The historic roots of an iconic model
1975: the origins
In 1975, girard-Perregaux introduced the Laureato, a timepiece that single-handedly broke all the conventions of that time in terms of the shape, the materials and the movement. Suggested by girard-Perregaux’s Italian distributor, the name is a nod to the film world. It is inspired by and bears the same name in italian as the Mike Nichols film The Graduate (1967) starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross.
The superior quality of steel: a bold move
If historians were to choose the watershed moment when the watchmaking industry began using steel as a quality material to make high-end watches look sportier, they would also have to factor in the Laureato’s trajectory from its period of development to its release in 1975.
Right from the beginning, this model also featured gold, which was particularly unusual for watches of this type.
The word bold has always been part of the Girard-Perregaux vocabulary. The design of this watch was an inspired move at a time when marketing departments hadn’t yet taken their first steps into the world of watchmaking.
An innovative modular shape
The Laureato’s polished octagonal bezel embedded in a satin-brushed case makes it a pioneering model in the integrated bracelets category. The bracelet’s aesthetically pleasing design didn’t sacrifice comfort or flexibility and not long after, a polished strip was added across all of the polished-hinge satin-brushed links. The watch features a beautiful interplay of shiny and matte or – for models with a gold bezel and links adorned with gold insets – a combination of precious yellow and sporty gray. As soon as the Laureato was introduced, it was a notable part of the emerging trend for two-toned watches.
A caliber that set the standard
While today the Laureato’s design is obviously iconic, when it was first released Girard-Perregaux was focusing its efforts on completing a pivotal technological advance. At a time when the arrival of quartz in Swiss watchmaking was threatening to upset the most established balances, the brand began developing a quartz movement in-house.
By setting the quartz’s oscillation frequency at 32,768 hz, Girard-Perregaux set the standard for quartz movement timekeeping. This was when dials were first beginning to be marked with “Quartz Chronometer,” as are all watches that pass a stringent inspection for precision. This standard is still the quality benchmark today and the international standard for makers of quartz movements.