There are just a handful of retailers of this small, but very exclusive watch brand, formed around mr. Laurent Ferrier. He worked for Patek Philippe for 37 years – since 1974 as Creative Director – and raced in the 24-hour of Lemans, back in the seventies. And five years ago he set up his own business to make extraordinary beautiful, superbly finished classically styled timepieces. To celebrate the fifth anniversary in style, Laurent Ferrier introduces a all four models in a 18k red gold case with chocolat brown dial.
These five years seem to have past extremely fast, as I can still vividly remember the introduction of Laurent Ferrier’s very first timepiece, the Galet Tourbillon Double Spiral. With this model Laurent Ferrier immediately won the prize for Best Men’s Watch in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, and in the following five years he introduced three other models, including a ladies watch that was introduced last year. All timepieces are equipped with Laurent Ferrier’s own calibres, and that’s a phenomenal achievement for a small start-up niche brand. So, enough reason to celebrate the 5th anniversary. Laurent Ferrier pays a delicious tribute to its four exclusive movements, and reinterprets the dial of each model in chocolate tones. All models of the collection will come with a chocolate brown dial with white hour markers and hands.
First of all, we need to say that these first photos do not show how incredibly beautiful that brown dial actually is. Scroll down for a wrist shot of the Galet Traveller that shows the beauty of the dial best. Above you can see the set of four different models, each equipped with its own Laurent Ferrier calibre. As Patek’s former artistic director, you just know that this man has a very good sense of style and of timeless classic beauty. Every model was designed according the same vein of design elements, and therefore already create a very recognizable brand style.
How the Laurent Ferrier brand started
Laurent Ferrier was born in Geneva in 1946, and took a complete training course at the Geneva Watchmaking School. After he graduated he began to work in the movement prototype workshop of a prestigious watch manufacture. He later gained experience in the fields of horological design, technical research and watch exteriors, and he became creative director at Patek Philippe in 1974.
A passionate motor sports enthusiast, Laurent Ferrier also pursued a career as an amateur racing driver. In the 1970’s Mr. Ferrier was racing actively, and he won the two liter category of LeMans in 1977. In 1977 he met François Servanin, who is an industrialist and amateur racing driver, and they raced together (in 1979 they won the third place at LeMans.) Over the years, François Servanin asked his friend Laurent why he didn’t start his own watch brand? Since mr. Ferrier was happy with his work at Patek Philippe, he dismissed his friends inquiry for many years. However in 2008, Laurent Ferrier agreed that it was time for a change and the new manufacture, Laurent Ferrier, was founded. Key values are the own calibres and a design that offers a return to the fundamentals.
In 2010, Laurent Ferrier presented the first model bearing his signature. In his words: “I nurtured a dream of making watches that represent my horological values: simplicity, precision and pure, uncluttered beauty. These values guide my choices in terms of both design and technical characteristics.” He develops his own watches, from conception through to production and in doing so is backed by his son Christian, a guarantee of continuity.
The fine and elegantly shaped timepieces are very timeless in style, classics to be, although their size isn’t exactly small. The smallest Laurent Ferrier men’s watch is 40mm in diameter, and the other two models are a millimeter larger. The ladies model, as pictured above, has a diameter of 39mm and is therefore not a tiny ladies watch, however it is one with a superb movement with micro-rotor. Pictured below are the Galet Micro-Rotor, the Galet Classic with Tourbillon Double Spiral and the Galet Traveller.
The movements are all lavishly finished, including interior angles and smoothly rounded hand polishing on beveled bridges. The Galet Micro-Rotor features not only a magnificently beautiful movement, there’s also a “natural” escapement, which was invented long time ago by Abraham-Louis Breguet. This new double direct-impulse escapement is fitted directly on the balance and comes with a silicon lever. See here for a full explanation of the Galet Micro-Rotor’s movement.
The Galet Classic features of course the magnificent Tourbillon Double Spiral, meaning that the tourbillon, which makes a full rotation once every minute, features not one, but two balance springs. These balance springs neutralize the lateral displacement of the balance axis, while the tourbillon compensates for the variations in rate in all vertical positions. The precision of the calibres is tested and certified by the Besançon Observatory.
As said, the diameter is not exactly small, and the timepieces are also not exactly ultra-thin. They are however extremely elegant and do wear very pleasantly on the wrist. While an ultra-thin watch can be on your wrist for hours, without you even noticing you’re wearing a watch. The Laurent Ferrier timepieces will be noticed, and only in a very pleasant way: elegant, classic, you feel there’s a beautiful watch in precious metal on your wrist, and when you turn it over, after taking it off the wrist, you will see something of incredible beauty.
The first model of the Laurent Ferrier Special Anniversary Series will be the Galet Micro-Rotor, and the other three models will become available soon as well. Above is the Galet Traveller on the wrist and on its travel box that also holds a loupe. All four models from the Anniversary Series are available separately and they’re not limited, although limited in production as the brand only manufactures around 100 pieces each year.
Pricing is CHF 180,000 for the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral, CHF 45,00 for the Galet Micor-Rotor, CHF 57,000 for the Galet Traveller:, and CHF 50,000 for the smaller sized Galet Micor-Rotor 39mm.
More info: www.laurentferrier.ch