A superbly attractive, rare and skeletonised rose gold numbered-edition mechanical wristwatch of the famous Swiss watch brand Girard-Perregaux, founded in 1791. Purchase date: 2017. Case in 18k rose gold, diameter 42mm, 10.88mm thick, skeletonized dial, luminous hour and minute hands, luminous indexes, sapphire caseback. Caliber GP01800-0006, self-winding, finely skeletonized, 18k rose gold skeletonized oscillating weight, power reserve up to 54 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand at 10 o’clock. 18k rose gold Girard-Perregaux bracelet, 18k rose gold Girard-Perregaux triple-blade folding clasp. Numbered edition.
The revival of the Laureato collection occurred in 2016, when two commemorative limited-editions were introduced for the 225th anniversary of the company. It was a vintage-inspired piece, at least for the distinctive case design, sized accordingly to modern tastes and powered by a mechanical self-winding caliber, while the original 1975 version was fitted with a quartz movement. The fully-fledged comeback of the Laureato collection, as a pillar collection, happened in 2017, with a comprehensive range of 42mm, 38mm and 34mm watches, in steel, two-tone, titanium, ceramic or gold, with time-and-date movement, chronograph, tourbillon, and skeletonized calibres.
The 42mm Laureato Skeleton, first introduced in 2017, is a modern version of a luxury lifestyle sports watch that combines a comfortable wearing experience with an impressive presentation of the high-class skeletonized mechanical movement within. Girard-Perregaux produces it in stainless steel or in 18k rose gold, as in the present watch, and also in black ceramic. A modern Laureato is one of the finest examples of an elegant sports watch on an integral bracelet.
Special attention is paid to the impeccable hand finishing of the sharp internal angles. Only a few haute horlogerie brands undertake this extremely time-consuming operation
The traditional art of the skeleton watch, which has been present in watchmaking for many centuries, is characterized by a baroque style with finely trimmed skeletonized parts of the movement, where carving and engraving are used in abundance, so that the overall mechanism leaves the impression of a metallic lace. The style of skeletonization used by Girard-Perregaux in the development of the Laureato Skeleton belongs to the relatively recent art déco period, when watchmakers of the best watch brands began to abandon excessive detailing in favour of a more laconic and clearly expressed image, where pure geometry dominated. This style is emphasized in the Laureato Skeleton by the use of a dark anthracite metal coating of the mainplate and bridges, which gives the movement a somewhat technical character, as well as the costly use of manual labour in decorating all the components of the movement. The skeletonized mainplate, bridges and rotor are finally finished with fine straight grinding, chamfering and polishing, where special attention is paid to the impeccable hand finishing of the sharp internal angles. Only a few haute horlogerie brands undertake this extremely time-consuming operation, with most of them doing their best to avoid the additional cost of this work, which is nevertheless highly valued by connoisseurs and discerning collectors. It seems problematic to accurately calculate all the appropriately elaborated internal angles in the Laureato Skeleton movement – there are clearly more than two dozen of them.
The movement itself is the skeletonized version of the in-house Girard-Perregaux GP01800-0006 self-winding caliber, which was further reinforced – for the first time in a GP1800 movement – by the use of a variable-inertia (free-sprung) balance.
Reasons to bid
The Laureato Skeleton Ref. 81015-52-002-052A is a superbly attractive purchase for the collector, offering the opportunity to obtain an attractive, rare and spectacular mechanical métiers d’art wristwatch with haute horlogerie skeletonized movement from a world-famous traditional watch brand, one of the undoubted leaders in the haute horlogerie watch market. This watch is an impressive showpiece of traditional craftsmanship, and a kind of skeletonization art masterpiece, destined to be worn on the wrist. The refined finish of the skeletonized movement is complemented by such a rare quality for this art – the watch is truly weighty, coming in at over 200 grams on a solid gold bracelet.