The watch industry during the ’70s saw one of its most tumultuous periods, but also its most radical, as a shift in culture led to a boom in design. It also introduced the development of the sports chic or sports luxe watch, elegant and stylish men’s watches with integrated bracelet designs. For a deeper analysis of that trend’s origins, read Adrian Hailwood’s insightful article on the integrated bracelet sports watch.

There were two great names associated with the notable designs of this era, Gérald Genta and Jorg Hysek, as well as a smattering of other names. One is a now-forgotten Italian architect who helped Girard-Perregaux design its own integrated bracelet sports chic watch, the Laureato in 1975. Last year, the brand introduced an update to the Laureato ahead of its 35th anniversary with the Laureato Absolute, a sportier variant of the original watch in a titanium housing with black PVD treatment and an accentuated form.

Absolutely Rockin’

The curved octagonal bezel sits on a brushed case middle which is sharply angled, tapering away to the edge of the case for a highly industrial appearance, paired with an integrated bracelet or rubber strap. A concept watch, the Laureato Absolute Rock, which was made in forged carbon with pigmented glass fibres embedded, was also presented to the public.

Laureato Absolute Rock

This year, the Absolute Rock has been realised in a serial production of 100 pieces. The specs are identical to the concept, with a GP3300 chronograph caliber and 3D dial with cut-out indexes and a 44mm carbon glass case and curved pushers that follow the shape of the Laureato’s case design. As you may recall, carbon glass is done by injection molding at high temperature and pressure, resulting in an ultra-lightweight material that’s 100 times stronger than steel.

The dial displays a small seconds display at 3, 12-hour totaliser at 6 and 30-minute totaliser at 9 o’clock, with a small date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock. Thanks to the pigmented glass fibres embedded in the case, it delivers an ethereal beauty to the case in daylight and in the dark.

Laureato Absolute Rock

Technical Specifications

Movement

Self-winding GP03300-1058; chronograph; 4Hz; power reserve of 46 hours

Case

44mm carbon glass; carbon glass octagon bezel; dial composed of two superimposed, hollowed plates

Strap

Black rubber with a ‘fabric-effect’ and blue topstitching; PVD-treated titanium buckle with a micro-adjustment system

Limited to 100 pieces

Laureato Absolute Rock
Absolute Passion

Two other models of the Laureato Absolute have also emerged this year, along with the Absolute Rock. They continue to expand on the collection’s first models, with new technologies showcased in these timepieces.

A new special edition of the Laureato Absolute chronograph has also been released in a limited edition of 50. The Absolute Passion is constructed in a titanium case with red accents on the pushers and dial in a bold Ferrari red with sunray finishing and circular graining on the 3D dial counters, as well as red hour markers.

Laureato Absolute Passion

The watch also offers a diver-worthy 300m water resistance, which isn’t typically what you’d see on such a chronograph. Powered by the in-house GP3300 caliber, which has been a brand staple for many years now and is a highly reliable chronograph, the watch is paired with a textured, molded rubber strap with a red stitched inlay that gives it a fabric-like look and flexibility. The buckle is also fitted with a micro-adjustment feature, for convenient and easy tweaking at home.

Laureato Absolute Passion

Technical Specifications

Movement

Self-winding GP03300-1058; chronograph; 4Hz; power reserve of 46 hours

Case

44mm titanium with PVD treatment; water resistant to 300 meters (30 atm)

Strap

Rubber with red fabric effect and red stitches; PVD-treated titanium buckle with micro adjustment system

Limited to 50 pieces

Laureato Absolute Passion
Clear As Light

The Laureato Absolute Light shows off the watch from all angles thanks to a sapphire-and-titanium case, with a case middle, bezel and caseback that’s all machined out of sapphire crystal. The main plate itself is an octagon-shaped piece that’s screwed in place to the case and can be seen from the front and back of the watch. It’s the first time the brand has developed an octagonal main plate and it’s truly quite a unique design for the redesigned skeleton GP1800 caliber, which has bridges treated with an anthracite NAC coating for that monochromatic look. The skeleton rotor in gold keeps the movement running smoothly while giving one a relatively unhindered view of the movement from front and back, a swell as the flanges.

Laureato Absolute Light

Titanium components of the case include the integrated lugs and crown, and the black molded rubber strap has a fabric textured inlay and titanium folding buckle with micro-adjustors. On the dial, skeletonised hands indicate the hours and minutes, with a small seconds display just by the balance wheel, indicated with a triple-hand system that looks rather like a turbine. The bridges of the movement are thoroughly hollowed out for maximum viewing exposure of the watch and gear train. From the stark and absolute Laureato Absolutes of the past and present, this is a distinct and bold execution of the future of the Laureato.

Laureato Absolute Light

Technical Specifications

Movement

Self-winding GP01800-1143; 4 Hz; 54 hours power reserve

Case

44mm sapphire and titanium case; 11.56 mm height; sapphire crystal display back engraved with “Limited Edition of 88”; water resistant to 30 meters (3 atm)

Strap

Black rubber; titanium buckle with with micro-adjustment system

Limited to 88 pieces

Laureato Absolute Light