Girard-Perregaux has updated their Laureato with a unique case in two flavors via a pair of watches called the Absolute Light & Shade, and Absolute Light & Fire. What might sound like a fancy new vodka cocktail concoction is actually representative of two takes on a translucent case that’s been subjected to a metallisation process. The result are these Shade and Fire themed Laureato watches, rendered in clear but smokey gray and red tones. The rather complex case shape makes for an interesting experience in this material, while the opacity level means the intricate details aren’t lost in the mix. G-P’s take on the high-end integrated sports watch has always stood a bit outside the norm when it comes to these things, and it’s served all the better for it in this execution.
The Laureato was launched in 1975, a year before the Patek Philippe Nautilus, and three years after the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Then and now, the watch stands in good company and while it’s managed to skirt much of the hype that once riddled the references above, it’s remained a low-key favorite of long-time enthusiasts looking to fly under the radar. What these new models lack in subtlety, however, they make up for in their avant garde execution. It’s also worth noting that a 38mm steel Laureato can still be had at retail for under $15k.