Before we get into the story of the Laureato as it stands today, let’s first step back a little. Not too far back, just to May of 2017, when Phillips Watches gathered for their fourth auction in Hong Kong.
The headliner story there, if you recall, was the 43 watches that Laurent Picciotto had put up for sale from his personal collection. Many of these were early versions of watches along with a handful of unique projects that M. Picciotto pursued with brands that retail with the Parisian Chronopassion.
With regards to the Laureato, lot 1017 was a Laureato EV03 Tourbillon of the three sapphire bridges variety — made specifically for M. Picciotto — that garnered a fair bit of attention. Revolution was in the room when the watch was being auctioned and without giving too much away, it was quite fascinating to witness the person who ultimately put in the winning bid.
Now, we can’t tell you outright who this was, but be assured that this was a gentleman associated with the highest levels of horological scholarship, having written multiple books — most of which he does his own watch photography for — and is considered an authority of impeccable integrity. As he was bidding, just the sheer calm and measured way in which he proceeded, not only showed how seasoned this gentleman is, but at the same time suggested that he had interest in the EVO3 Tourbillon with Sapphire Bridges all along.
The point in this little recollection? Simply that when you see a man of such credentials turn his eyes toward a specific timepiece, you know we’ve got something very special on our hands. And why not? With the EVO3 Tourbillon with Sapphire Bridges what you have is Girard-Perregaux’s signature three bridges, patented by the maison in 1884, placed in a watch they created in the mid-70s — in the midst of the Quartz Crisis — but, of course, with its three bridges conceived in a material that all of horology is highly fascinated by in these early years of the 21st century: Sapphire. Mind you that in the early 2000’s, Girard-Perregaux might’ve possibly been one of the first few to have dared to use sapphire to create a movement component.