Hands-on

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece “Geneva Edition” – Steel & Salmon

“The autumn leaves of red and gold”, interpreted by Laurent Ferrier.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Rebecca Doulton | ic_query_builder_black_24px 4 min read |
Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Geneva Edition Salmon Dial

In tune with the season, Laurent Ferrier launches an ‘autumn-inspired’ version of his well-known Galet Annual Calendar School Piece. Created in collaboration with retailer Boutique Montres Prestige in Geneva, the watch in a 40mm steel case with an opaline salmon-coloured dial is a limited edition of just five pieces. And well, it looks really good.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Geneva Edition Salmon Dial

Background

The Galet Annual Calendar Montre École, or School Piece, marked an important milestone in Laurent Ferrier’s career: it was the fifth in-house calibre produced by the independent master watchmaker and his first calendar complication. It was also a nostalgic watch for Laurent Ferrier inspired by his 1968 ‘school watch’, a watch that fledgling watchmakers have to produce to graduate from watchmaking school. When we met the watch at the SIHH 2018, it was love at first sight and the jury of the GPHG were equally smitten awarding it the 2018 Men’s Complication prize.

Laurent Ferrier Annual Calendar School Piece - Battle of High-End Annual Calendar Watches
A classic version of the Laurent Ferrier Annual Calendar School Piece. Note the two-tone dial, with vertical and circular brushed textures.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Geneva Edition Salmon Dial
Not only does the “Geneva Edition” introduce a new colour in the collection, but it also features a different finishing, with a uniform, slightly grained texture (named opaline in watchmaking).

Autumn Leaves

Looking at the dial of this watch with its golden red tones, it’s hard not to hum the song “Autumn Leaves”. Although the dial might be described as ‘salmon’ it is much warmer and richer, like the autumn scenery it evokes. Unlike some other models in the Galet Annual Calendar collection with two-tone dials, but like this blue version or the black and white models, this autumn edition uses the same colour throughout. The opaline dial features the characteristic sandy matte sparkle that adds texture and interest to the dial and keeps bothersome reflections at bay.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Geneva Edition Salmon Dial

The combination of salmon/autumn-coloured dial with a steel case has already proven successful. This new LF won’t be the exception!

The legibility of the annual calendar functions couldn’t be clearer. Similar to triple calendar watches of the 1940s, the date is indicated in blue Arabic numerals (the 31 is in red) on the periphery with a white ‘pointer’ hand, and the day of the week and month are displayed in two bevelled rectangular apertures in the top half of the dial. Recessed slightly from the level of the dial and snailed in its centre, the small seconds is located at the traditional 6 o’clock position. Another distinctive feature of Laurent Ferrier watches is the ‘assegai’ shape (like javelins) of the white gold hour and minute hands, both treated with ruthenium and finished to perfection.

Annual Calendar

When he designed his first annual calendar, Ferrier put user-friendliness at the top of his wish list. Instead of recessed pushers in the case band involving fiddly sticks, he incorporated an easy-to-use grip pusher at 10 o’clock to set the day of the week. He also endowed the large ball-shaped crown with extra functionality to adjust the date and month functions by moving the crown backwards of forwards, in addition to the standard functions of setting the time and winding the movement.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Geneva Edition Salmon Dial
Clear, symmetrical, and a pleasant old-school display… but on the contrary to 1940s watches, this Laurent Ferrier adds some modernity behind the dial, with a practical annual calendar.

A combination of round, smooth shapes like river-worn pebbles (galet is the French for pebble) and the clean lines of 19th-century pocket watches, the Galet Annual Calendar captures the watchmaker’s commitment to beautiful finishes. The polished 40mm case is identical to other models in the Galet Annual Calendar family and has a thickness of 10.10mm without the sapphire crystal (and 12.80mm with it). Small details like the domed circlet on the tip of the crown, which is echoed on the tips of the lugs, attest to Ferrier’s attention to design details.

CALIBRE 126.01

The Galet Annual Calendar School Piece relies on a proprietary hand-wound movement with a traditional Swiss lever escapement and is fitted with a “long blade click-type ratchet”, a technical feature reminiscent of pocket watches and a feature of LF’s first manual-winding movement used in the tourbillon double hairspring. The 235-component movement oscillates at 3Hz and offers a robust 80-hour power reserve, which is indicated on the reverse side by a circular wheel with a sunburst finish.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Geneva Edition Salmon Dial

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Geneva Edition Salmon Dial

The decoration of calibre 126.01 is contemporary and more technical than some of LF’s earlier models. The bridges are decorated with thick Geneva stripes and plated with dark ruthenium thus heightening the contrast with the steel and brass parts. The mainplate is embellished with perlage and the sides and interior angles are chamfered by hand.

Price and availability

The Laurent Ferrier Annual Calendar School Piece “Geneva Edition” comes with a chestnut-brown alligator leather strap and a choice of pin buckle or double folding clasp. Limited to five pieces, the watch will be available worldwide, and of course at Boutique Montres Prestige Geneva too. It will retail for CHF 50,000.

More information at laurentferrier.ch and montresprestige.ch.

7 responses

  1. I can never warm to these pieces. I put to one side the fact that he gets his movements made for him by Louis Vuitton when appreciating his rather pretty non-school Galets, but it’s just too hard to ignore when he sticks it in this pedestrian crap.

    Non.

  2. Same for me. Even the waych geek community here in my part of the world is not too fond of Laurent Ferrier anymore.

  3. I’m with danaos on this one I really like it. As it says at the start “it looks really good”

  4. LFdT is a professional movement manufacturer. I don’t have any doubt about their quality. I’ve also heard the Galet Minute Repeater Montre École in real and its sound is better than most minute repeaters I’ve ever experienced.

  5. @Chia-Ming

    I’ll give it to you about his minute repeater sound, having heard one being demonstrated to Wei Koh; it was a beautifully sweet, pure chime. But I do think Ferrier charges too much for his simpler watches, considering he just makes the…what exactly does he make? I know Jurgensen have a similar proprietary ‘horizontal’ setup, but their pieces – although hardly cheap – are a little more down to earth (and more beautiful, but that’s personal taste).
    Journe is the one who knocks Ferrier into a cocked hat, though. Considering the quality and technical expertise in models made by him and his team for more reasonable prices – with gold movements! – I’ve never been able to take Ferrier that seriously. *shrug*
    Anyway, what do I know.

Leave a Reply