While most of you might know about Laurent Ferrier’s past at a certain Geneva-Based Manufacture (with PP for its initials…), few might be aware of the full past of this man as a proper and highly-qualified watchmaker. And watch lovers know that the most valuable resources in the world of haute horlogerie are the watchmakers themselves. Thus, as a tribute to his Watchmaking School years and his beloved “Montre Ecole” (the School Piece), Laurent Ferrier today introduces a special version of the Galet Micro Rotor with a new case and a new dial, inspired by his very first piece when he was still learning how to make real watches.
Laurent Ferrier’s own school watch from the “Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève“
Laurent Ferrier has a true love for pocket watches, for their round and smooth shape and for the beauty of the hand-made movements. This can be clearly seen in his current collection of watches, inspired by 19th-century pocket watches. This 19th century inspiration was already present in his own “Montre Ecole”, the watch he completed in order to graduate as a watchmaker. This School Piece incorporated pocket watch codes, as well as skills and techniques that were used to create pieces at that time. Today’s Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole” is, in its shapes and design, a strong tribute to his school years and to the pioneering watchmakers who converted pocket watches into wristwatches.
The result is a brand new case for the round watch of the collection, the Galet Micro Rotor, which now features a 40mm three-piece bassiné case, with a perfectly round and smooth shape, on which 4 lugs have been added. Its form is enhanced by two satin bands, with a matte finish to contrast with the polished. There’s a strong vintage appeal in this watch, but not from the usual 1950s or 1960s watches, but clearly from the early days of the wristwatches. The watch remains perfectly elegant and without a single sharp angle, as Laurent always wanted. It will be available in 3 versions: stainless steel, white gold and red gold.
The dial is a typical two-tone style, which echoes the early-1900s style of the case. The central part is vertical satin-brushed finish in a dark silver hue. The minute track shows a contrasting circular-brushed finish. Assegai-shaped white gold hands and indexes point to anthracite painted indexes. The minimalist small seconds dial, free of clutter, enjoys two contrasting surfaces: a snailed finish in the centre and a sandblasted outer section.
The movement of the gold versions, with classical decoration
The movement is the usual, yet superb and technical micro-rotor engine, with silicon escapement with double direct impulse on the balance and with pawl-fitted micro-rotor, for 72 hours of power reserve. The finishing on the gold versions is the exact same decoration as existing Micro Rotor models, meaning Geneva stripes on the bridges and perfectly executed anglages. The steel version though will be highly different, as Laurent Ferrier chose a rougher decoration for its micro rotor movement, recalling the original materials used in prototyping, such as brass, which offers a contrast with steel. Further hand-finishing skills applied to the movement include shot-blasting, known as microbillé, and mirror polishing for the parts in steel, including the balance cock.
The movement of the steel version, with microbillé decoration and no coating on plates and bridges
We’ll definitely have some hands-on time with this piece during SIHH 2017 and so we’ll come back to it with our own photos in a more in-depth review, once the show is finished. Price: 33,000 Euro for the steel version and 42,000 Euro for the white and red gold versions. laurentferrier.ch.