He’s a rockstar,” Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux, says of Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin. “He’s good looking, he’s super smart… In my next lifetime, I want to be him.”
Patrick and Marek may be chiefs of different industries but, as collaborators, the duo have an unbreakable bond founded on mutual respect and awe. “Patrick is a really cool guy,” Marek replies. “Whenever I see him, I always think I wish I’d cut my hair or worn something different. He just looks very cool, and he is 100 per cent committed to what he stands for.”
This professional camaraderie has blossomed since the Swiss watchmaker and Aston Martin revealed their first collaboration, the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition, in June 2021. All timepieces sold out within weeks of the announcement, and led to the creation of the Laureato Chronograph Aston Martin Edition in October 2021. Last year, the launch of the Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition saw the collaborators push the boundaries of design once more by taking parts of F1 cars and reconstituting them into a compressed carbon for use within the timepiece.
From both sides, the partnership was an instant fit. “I could talk about love at first sight, but it’s much more than that – it’s like values matching at first sight,” says Patrick. “We work in completely different fields, but craftsmanship and innovation link the brands together,” Marek adds. “Today, we thrive on innovating together.”
This March, the brands revealed their newest special edition, the Laureato Green Ceramic Aston Martin Edition. The timepiece is forward-thinking from a technical, material and design perspective. “Every time we’ve been quite ambitious in the new timepieces we’ve launched, and there’s been a lot of brainstorming about how we make things that are unique and encapsulate the values and messages of the two brands,” Patrick says. “This one is a great illustration of the type of thing we can do together.”
The first thing to notice about the timepiece is that every single component is crafted in green. For inspiration, designers chose Aston Martin’s signature ‘British racing green’. “Green is a key symbol of who we are. It’s the colour of endeavour within Aston Martin. From our perspective, it stands for winning; it stands for being the best and standing out from the crowd,” Marek says.
“It’s really unusual to see a green watch face, so we thought why not take it further and make a green watch?” he adds. “It sounds simple but when you then look at the ceramic coatings and the technical aspect of how to get that consistency, it’s not. We relied on Girard-Perregaux in terms of their knowledge and understanding of how to be consistent with a certain colour across varying materials and applications.”
The materials used on the limited timepiece are ultramodern, and the case and bracelet are crafted in green ceramic, which is a first for a Laureato model. The ceramic components are light, making the watch comfortable and wearable, but they’re also exceptionally hard – “seven times harder than steel” – and resistant to scratches, fading and temperature. As a result, the timepiece is, literally, timeless.
“Ceramic does exist in the watch industry, but green ceramic is very rare,” Patrick says. “It’s a very daring project and the result is spectacular. The piece is not only eye-catching, but it also has a strong personality on the wrist.
“A luxury watch is about function and durability, but it also encapsulates a lot of emotions,” he adds. “This watch makes me think of Aston Martin immediately. It’s almost like I’m carrying a piece of Aston Martin heritage, and of the British racing heritage in general, on my wrist.”
Several references to the manufacturer can be found in the watch itself. Some are bold while others are subtle, such as the diamond-like crosshatch design on the dial, inspired by the quilted seats in some of Aston Martin’s highperformance vehicles.
As with all Girard-Perregaux timepieces, every part has been hand-crafted by talented and expert watchmakers in Switzerland, most of whom have worked with the brand for more than 10 years. “When you work in a world of craftsmanship, which is the case of Aston Martin and Girard-Perregaux, the human factor is probably the most important part,” Patrick says.
The co-branded special edition is being offered in a choice of two case sizes, the 42mm, which will have a run of 388 pieces, and the 38mm, limited to a collection of just 188 pieces. “It’s a statement piece,” adds Marek, who, as an owner of an iridescent emerald DBX707, is unafraid of standing out. “It is brave because you don’t expect it, particularly in the ultra-luxury space, but I can guarantee once it’s launched and released, everyone will want a green watch.”
And the dynamic design duo is already planning their next collaboration. “The journey is not about what has happened, but about what comes next,” Marek says. “Patrick calls me a rockstar and I think he’s cool, and it’s fun because part of creating something unique is enjoying the process. I can’t wait for the next one.”