The Laureato Skeleton was unveiled to the Swiss press by Girard-Perregaux CEO Antonio Calce himself, before he left for a world tour. He described this doubly innovative creation as a “very light” and “sparkling” watch, pointing out that the Laureato line already includes 34 references for men and women, in four sizes and with four calibres.
Antonio Calce emphasised that the Laureato was designed by an architect from Milan who drew inspiration from the octagonal shape of a Florentine chapel, and not by Gérald Genta as many people assume. The architect’s vision is particularly evident in the Laureato Skeleton, which clearly shows the interplay between the interior and exterior of the watch. The ergonomics and structure of this haute horlogerie timepiece contribute to the overall aesthetic, as does the varying geometry of the case contrasted with the octagonal bezel and the openworked dial, the sleek curves continuing into the precisely sculpted links of the delicate bracelet. In describing the watch, the company uses iconic architectural references such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York, whose muscular curves proudly advertise the dialogue between its inside and outside, the Place de l’Etoile, star of the Parisian cityscape, and the works of Oscar Niemeyer, particularly his reconfiguration of Brasilia.
Aesthetic sensitivity backed up by technical sophistication
In the Laureato Skeleton, the GP1800 movement family comes for the first time with a variable-inertia balance wheel for even greater precision. The skeletonised 18-karat gold rotor makes its own spectacular contribution to the mechanical lacework, while providing a comfortable 54-hour power reserve. Plates and bridges are all intricately openworked, showcasing the hand-finishing that has cemented Girard-Perregaux’ reputation, notably on the stage of the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, where the company was rewarded on two separate occasions. Here, manual chamfering emphasises the curved edges of the automatic skeletonised movement, whose minimal remaining surface area is given a matt finish through a combination of satin-brushing and an anthracite surface treatment. Dark flashes and sparks of light captured by the surface textures play across the face of the dial. The aerial and delicate appearance of the Laureato Skeleton belies the robustness of the watch, which is water-resistant to 100 metres (for the steel version – 50 metres in gold). At the presentation in Les Ambassadeurs in Zurich, Antonio Calce announced that the first 30 would be delivered in May, with no more than 150 of the Laureato Skeleton due to be produced by the end of 2017. Other models will be unveiled before the end of the year.