At the SIHH last year, Laurent Ferrier introduced a superb watch, both visually and technically: the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece. Not only was it equipped with a brand-new movement, hand-wound and with a clever annual calendar display but the design, totally in line with our perception of Ferrier, was just beautiful. And there was that pale yellow gold case too… One of our favourite “indie” watches of 2018. As part of the Pre-SIHH 2019 novelties, the Geneva-based brand is launching new versions of this watch, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Opaline Black & White, with new dial colours and finishes.
Last year’s version impressed us with an elegant design, its two-tone brushed dial, its new in-house movement and a clever annual calendar mechanism with easy adjustments. Certainly, there was no need for drastic modifications. Hence the reason why for the SIHH 2019, simple evolutions of the Galet Annual Calendar will be presented. Mechanically identical and visually quite similar, the new versions of this watch differ with opaline-finished dials, available in white and black and in multiple case materials.
The case, which will be offered in stainless steel, in 5N red gold or in “Desert Sand” yellow gold, doesn’t change in shape. It retains its elegant proportions, with a 40mm diameter and a 10.10mm height – without the sapphire crystal on top. It is highly domed and has a height of 12.80mm. We could live with a few millimetres less but the complex display also needs to breathe. Once again, the case is round with a rounded bezel and thin brushed lines on the periphery. On this central container, the straight lugs are attached with cabochons at their tips. Elegant and classic.
The main novelty on these Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Opaline Black & White are the dials. While previously featuring two-tone, brushed, metallic coloured dials – see here – either in silver or anthracite, these new editions feature smooth, uni-coloured dials with a matte surface. More contrasted, slightly simpler, no less attractive. Hands and indications are equal to the previous versions – for instance with the superbly finished Assegai-shaped hands. Some discreet coloured accents enliven the dial, with the date track of the white version painted in blue and the black edition featuring several red accents.
The display of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece is classical: hours and minutes in the centre, small seconds at 6 o’clock and calendar indications placed like a 1940s triple calendar – date on the periphery with a central hand, windows at 12 o’clock for the day and the month. Being an annual calendar, this watch will automatically adjust to the right date (for months with 30 or 31 days) and will require only one correction a year, at the end of February. The days of the week are updated by simply pushing the button at 10 o’clock and all the other adjustments are made by pulling and turning the crown. The fast-adjustment of the date with the central hand can be made by turning the crown forwards and backwards.
Powering this watch is a proprietary movement, calibre LF126.01. For the first time, Laurent Ferrier opted for a simpler solution with a standard Swiss lever escapement instead of the direct double-impulse found on the Galet Micro-Rotor. The complexity is found on the calendar module. This hand-wound movement retains the style created by the brand, with superb decoration and features a long “blade” type click ratchet, which has become a distinctive signature of Ferrier. The movement is ruthenium-coated and displays the power reserve on the main bridge.
To secure the watches on the wrist, Laurent Ferrier chose a honey alligator leather Alcantara lining for white dials or matte grey alligator leather with Alcantara lining for black dials.
These new Pre-SIHH 2019 Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Opaline Black & White will be officially presented in January but we already know that the steel model will be priced at CHF 50,000 and the gold models at CHF 55,000. More details at www.laurentferrier.ch.