The passion that drives many of us to obsess over a particular make or model of automobile, often leads to spillover in the non-autos portions of our lives. It might be the norm rather than the exception to see a proud owner wearing branded apparel to match their vehicle at a Cars and Coffee weekend, for instance. And it’s far from rare to find a vintage muscle car or well-tended sports car flanked by old marketing materials or dealer signs in its home garage.
Naturally, the more upscale you go in the car market, the better chance you’ll have to find upscale accessories as well. A “matching” wristwatch, for instance, can be a fine and subtle way to message the conviction of your passion for a brand like Aston Martin.
Gallery: Girard-Perregaux Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition Review
I’ve been fascinated with mechanical watches for most of my life, and over the last decade have finally had the means and opportunity to turn that interest into a collection of timepieces. So when the opportunity came (a second time) to spend a week with the latest Girard-Perregaux and Aston collaboration, I jumped at the chance.
The Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition is a very long name for a deceptively simple timepiece. Functionally, the watch tells me the time and date – with remarkable accuracy – and nothing more. And yet, in much the same way an Aston DBX transports a person very differently than say a Toyota RAV4 – both SUVs but they couldn’t be further apart otherwise – the details in every glance at the Laureato make it a special experience.
To start, this is the first all-ceramic watch I’ve ever worn. I’ve owned watches with ceramic parts and cases, but the G-P you see here utilizes the material for just about everything you can touch, including a magically light and smooth bracelet. Even with this more substantial 42-millimeter case (the watch is also offered in a 38mm size), the Laureato feels like nothing on my wrist in comparison to my similarly sized but all-steel Omega Speedmaster Professional, for instance.
Perhaps more impressive, the ceramic is incredibly hard, durable, and scratch-resistant, meaning owners could wear this $20,300 piece with less preciousness than you might expect. Between the hardiness of the construction and the flashy color, this actually does seem like a perfect watch to wear at the business end of an F1 pit or paddock. (In fact, I suspect a lot of Aston owners will love wearing this to watch a race, at least.)
But let’s talk about the British Racing Green tone-on-tone colorway of this watch. The color is actually incredibly hard to describe or photograph because it’s so variable and “alive” based on the exact lighting conditions.
The bracelet, insanely finished with links that split between straight brushing and a high polish, vacillates between a very dark, almost black-green in low light, to something like a backlit piece of cut jade in direct sun.
Getting that kind of variation from a watch dial, meanwhile, is more commonplace, but no less spectacular here. The cross-hatched dial is said to be inspired by the first Aston Martin logo, and each little “diamond” of flat surface that the pattern creates moves and shimmers as you turn your wrist.
I did my best with the original photos here to show a tiny bit of this impressive color story, and shot a short video to show you the watch in direct sunlight.
For the true watch nerds, the view of G-P’s in-house Calibre GP01800 automatic movement is even more compelling than that of the dial. Look past the engraved Aston Martin Logo (the only overt piece of Aston branding on the watch, and I’d just as soon it wasn’t there), and you’ll see a highly decorated movement. I’ll quote from the press release that some components are “...endowed with bevelling, mirror-polishing, satin finish, snailing, sunray finish, and various engravings.” That isn’t to be sycophantic on my part, but to underline my astonishment that this level of detail can be accomplished on parts this small and that they do it for the bits you almost never see.
As I write this, the limited Aston collab edition of the Laureato Green Ceramic (388 examples of the 42mm and 188 of the 38mm) is likely either sold out or on the way there. But my week with the watch has given me a greater appreciation for the three-hand Laureato in general. This model in all-steel construction, with a low-key textured black, blue, or white dial would be an interesting alternative to the ubiquitous Rolex Datejust, for instance. And the non-limited black ceramic version seems like a super sleeper. Hey, they make Astons in black, too.