From the SIHH 2017 range of Girard-Perregaux, two watches appealed to me the most: the Neo Bridges and the Laureato Skeleton. Both watches happened to be available in Bangkok this past September, and the decision to feature only one of them was a tough one. But given the brand’s greater focus on the revamped 1975-born collection, I choose to contribute to the momentum.
Design-wise, the Laureato’s aesthetic signature is the stepped bezel where a radially brushed octagon sits on a polished circle, which is in turn on top of the horizontally brushed case. This watch measures 42 mm in diameter and is of such a suitable thickness that the presence can be felt but not to the point of being imposing. Its integrated bracelet also wraps around a moderately sized wrist like a charm. But the reason anyone should consider this watch is the open worked design of the self-winding movement.
Legibility is preserved, thanks to the use of rather bold hands, the anthracite grey finish of the bridges and the presence of the dial flange for the minute chapters and the hour markers. An exposed barrel that stores energy for 54 hours of autonomy can be seen at the five o’clock position. It is kept wound, when the watch is worn, by the skeletonised pink gold rotor whose contemporary motif echoes that of the bridges. You can even see its fluid motion from the front, through the openness of the movement. Meanwhile, the balance wheel dutifully oscillates at the 12 o’clock position, underneath the GP logo.
The Laureato Skeleton is available in stainless steel or pink gold. Would I buy this watch? Probably not, because I like the Neo Bridges more. Would I choose this over the Laureato Tourbillon? In a heartbeat. As much as tourbillons are lauded, I feel that the look of the skeletonised movement takes precedent over any performance advantage of a tourbillon. But, of course, you need to choose what is best for you as an individual buyer.