With this new watch, Laurent Ferrier presents the compilation of its best features: the combination of red gold with a black dial dear to the founder, the regulator display that has been introduced a year ago, the in-house micro-rotor movement and the elegant, stylish Galet Square case. Yet, for the first time, all of them are reunited in a single watch, giving a desirable and well-balanced watch. Meet the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Regulateur Black.
The regulator display
The main feature of this new Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Regulateur Black certainly is its unusual yet traditional regulator display. If regulator watches are rare these days, this display was highly popular until the creation of highly precise electronic clocks, for a good reason. A regulator watch splits the indications by having the hours and minutes dissociated – and not on the same, central axis – with the minutes being indicated on the central axis, and the hours relegated to a smaller sub-dial – thus becoming a secondary indication.
Such displays have been created for precision and adjustment. Back in the old days, regulation of movements was done manually and the reference time was not given by an atomic clock, a battery-driven clock or simply a computer, as it is the case today. Thus, to simplify watchmakers’ lives, workshops were usually equipped with a large wall clock with a regulator display, in order to have a clear and instant view of the main indication: the minutes. These wall clocks were the references for adjustment.
Laurent Ferrier, with its traditional approach of watchmaking, started to use this rarely seen display in the Montre Ecole case, back in 2017. Thus, we find back here, in the context of this new Galet Square Regulateur Black, the minutes on the central axis, a small second placed classically at 6 (as with all Laurent Ferrier watches with the Micro-Rotor movement) and, the main update, the hours displayed on a sub-dial at 12. In short, a classical display for a regulator watch, however one that is perfectly balanced and highly legible. As always with such unusual displays, a certain adaptation time is necessary but still, a regulator remains quite intuitive to read.
Time is here indicated by 18k red gold hands – leaf-shaped for the hours, assegai-shaped for the minutes and baton-shaped for the seconds. The two sub-dials are slightly recessed and present a different texture than the rest of the dial – snailed finished – to enhanced legibility.
The combination of red gold and black dial
While Laurent Ferrier’s watches are often playing on neutral, soft tones – white gold/silver dial or rather soft copper/gold tones – this new Galet Square Regulateur Black presents a bolder, more contrasting combination of colour. The case is indeed crafted in warm, polished 5N red gold – a rather intense and reddish gold alloy – and combined to an opaline black nickel dial, with matte execution.
All markers are silver-toned and the hands, as said above, match the case material. If the contrast between the indications and the dial is great, this combination also provides a slightly more modern, still elegant, less classical feel to the usually minimalistic design of LF watches.
Same display, New case
With the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Regulateur Black, the brand combines for the first time its iconic shaped case with the regulator display. The Galet Square was Laurent’s vision of a different watch, not round but still in line with its wish for soft, non-aggressive lines. The case measures 41mm in diameter and here features the classical tapered lugs found on most Galet Square watches – some other versions have more vintage-oriented straight lugs.
The in-house micro-rotor, natural escapement calibre
No surprise behind the sapphire caseback, as the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Regulateur Black features the signature in-house micro-rotor automatic movement. This calibre, exclusive to the brand, features an off-centred winding system fixed between the main plate and the Micro-Rotor bridge and silent-block shock protection-type system. When fully wound, the movement boasts 72h of power reserve.
The escapement is also unique to the brand, as not only crafted in silicon but featuring a special escapement with double direct-impulse on the balance – inspired by A.L. Breguet’s work. All the parts of this movement are superbly finished by hand and the movement is here presented in a classical Geneva Stripes/Rhodium plated style. Compared to other Galet Square watches, it has only been slightly modified to have the hours displayed in a separated sub-dial.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Regulateur Black is worn on a hand-sewn brown alligator strap. It will be available from Laurent Ferrier agents from August 2018, And priced at CHF 47,000. More details on laurentferrier.ch.