Let me be very clear from the start, for me this is the BEST collaborative watch release from any watchmaker/carmaker partnership in recent memory. When I heard that Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux were teaming up, I liked both companies, but felt that what they’d wind up creating would either be boring or the same gimmicky stuff that all too often comes from these types of partnerships. I can gladly say that I was wrong, and if this second collaborative watch between them is any indication of what’s going to come from this partnership, we’re in for a treat for years to come.
For a bit of history to help explain the colour choice here, in the early 1900’s, certain colours were assigned to different countries to easily denote the home nation of a race car’s team. The colours were blue for France, red for Italy, silver for Germany, yellow for Belgium, and green for Great Britain… a colour which became known as “British Racing Green”. Aston Martin, being a British company, adopted the same green and has used it on many of their cars over the years, possibly most notably in 1959 at Le Mans when Aston Martin won the 24-hour event with their green DBR1.
The dial of this watch isn’t known as a British Racing Green dial though, but instead an “Aston Martin Green” one. The finished dial colour is the result of seven individual layers of paint created from a total of twenty-one paint applications. The reason for the dial pattern was twofold: First, it’s very similar to an Aston Martin logo that was used back in the 1920’s, but second, the dial is evocative of the quilted seats in many of Aston Martin’s cars. The dial also features baton-style indices with green lume, this is echoed in the skeletonised baton hands which also show green lume in lower lighting. They did a good job here with choosing a black date wheel as opposed to a white one… something so many companies do that ruins the look of a darker dial. In this case, the darker date wheel ties in with the hands, subdial outer rings, and the outer ring of the dial.
The watch case comes in at 42mm in diameter and is resistant down to 100m in water. The iconic Laureato case and bracelet here are created out of 904L stainless steel rather than the more industry common 316L. This is a move that Rolex also made a while back with all of their stainless steel watches, but isn’t so common in the industry due to the difficulty (and therefore expense) of machining 904L rather than 316L. Having said that, the 904L is capable of taking a higher polish than 316L steel and is also more durable in terms of scratch and corrosion resistance. The satin-brushed bracelet wears very nicely and uses a triple-folding clasp to secure the watch.
Visible through the caseback is Girard-Perregaux’s in-house Cal. GP03300-0141 (comprised of 419 pieces, 63 jewels). This marks the first time that a Laureato Chronograph has featured a sapphire caseback. Visible through the sapphire crystal are the marks of high-end craftsmanship in watchmaking, including various forms of Côtes de Genève, as well as perlage and blued screws. The 4Hz automatic movement possesses a power reserve of 46 hours. On the sapphire crystal itself is the Aston Martin name and logo, while on the steel portion of the caseback is “One of 188”, as while this watch is limited in production, it isn’t individually numbered.
In terms of my thoughts on this watch, I think my first sentence pretty much summed things up. This is the best collaboration between a car manufacturer and a watch manufacturer that I can remember. Also nice is how well each brand seems to compliment the other. Both a little smaller, more niche, neither overly flashy. This is a great release and something that both companies should be able to stand behind proudly. Taking all of that out of consideration and just looking at the watch itself, this is a home run for Girard-Perregaux. The company has seemed to reserve their less traditional colours for the “Absolute” Laureato line, a line that I haven’t been overly impressed with as of late. It’s nice to see them finally trying something a little different within the standard Laureato Chronograph line, giving us something different, yet still retaining all the characteristics that make a Laureato such an attractive and special watch. Even while sitting here and playing Monday-morning quarterback, I can say that I wouldn’t have done a single thing differently if it had been me designing the watch. Between this Laureato and Patek’s new green dial 5711 Nautilus, I’m picking this watch all day long. Between this and any of the green Submariners or green Royal Oaks, I’m still picking this watch. This may be the best green, steel sports watch ever made. As I said before, I’m looking forward to what else these two companies will do together with future watch releases. More than that, this release just solidifies my thoughts on how well Girard-Perregaux can make a watch, hopefully they continue with home run releases like this going forward.
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition is limited to 188 pieces and is priced at 18,100 USD.