Laurent Ferrier presents its fifth in-house calibre, and as something unprecedented for the brand features an annual calendar complication. A natural heir to the brand’s signature design ethos of smooth, rounded surfaces, vintage-inspired themes, and minimalist dials, the Galet Annual Calendar Montre École brings user-friendliness, legibility and steady mechanical performance to one of the most useful complications in a watch.
Fifth in-house complication
The launch of an in-house movement is always a moment of great pride for an independent watchmaker. Laurent Ferrier, a veteran of the watch industry, with a profound respect for traditional watchmaking crafts, presents his fifth calibre with an annual calendar complication. Housed in a 40mm Galet Montre École case that was introduced in 2017, the watch displays the day of the week, the date and months with 30 and 31 days – meaning that only one adjustment a year is required at the end of February.
User-friendly functions and legibility: key concepts
User-friendliness and smooth handling were fundamental directives for the construction of this annual calendar. The date and month functions, for example, can be adjusted with ease and speed by turning the crown backwards and forwards while the days of the week can be synched with the pusher on the left side of the case. Another strategic directive during the development process was legibility. Available with either slate-grey or silver-toned dials, the annual calendar displays its functions in a legible, intuitive and easy-to-consult manner.
A vintage soul
To enhance the vintage theme, this calendar is displayed in a traditional “1940s triple calendar” style, although those 1940’s triple calendars were simple calendars and this lovely new Laurent Ferrier is an annual calendar. The days of the week and the month are placed in rectangular bevelled apertures just below 12 o’clock, and the date is arranged around the extremity of the dial with blue vintage-styled numbers and a red number 31; a so-called pointer date or date by hand, as it was often used back in the day. The contrasting red or burgundy date hand (depending on the background dial colour) enhances legibility and adds a contemporary spirit to the watch. Laurent Ferrier’s trademark javelin-shaped “Assegai” hour hand and slim, minimalist hour markers are also featured on the dial as is the presence of a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. With its circular satin-brushed exterior and snailed centre, the finishes of the small seconds sub-dial add volume and depth to the composition.
A case inspired by the past
To house the new complication, Laurent Ferrier chose the Galet Montre École case, a 40mm case introduced in 2017 that pays homage to 19th-century watchmakers who converted classic pocket watches into wristwatches with the addition of lugs. The term “montre école” refers to the school watch that budding watchmakers must produce to graduate from watchmaking school. Laurent Ferrier’s 1968 graduation watch from the Geneva Watchmaking School reflects the watchmaker’s passion for the round, smooth shapes and clean lines of 19th-century pocket watches. In 2017, Laurent Ferrier indulged in a trip down memory lane and paid tribute to his own school watch with the Galet Micro-Rotor Montre École.
Reminiscent of the plump, rounded pocket watches of yesteryear that made the transition from the pocket to the wrist with the addition of lugs, the 40mm Galet Montre École combines a round case with Ferrier’s hallmark minimalist touches on the dial. Unlike other Galet models, the lugs are straighter and thinner and not integrated into the case. Available in 18-karat rose and pale yellow gold as well as a stainless steel version, the Galet Annual Calendar Montre École is fitted with a mechanical manual-winding movement and a hefty power reserve of 80 hours.
Visible through the sapphire crystal case back, calibre 126.01 displays its refined finishes including a Côtes de Genève motif with a ruthenium treatment on the bridges, circular graining on the main-plate and manually chamfered sides and interior angles. In addition to the decorative touches, a power reserve indicator is picked out with a sunburst finish. The movement pays yet another tribute to Laurent Ferrier’s distinguished watchmaking career and features a “long blade-type click ratchet” reminiscent of the watchmaker’s first manual-winding movement ticking inside the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double hairspring.
The Galet Annual Calendar Montre École, or Galet Annual Calendar School Piece as it is known in English, is fitted with a beige or black calfskin strap with Alcantara lining and is secured to the wrist with a double folding clasp or a traditional pin buckle. More details on laurentferrier.ch.