Earlier this year, at the SIHH 2016 in Geneva, Laurent Ferrier introduced the Galet Square Boreal with a striking ‘sector’ style dial. A type of dial that Laurent Ferrier first used on the Galet Square that they created for the ONLY WATCH auction. Fast forward a few weeks and the next big watch fair started, not in Geneva, but in Basel, and Laurent Ferrier launched yet another Galet Square with sector-style dial. And this time it is less sporty, a tad less casual, but it has enough casual flair to fit equally well with a suit and tie as with jeans and shirt. The main attraction’s name is printed on the dial, in light grey font, and, more importantly, is visible through the sapphire case back. The other day we visited the Laurent Ferrier workshop in Geneva and we went hands-on with the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Square Tourbillon Double Spiral Sector Dial.
The movement of the watch at hand isn’t new. It was introduced in Laurent Ferrier’s very first wrist watch, the Galet Classic, dubbed Tourbillon Double Spiral, that was introduced in 2010. This watch immediately won the price for Best Men’s Watch at the Grand Prix de Horlogerie de Geneve 2010, and that’s rather impressive for a brand’s first watch!
Last year we had the chance to wear the Galet Classic for a longer period, and we really got a feel of how it is in daily wearing (see here for the full review). Without giving away everything in one sentence (which is quite impossible) I have to say that some watches are just in a different league; this Laurent Ferrier plays in the highest league imaginable. We’re looking at overall feel, finishing and comfort of wearing. And when saying “finishing” we do not exclusively focus on the superb hand-finished movement, but also on the case, dial, hands, buckle, and actually everything! It holds up with the very top in watchmaking, and it does that with ease.
So it has strong cards, wears great, runs smooth, and has a movement that is a sheer pleasure to look at. Mouthwatering. If you take a loupe, and believe me, when you own a watch like this you just have to have a good loupe (like loupe systems), in order to enjoy its mechanics to the fullest. The large tourbillon comprises not one, but two spirals (hair springs) that vibrate concentrically, one atop the other, and makes one full rotation every sixty seconds. The mere sight of this is stunning, and that’s just the beginning.
Well, before I’m drifting off too much -we’ll do a technical explanation about the Tourbillon Double Spiral later- the big news is that the Tourbillon Double Spiral is now available in a white gold Galet Square case. The combination works remarkably well, as the cushion shaped case is actually a bit more sporty and casual than the round pebble shaped Galet case.
Did you know that “Galet” means pebble in English?
We’ll have a closer look at what’s new and we’ll start with the cushion shaped case. First a quick break-down of the name: “Galet Classic” stands for the tourbillon movement used, namely the calibre LF 619.01 that features the unique tourbillon with double hair spring. “Square” stands for the cushion shaped case and what “Tourbillon Double Spiral” means is kind of self-explanatory. The last bit of the name, “Sector Dial”, is new for Laurent Ferrier’s collection and refers to the certain elements of the dial.
The Sector Dial
The new “sector dial” is framed by a railway minute track and surrounds a circular satin-brushed chapter ring, which ensures a good visibility of the applied (at 12, 3 and 9 o’clock) and printed hour markers. The hour markers are black; the applied hour markers are in blackened white gold, and the other markers are printed in black. The dial’s silver-toned opaline-finished centre shows the “Tourbillon Double Spiral” inscription that is done in a powdered silver-toned ton-sur-ton (matching tones) grey. The small seconds sub dial is slightly recessed, and also slightly larger than second sub dials on other Laurent Ferrier timepieces. It’s been adorned by a circular snailing pattern, to create concentric circles, and is surrounded by “sector style” second markers.
The hour and minute hands are Laurent Ferrier’s signature hands, and these are called assegai-shaped hands. The second hand is a simple batton-shape hand, and it is, like the hour and minute hand, executed in 18K white gold with black ruthenium treatment. Before the hands are ruthenium treated, they are mirror polished by hand and that’s no easy task (look at how long and fragile the hands are).
The Galet Case
The three part case is made in 18K white gold and measures 41.5mm by 41.5mm (half a mm larger than the Galet Square with micro-rotor movement). While these numbers might give the impressions that the Galet Square is rather large, it must be said that it isn’t. The size is measured at the widest point, both from left to right as from top to bottom, it is not large on the wrist. It is actually one of the nicest proportioned watches I’ve worn in a long time. Not too big, not too small, it’s just right for my average-size wrist (18cm). The case measures 12.7mm, and again when judging purely on the numbers it does not sound like a thin case. Yet on the wrist, it wears very pleasantly and if I hadn’t known the numbers I would have said it’s quite thin. This is mainly due to the domed sapphire crystal that adds a few millimetre to the overall height, while the case itself looks and feels quite slim.
In an upcoming in-depth story we will dive into the hand-finishing, the technicalities and of course the tourbillon double spiral. Good to know is that the finishing on of the highest level, and is certainly awe-inspiring, even for the most experienced watch aficionado.
Laurent Ferrier did a great job on the new iteration of the Galet Classic, now in the ‘Square’ case and with a striking sector dial. He managed to stay close to the true spirit of the Galet Classic in many ways; in looks, style, wearing comfort and of course in the level of finishing. The hand-wound movement that offers a pleasant 80 hours of power reserve, is superbly finished and a sheer pleasure to look at.
Altogether the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Square Tourbillon Double Spiral Sector Dial is a magnificent timepiece, and it is probably the most casual iteration of the Galet Classic.
The retail price is CHF 180,000 Swiss Francs. More information at the Laurent Ferrier website.