martin touch. The pattern visible is created using laser engraving. This is inspired by the 1921 Aston Martin’s badge by uniting the lines of “A” and “M”. If I am not mistaken and if I remember well, this pattern was also used as special stitching for seats and other leather covered elements in Aston Martin cars.
Another AM touch is represented by the indexing and Arabic numeral style found on the sub-dials. These are inspired by the vintage instrumentation found on models like DB4 and DB5.
Another Aston Martin element recognisable by purists is the chronograph’s central seconds hand counterweight. This is shaped like the lateral vents found on the chassis of several models: starting with DB4, continuing with DB5 and DB6, stylised on the DBS and AMV8, continuing on various models and slight shape changes until the latest Rapide AMR (which is, of course, in green) or the DB11.
Above, the DB4 and DB5 sides strakes that inspired this subtle and lovely detail.
A big difference between the Laureato Aston Martin and the classic Laureato consists of the hands and the applied indexes. Now the elongated applied indexes step on the exterior register. These elements are matched with the subdials register: circular brushed metal grey with white printing. The hands have a new shape and are partly skeletonised, partly filled with SuperLuminova.
For the first time open – highlighting the logo of Aston Martin
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition is powered by the legendary GP03300 calibre. For the first time, the movement is revealed through a sapphire glass bearing the printed Aston Martin name and logo. Calibre GP03300 uses 419 parts (from which 63 are jewels), beats with 28,800 vph offering 46 hours of power reserve.
It is extraordinary to be able to see in the wild (and not only on watchmakers desk) the beauty of the 3300: Côtes de Gèneve (circular on the rotor and straight on the bridges), bevelling on all bridges and on the rotor weight, mirror-polishing, engravings with a gilded finish and a superb perlage (circular graining). A touch of colour and a sign of Haute Horlogerie is the presence of the blue screws: obtained by heating the steel to 295°C and then immersing it in an alcoholic solution to set the colour.
When legends collide
We have here two legends, Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin expressing in a subtle but recognisable way specific elements. We have an interesting implementation of the Laureato with an unusual and rich dial. We see the Aston Martin “AM” all over the dial (for those who know). Turning the watch, a more recognisable Aston Martin logo floats over the first time visible GP3300 calibre. And it is not disappointing…
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition offers a nice contrast of different finishes due to 904L’s specific look. The dial will catch the surrounding light and will play with it, highlighting the engraved AM details. On the wrist, the GP&AM will feel great with the mention that the weight specific to the steel case and bracelet is not different from the “traditional” Laureato. For me, it feels good to be reminded every moment about the royal jewel I have on my wrist without being burdened. What I especially like about it, it is that is not too loud but has enough elements to be recognised by the right people.
The watch comes in a nice box and leather pouch. The pouch is manufactured from the same leather found in the Aston Martin cars: the car manufacturers own tanneries. The sourcing is done from Scotland where the mildly cold weather and the lack of spikes fences permit high-quality leather without insects bites or scratches. By coincidence, the AM tannery is called Bridge of Weir, making a poetic connection with GP’s own bridges.
Now, the only thing I wish is to have fun in a Vantage F1 Edition and a Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition to test the timings. What a beautiful collaboration.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition Technical Specifications
Reference: 81020-11-001-11A, Limited edition of 188 pieces, not numbered
- Chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds, date
- Reference: GP03300-0141
- Self-winding mechanical movement
- Diameter: 25,95 mm (111/2’’’)
- Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h – (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: min. 46 hours
- Material: 904L steel
- Diameter: 42.00 mm
- Glass: sapphire anti-reflective
- Case-back: anti-reflective sapphire crystal, engraved Aston Martin logo
- Dial: sunray green with Aston Martin diamond pattern, ’baton’ type indexes with luminescent material (green emission)
- Water resistance: 100 meters (10 ATM)
- Material: 904L steel
- Buckle: 904L steel, triple folding
- CHF 17’300 | EUR 18’200 | USD 18’100 | GBP 14’000