Girard-Perregaux Laureato is one of those timeless pieces. For more than 40 years, Il Laureato (as the “The graduate” in Italian – the birthplace of the watch and its name) managed to grow a cult. After the review of the three hands version and its lifestyle-oriented gallery article, it is the time to turn to the chronograph version. For today, the panda style dial Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Chronograph Ref. 81020-11-131-11.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Chronograph Ref. 81020-11-131-11 Review
Laureato was born during the Quartz Crisis and launched in 1975. Its appearance was following the trend of the ’70s of a more complex case with a multitude of finishes. Many notable and iconic pieces were born in the same era. To mention only two: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 1972 and Patek Philippe Nautilus in 1976 – the Laureato’s direct design competitors. During many years, Laureato was falsely accused to copy a Gerald Genta design or even to be created by him. Not only that Laureato was born and launched before many of Genta’s designs, but the watch also follows the general trend of those years. We can say about these pieces that they were a victim of those times’ fashion. More about the history of Laureato can be found in this review of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Ref. 81010-11-634-11A.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Chronograph official video:
Before getting into more details about Laureato chrono, let’s have a look at the wrist roll video with on the wrist and of the wrist hands-on handling:
Matt, polished, matt. And again: matt, polished, matt – a game of case finishes
I find the Laureato on the bracelet as the truest and the cutest and desirable version. The Laureato on leather strap looks good but is unjust to the beauty of Laureato. The steel bracelet is a continuation of the case. Imagine Michelangelo’s David only as a bust. It will still be beautiful, but the entire image suffers. It needs the entire body to fully show its greatness.
The 42mm case respects the Laureato’s origin. The inspiration came from a Florence cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore and can be found in the combination of the polished and brushed surfaces of the bezel. The octagonal top sits on the bezel’s raised round base evoking Filippo Brunelleschi‘s unusual design.
The case body is flat with a fine horizontal brushing, giving a matt look. The inwardly curved lugs permit seamless integration of the bracelet and comfortable wear. The chamfered and polished case’s edge is lovely continued to the crown’s protection.
The combination of octagonal and round shapes can be also found well integrated into the design of the screwed-in crown and pushers. The crown is decorated with the GP logo embossed on a polished background, offering the same great playful contrast as the watch’s face. The screw-in pushers’ shape is excellently designed for grip and features an octagonal base with a cylindrical head.
The solid caseback is fixed using 6 screws. The place of the crystal’s opening seen in the three hands version‘s design is filled with a matt finish surface engraved with a mirror view of the watch’s face. The name of the watch takes the central stage of the caseback. The piece bears the brand’s name, water-resistance and reference and serial number on a polished background.
As mentioned earlier, the bracelet takes the beauty of the Laureato’s face to another level. The combination of polished inner links and brushed elements is fabulous. Moreover, the exterior side of the links features a polished beveling that continues the design of the case. The triple folding clasp is comfortable. The end link stands out with the “GP” logo engraved on a matt-polished area.
“I find you very desirable. I think you are the most desirable of all”
I have to admit that, at my first encounter, I was not extraordinarily impressed by the combination of the silverish white with the black chrono sub-dials. After spending some time and using the chono function on a daily basis, I discovered that I really enjoy it. The legibility is very good and the watch stands-out on the wrist.
The “Clou de Paris” pattern looks magical – it catches the light from all direction. The pattern is “interrupted” by the Girard-Perregaux’s name and founding year on the plate under twelve o’clock placed logo. The applied hour indexes are manufactured in blued polished steel and filled with luminescent, offering enhanced visibility in low light. The baton hour indexes are surrounded by the minute/seconds register with printed indexes. The baton hands in blued steel complete the dial.
The three subdials design of the chrono is classic. The running small seconds are placed on the right, the chrono 30-minutes counter on the left and the 12-hours chrono counter on the lower side of the dial. The engraved circles of the black subdials brake the monotony by adding a new dimension to the “catching the light” game of the dial’s hobnail pattern.
The date aperture is discretely executed between four and five o’clock on the Laureato. The date disk with black prints on white dial tends to get away from the silvery dial scheme but not in a quite disturbing way. Just that the white background stands-out a bit too much.
One of the most important aesthetic characteristic of the Laureato’s Ref. 81020-11-131-11 is the colour changing behaviour depending on the light’s source and angle. In the picture above can be noticed how the watch’s surfaces (case and dial) behave in the light. The hands and indexes can be bright blue or dark black, the polished surfaces can shine on bright or appear black. The watch is a real eye-catcher, and its strong character is highlighted by well-finished details.
“Well, I would say that I’m just drifting”
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Chronograph Ref. 81020-11-131-11 is powered by the calibre GP03300-0137. Since it is hidden under the ful steel caseback, we can only speculate what is really there. But I expect nothing less than on the three hands’s GP01800.
On the specification list, GP03300-013 is decorated with Côtes de Genève, circular graining and bevelling. Unfortunately, the viewer is not blessed with the beauty of the movement’s finishes.
On the technical side, the chronograph promises a minimum of 46 hours of power reserve, kept in precision by the 4 Hz oscillator. For a self-winding watch meant to be worn daily, it is more than enough. The calibre GP03300-013 comprises 419 components from which 63 are jewels.
You’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?
But it is already too late… I am deeply in love with the Laureato Collection for ages. This panda chronograph is just a cherry on top – Chronograph Ref. 81020-11-131-11 makes no exception.
The watch is comfortable on the wrist despite its relatively heavy weight. The inward lugs make the wear smaller as expected. I am used to wearing full metal bracelet watches and the Ref. 81020-11-131-11 imposed no issue.
Using the watch is fun. Now, if you wish to use the chrono function fast, then is an issue. One needs to unscrew the chrono-pushers first and after the chrono can be used. The unscrewed pushers offer an even better grip and larger pushing surface. But unscrewing can be a cumbersome operation in some situations. Despite the small inconvenient, I prefer it so instead with just “exposed” pushers. Setting and winding the watch is a facile process of-the-wrist. How easy is to use the chrono on the wrist can be observed in the video at the beginning of the article.
What I don’t know if the water resistance includes the use of the chronograph.
As conclusion: Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Chronograph Ref. 81020-11-131-11 is a lovely watch. A nice appearance, a useful companion and a sports watch that can easily “go” with a more elegant attire. Of course, not suitable for a black-tie situation where a three hands version on a leather strap is a better option. But as an everyday watch, the Laureato chrono could be your best friend.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Chronograph Ref. 81020-11-131-11 Technical Specifications and Price
- Material: 904L steel
- Diameter: 42,00 mm
Height: 12,01 mm
Dial: Silver with “Clou de Paris” pattern
Water resistance: 10 ATM
Buckle: Triple folding
Buckle material: Steel
- Number: GP03300-013
- Type: Self-winding mechanical movement
- Diameter: 25,95 mm (11 1/2”’)
- Height: 6,50 mm
- Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h – (4 Hz)
- Number of components: 419
- Jewels: 63
- Oscillating weight: Steel
- Finishes: Côtes de Genève, circular graining and bevelling
- Power reserve: Min. 46 hours