Getting the Green: Test Driving the New Girard-Perregaux Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition
A quick apology to any readers who may be expecting an exploration of eco-friendliness here based on the headline; if that describes you, heed my warning: Look elsewhere.
The “green” party at issue here, with both automotive and horological elements, is the latest offspring of Girard-Perregaux and Aston Martin’s partnership. And it is all about unapologetic fossil-fuel thrills and deadly-gorgeous timepiece chills, making it decidedly easier, if not specifically efficient, to be green.
In 2022 Girard-Perregaux released the Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition, which Watchonista paired with the surprisingly nimble Aston Martin DBX crossover, and its spirit was definitely aligned with the carmaker’s F1 racing efforts.
The watch tapped into F1 race car-derived titanium powder and carbon elements for the case and bezel, with similarly sourced carbon elements blended with FKM rubber for its ground-breaking strap. It then married those materials with unmistakable visual elements that evoked an homage to Aston Martin’s own design cues, but only hinted at the significance of the green hue that spiritually ties the car and watch together.
However, as its name suggests, the new Girard-Perregaux Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition is all about the green. But before we get into this new timepiece, a brief discussion of automotive history to lay down the track, so to speak, needs to be had.
British Racing Green vs. Aston Martin Green
What is often referred to as “British Racing Green” is a dark verdant hue historically associated with the livery of all UK-produced racing cars. As such, more than one British carmaker can lay legitimate claim to the color. But, like the world of watch appreciation, nuance and seemingly small but brand-specific details can speak volumes.
So, while you may see lots of pleasing-to-the-eye variants of British Racing Green among British-made cars, there is only one “Aston Martin Green.” And it is very eye-catching. Fun Fact: Aston Martin’s signature green is actually a variant called tiffany green.
More to the point, and perhaps in a nod to Aston Martin’s unique British Racing Green hue, Girard-Perregaux has “double-clutched” on its latest collaboration with the carmaker, offering it in 38mm and 42mm case sizes to let more people in on the fun. Plus, to top things off, the rich green is produced in ceramic for both the case and bracelet.
Shades of green are notoriously difficult to execute in ceramic. However, Girard-Perregaux’s selection of extremely fine zirconium oxide powder made from micro-beads only a fraction of a micron wide and metallic oxides components deliver those saturated green elements in a form that is authentic to Aston Martin’s racing livery. Not to mention that it is also seven times harder than steel yet open to both the polished and satin finishing that is a hallmark of the Laureato line.
In the Details
Apart from the beating hearts, it is a story of shared spirit for the two timepieces. Specifically, the 38mm version of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition features a self-winding GP03300-2166 movement with a 46-hour power reserve. Meanwhile, its 42mm big sister has a self-winding GP01800-2165 calibre with a 54-hour reserve.
However, both have an exhibition caseback that will give you a grandstand view of the two “engines.” Both also share the sporty octagonal bezel and circular plinth over an elongated, almost tonneau-shaped case that has defined the Laureato collection since its introduction in 1975.
Ditto on the green ceramic components, 3 o’clock date window, minimalist gauging, lumed skeleton baton hour and minute hands, and white-tipped seconds hand. And, in the most prominent nod to Aston Martin’s design DNA, both share a gorgeous 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock moire-faded sun ray green dial with cross-hatching that car aficionados will instantly recognize as the signature grille pattern of the car maker.
Enjoy The Ride!
Perhaps it is just me, but there is sort of essential purity to three-handed timepieces that practically begged a pairing with Aston Martin’s Vantage F1, arguably the 110-year-old marque’s purest expression of sports car spirit. A while the driving dynamics of any Aston Martin, from crossovers to coupes to roadsters to tourers, will play out in the “10” zone, the Vantage F1 was purpose-built for drivers that want to get to “11.”
Our hooptie for the test drive was a 2021 Vantage F1 Edition. But the latest version of this chariot features a thrumming 527hp, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that many purists prefer to the V12-equipped versions of the Vantage. With a 3.6-second hyper-jump from 0 to 62 mph and a top speed of 195 mph, the bad-ass-ness of the current Vantage F1 is amped-up even more with front splitter and rear wing elements based on Aston Martin’s Official FIA F1 Safety Car (also known as a pace car). These additions deliver a whopping 200 kg more downforce than a standard Vantage V8 at full speed.
The bottom line is the car is going to stick to the road, just like the watch is going to stick to your wrist. And I don’t see any problems with either of those options. The Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition starts at $168,500.
Pricing & Availability
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)