The new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph AM F1 Edition, the third model in partnership with Aston Martin and its Formula 1 team, once again is a winner right at the starting line. The watchmaker mixes racing carbon with titanium powder and rubber to premiere a watch with a very sharp-looking lightweight case and an ultra-strong high-tech Racing Green strap.
As noted, the new watch, a very sporty black and green chronograph with an unusual carbon case, is the third collaboration from Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin. The companies have previously collaborated on two watches: the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition and the Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition.
In keeping with its partner’s racing lineage, Girard-Perregaux’s case makers mixed various carbon components used in two 2021 F1 race cars with titanium powder to forge the new watch’s case.
When combined with a green-tinted resin, the resulting 44mm octagonal Laureato case is as tough as steel, according to the watchmaker. In addition, this mixing of materials means each watch will display a slightly different green and black pattern on its case, bezel and crown protector.
The dial on the watch is presented in sunray ‘Aston Martin Racing Green’ and is adorned with a cross-hatching motif that can be traced back to the Aston Martin ‘AM’ badge of 1921.
Girard-Perregaux also extends its technical innovation to the watch’s strap to create another first for the watchmaker: The strap is made of rubber and carbon elements taken from two 2021-season Formula One racecars. The strap is then combined with Aston Martin Racing Green fabric covering and linked to the wrist with a micro adjustment system.
Inside Girard-Perregaux fits its excellent Caliber GP03300-1058, which is visible via a sapphire caseback. That visibility is a first for any Laureato Absolute Chronograph.
Girard-Perregaux is limiting its Laureato Absolute Chronograph AM F1 Edition to 306 pieces, which represents the total distance in miles drivers Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel will aim to cover on race day at the 2022 British Grand Prix.
Specifications: Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph AM F1 Edition(Reference: 81060-41-3071-1CX , a limited edition of 306 pieces).
Case: 44mm by 15.15mm titanium and carbon case, with carbon extracted from two Formula One racecars. Sapphire crystal and back. Back with white Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team decal.
Dial: Sunray ‘Aston Martin Racing Green’ with cross-hatching, indexes with luminescent green emission. Hands: skeletonized baton type with luminescent green emission. Chronograph hands in yellow. Water resistance to 100 meters.
Movement: GP03300-1058 automatic, frequency of 28,800 Vph, power reserve of 46 hours. Functions: Chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds, date.
Strap: GP Rubber Alloy in Aston Martin Racing Green – a mix of rubber and carbon extracted from two Formula One race cars used during the 2021 season, fabric effect and green stitches. Buckle: Folding with micro adjustment system, titanium with black PVD treatment.
With the new Casquette 2.0, Girard-Perregaux revisits its Casquette, a futuristic tubular LED watch first seen in 1976. The watchmaker this week introduces an updated version of the quartz-powered watch with new case materials and new functions.
Like the original model, which Girard-Perregaux offered from 1976 to 1978, the new version retains a forward-facing, driver’s-watch-style case and characteristic red LED display showing the hours, minutes, seconds, day, and date.
For the Casquette 2.0 update however, Girard-Perregaux has added several functions to the display, including the month, year, a chronograph, a second time zone display and a ‘secret’ date. (The latter function allows the wearer to save a memorable date, such as an anniversary or birthday, to appear each day at a time specified by the wearer.)
To complement the new features Girard-Perregaux also updates the Casquette’s watchcase by utilizing black ceramic and grade 5 titanium. The original Casquette was offered in three case variants: polycarbonate, yellow gold plate and steel.
Astute observers may recall that Girard-Perregaux entered a Casquette into last year’s Only Watch charity auction. That one-off watch featured a new movement, the Caliber GP03980, which now powers the Casquette 2.0 series. Made in collaboration with Bamford Watch Department, the watch sold for CHF 100,000, and foreshadowed the release of the Casquette 2.0.
“Not all watches retain their looks and desirability with the passage of time,” says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux. “However, since production of the original Casquette ceased in 1978, the interest in this watch has never diminished. We regularly receive inquiries and have witnessed these models attract much attention, fetching 10 times their original sales price on the pre-owned market.”
To display the time or access any of the new Casquette 2.0 features, the wearer must first press a pusher. This on-demand feature extends the quartz movement’s battery life, which Girard-Perregaux estimates is two years.
The newly designed ceramic bracelet features a rubber interior that Girard-Perregaux says is “more flexible and comfortable than its counterpart fitted to the original Casquette.” And you’ll now find a folding titanium buckle holding the bracelet to the wrist.
Girard-Perregaux is limiting the production of the new Casquette to 820 pieces– a reference to 8,200, the total number of Casquette watches made in the 1970s. The pricing for the Casquette 2.0 is almost as retro as the watch design: $4,700. Already sold out on the Girard-Perregaux website, you might find it in select Girard-Perregaux retailers.
Specifications: Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0
(A limited edition of 820 pieces)
Case: 42.40mm by 33.60mm by 14.64mm black ceramic and grade 5 titanium, grade 5 titanium pushers, sapphire crystal. Case-back: titanium secured by 4 screws. Water resistance: 50 meters.
Kering, the multi-national fashion house that owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and many other well-known clothing, leather and jewelry brands, has agreed to sell Swiss watchmakers Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin to their current management team.
The Kering press release is below. We’ll keep you informed as we hear additional details about the deal.
“Kering announces the signature of an agreement to sell its entire stake (100%) in Sowind Group SA, which owns the Swiss watch manufacturers Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin, to its current management.
With a long tradition in watchmaking, Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin have continuously evolved since their acquisition by Kering, while preserving their identity. Combining an innovative approach to design and technical know-how, they have revamped their product universe, launched new iconic models, and reorganized their distribution, with the opening of directly operated stores and stronger ties with the leading watch distributors.
The Group has supported the two Houses in their development, strengthened their positioning and ensured they have adequate resources to finance their growth. It has confidence in the management in place to successfully pursue the work undertaken.
This transaction is in line with Kering’s strategy, giving priority to the Houses with the potential to become sizable assets within the Group, and to which it can provide decisive support over time.
“The extensive work carried out by the Group in recent years at Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin has laid the foundations for sustainable growth. Kering has demonstrated its ability to secure the conditions for the long- term development of entities leaving the Group, in the interest of their employees, partners, customers and local communities,” declared Jean-François Palus, Kering’s Group Managing Director.
“On the sound foundations laid thanks to Kering’s support and investments, we have the right setup and resources to implement a plan capable of ensuring the long-term development of both brands” declared Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin since 2018.
The financial impacts related to this disposal will be reported in the accounts closed on December 31, 2021. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the first half of 2022.”
Girard-Perregaux updates its sporty steel Laureato with two grand feu enamel dials to create the Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition.
The new glossy blue and green dial colors nicely complement the Laureato’s signature brushed and polished steel case and bracelet, a combination new for Girard-Perregaux when it debuted the first Laureato collection in 1975. At the time, integrated steel bracelet watches were novel among luxury watchmakers.
The new Laureato 42mm Eternity Edition joins other Eternity models, including those within the brand’s La Esmeralda Tourbillon and Cat’s Eye collections. All the new Eternity models are meant to celebrate Girard-Perregaux’s 230th anniversary.
“With our Eternity Editions, much like the Infinity Editions that preceded them in 2020, we wanted to produce a limited number of watches that showcase our expertise for the enjoyment of generations to come,’ says Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux.
Girard-Perregaux makes the grand feu enamel dials at its in-house facility using a time-honored high-temperature firing process. Artisans mix metallic powders that they then dust onto the dial and fire in an 800-degree Celsius oven. This process is repeated up to ten times to achieve the desired glossy appearance.
Girard-Perregaux explains that flawless grand feu enamel dials will look new and brilliant for generations, hence their use for the new Eternity Editions.
The watchmaker’s artisans add a final guilloché sunray motif to the new dials to enhance its brilliance when seen in light. Note that the watch’s date display features white numerals on a dial-color disc, a feature that Girard-Perregaux says follows long-time “horological etiquette.”
Inside, the watchmaker places its excellent GP01800 automatic caliber with a pink gold oscillating weight and Côtes de Genève on the bridges. The movement also shines with hand-beveled edges, mirror-polished screws, circular graining on the main plate and engraved gilded text.
The Girard-Perregaux is making 188 of each of the blue or green-dialed Laureato 42mm Eternity Editions. Middle East retailer Seddiqi will sell both versions during December. After January 1, 2022, Girard-Perregaux will offer the watches globally through its retailers and on its e-commerce site. Price: CHF 13,460.
Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.
By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle
In this final installment of our series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight Girard-Perregaux and Richard Mille.
Girard-Perregaux has signed a multi-year agreement as the official watch partner of British automotive manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda and the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 team. Both brands are commemorating milestones this year: founded in 1791, the Swiss watchmaker is one of the oldest fine watchmaking manufactures still in operation and celebrates its 230th anniversary, while Aston Martin marks its return to Formula 1 after a hiatus of over sixty years.
For the 2021 F1 season, Girard-Perregaux branding appears on Aston Martin F1 car rear-view mirrors and team uniforms. Girard-Perregaux’s and Aston Martin’s design teams have participated in high-level discussions on movements, esthetics, functionality, material usage and ergonomics.
Several limited-edition timepieces will be unveiled, the first of which was released last June.
Revisiting a Girard-Perregaux legend, the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition is an 18-piece skeletonized high-end timekeeper with no dial or bezel. Three black PVD-treated titanium bridges appear to float between panes of sapphire crystal.
The lightweight, 79-component tourbillon cage weighs in at only 0.25 grams, thereby reducing energy consumption, while the micro-rotor’s vertical flank is etched with the Aston Martin name filled with white luminescence.
In a world first, Girard-Perregaux introduces an innovative material never used before in watchmaking on its calf leather strap: a central insert in rubber injected with white gold.
“Rarely do we work with others to reinterpret the Three Bridges, explains CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “However, on this occasion, we have made an exception, mindful of Aston Martin’s prowess for design.”
Later in 2021, a second timepiece will be launched, from another of the manufacture’s iconic collections. We can also expect to see Girard-Perregaux clocks in Aston Martin road cars.
Girard-Perregaux has a long history of collaborations with the automotive universe. During the mid-1990s, then owner and car enthusiast Luigi Macaluso began a ten-year partnership with Ferrari, and together they produced the highly-successful Ferrari watches.
“Girard-Perregaux has had strong ties to the automotive world in the past, which we were keen to reactivate in a stronger way,” notes Clémence Dubois, Girard-Perregaux’s chief marketing and product officer.
Calling its timepieces ‘racing machines on the wrist,’ Richard Mille is no stranger to the automotive world, with friends and partners like Jean Todt, Alain Prost, Felipe Massa, Sébastien Loeb and the Venturi Formula E team. The brand even owns an all-women LMP2 racing team.
After discussions for Richard Mille’s collaboration with both Ferrari’s racing and road car divisions were initiated last summer, this year it is partnering two F1 teams – Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren Racing – while continuing personal relationships with F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher.
The new multi-year tie-up extends from Formula 1, WEC endurance programs and Competizioni GT to the renowned Ferrari Challenge single-model championship for gentlemen drivers worldwide as well as for the Ferrari Driver Academy. Starting in 2022 Richard Mille will launch a series of watches bearing the famous Ferrari Prancing Horse logo, developed by Richard Mille’s team in Switzerland and Ferrari’s designers and engineers.
“Richard Mille has since its inception been viewed as the Formula 1 of watchmaking,” says Tim Malachard, Richard Mille’s marketing director. “The inspiration of materials and technology found in F1 being applied to produce extremely technical, ergonomic and light timepieces. It is also not a secret that those who like cars and motor racing are also fans of watches. Ferrari and Richard Mille share many common values, and many of our customers are owners of either brand, so another good reason to collaborate over the next few years.”
To mark its fifth year of partnership with McLaren Automotive, Richard Mille launched the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail last May in tribute to the fastest road-going car the British carmaker has ever built, with a top speed of 250 mph. The watch is available in a limited edition of 106 timepieces to match the exclusivity of the 106 Speedtail hypercars.
“There are many similarities between the way that Richard Mille and McLaren approach common design and engineering challenges, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimizing resistance,” says Rob Melville, McLaren automotive’s design director.
The watch’s lines mimic the car’s teardrop shape – significantly wider at 12 o’clock than at 6 o’clock – and its bezel indentations evoke bonnet openings while its pushers recall air outlets behind the front wheels.
The watch also debuts numerous firsts in a Richard Mille-manufactured automatic tourbillon: in-house power reserve display, oversize date and function selector complications. Richard Mille’s casing department required an unprecedented 2,800 hours over eighteen months to perfect the contours of the titanium and Carbon TPT case, with the conception of five prototypes before the optimum shape was reached.
As the case tapers between the bezel and caseback, Richard Mille developed an innovative upper crystal glass featuring a “triple contour” to protect the movement.
Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.