2021 marks the 230th anniversary of Girard-Perregaux. As part of celebrating this incredible occasion, The Maison is going back to some of their iconic creations and recreating some beautiful new timepieces. The latest timepieces released as part of the brand’s celebration is a nod to the birth year of the Manufacture and another significant event that took place in that same year.
Girard-Perregaux’s story began in 1971, when Jean-François Bautte produced his first pocket watch. In this same year, an English Clergyman named William Gregor discovered black sand called menachanite in Cornwall. After analysing this black sand, he found that it contained oxides of iron and an unknown metal. This unknown metal is what we know today as titanium! In modern times, titanium is now used in various fields such as medicine, motorsport, aerospace, and of course watchmaking, showing just how important the discovery of this material is.
This newest creation by Girard-Perregaux, the Laureato Absolute Ti 230, celebrates the brand’s heritage but also the story of William Gregor and titanium.
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Ti 230 comes in a Grade 5 titanium 44mm lightly sandblasted case, which has polished facets that give off a beautiful yet subtle shine. The casing has curves that are beautifully contrasted with the sharp lines of the octagonal bezel and crown. A detail that is subtle yet familiar to those in the know is that the crown is encircled in a rubber ring. This is a first for the brand and it’s done quite tastefully as the rubber ring matches the hue of the rubber strap.
The Laureato Absolute Ti 230 is offered in two different dial variants, with a choice of a blue or grey dial available. The dial itself is made up of a sandwich-type construction, which consists of an upper layer, that has several openings which sit on top of a lower layer. These openings in the upper layer give insight into the lower layer, which is made in grey. The hour indexes and date window are all made from these apertures, with the top layer cut out to show the grey indexes on the lower layer.
The strap used for these timepieces is a design that upholds the tradition of the Maison, which goes back to the original model these models were based on back in 1975. The strap is integrated and is made of GP Rubber Alloy which now contains titanium. The brand has chosen to use FKM rubber for the strap as it offers greater suppleness and resistance when compared to conventional rubber. Fitted with a micro-adjustment system on the strap, the wearer is able to get the most comfortable and optimal fit.
In regards to the design of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230, Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux says that “With the release of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230 we wanted to create a new version of our iconic watch from 1975. This model is modern but encompasses traditional craftsmanship. The sandwich dial construction and GP’s world-premiere Rubber Alloy strap, this time incorporating titanium, are further sumptuous details that also feature on this watch. Finally, while the price may be more inclusive, the quality remains typically Girard-Perregaux and the watch feels just as exclusive as our other models.”
The movement used for the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Ti 230 is the self-winding mechanical Manufacture movement, the Calibre GP03300-1060. Containing 218 components, this calibre produces a frequency of 4hz (28, 800 VpH) and has a minimum power reserve of approximately 46 hours.
The blue and grey variants of the Laureato Absolute Ti 230 are both limited edition models with 230 pieces of each being released. The grey dial variant is available in all authorised Girard-Perregaux retailers along with the brand’s e-commerce website. The blue dial variant however will be sold exclusively by Wempe for one month from its release. Wempe has ten boutiques across Germany as well as stores in London and New York. After this one month is over, the models will be offered like the grey variant, throughout Girard-Perregaux retailers and online.
Wempe was very proud that Girard-Perregaux wanted to offer the models exclusively for sale with them first. Managing owner of Gerhard D. Wempe KG of Wempe, Kim-Eva Wempe says that “Once again, Girard-Perregaux kindly approached us and offered exclusivity for this new model prior to its worldwide launch. We are delighted to have this opportunity and we appreciate the close working relationship we enjoy with Girard-Perregaux, forged over several years but solidified last year when we were fortunate to become their exclusive retailer across Germany.”