As simple as it can visually look at first glance, a watch from Laurent Ferrier is far, very far from being simple and random. Remember, a few years ago we’ve explained you all about the Laurent Ferrier Tourbillon Double Spiral and just after, all about the specific escapement called “double direct impulse on the balance“. Clearly, this is not what we can define as simple watchmaking. And the Double Direct Impulse is now introduced in a new watch, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Enamel, a limited edition especially made for US retailers and that is available in white gold and, for the first time exclusively for Monochrome, in pink gold.
Talking about complex escapements, you’ll be allowed to argue that Girard-Perregaux has the Constant Escapement and that Ulysse Nardin introduced the Anchor Escapement, both highly innovative mechanisms. These are for sure really impressive achievements, but made by top-tier manufactures, with 5-figure production numbers. Laurent Ferrier, on the other hand, produces less than 150 watches a year. So coming from such a small and exclusive brand, the Double Spiral and the Double Direct Impulse are quite some accomplishments. But technical aspects are not the only point of interest when looking at Laurent Ferrier’s collection. Aesthetics are also extremely important, and as the new Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Enamel US Limited Edition demonstrates, really attractive.
This US-only limited edition is based on one of the classics of Laurent Ferrier, the Galet Traveller, known for its dual time function and its gorgeous micro-rotor movement. It’s a 41mm watch with a very simple and clean design, typically what Ferrier is used to create – this refined and discreet case, fully mirror-polished is used as a base for the whole collection, such as the Galet Secret Tourbillon or the Galet Classic Tourbillon. The same goes for the indexes and the hands, that uses Ferrier’s usual theme: finely crafted and elegant Assegai-shaped hour and minute hands and very fine drop-shaped applied hour-markers.
Compare to a Galet Micro-Rotor, the Traveller adds two very practical features: a date window positioned at 3 and a second time-zone located at 9. It has a dual time-zone indication and automatic date adjustment with 2 push-buttons integrated into the left-hand side of the case. They serve to move the local time shown by the central hand either forwards or backwards. The date automatically changes at midnight, while the 9 o’clock aperture indicates the reference time or home time in 24-hour mode. The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Enamel US Limited Edition is available in 18k white gold and in 18k pink gold.
The dial is the main exclusive aspect of this limited edition. It shows a cloisonné enamel depicting the American continent. The dial is surrounded by a circular satin-brushed midnight blue plate with applied gold indexes. Cloisonné enamel is one of the most complicated techniques used to create dials, as it requires multiple and risked operation to achieve a perfect filling of the several parts, all separated by a gold divider (a “cloison” in French). Such a technique is used only is very limited productions and for very high-end timepieces, such as the Vacheron-Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle WorldTime pièce unique or the Julien Coudray Competentia 1515.
The automatic movement is a pure delicacy. First it has this stunning micro-rotor architecture. Used to reduce the thickness of the calibre, this mechanism is not as simple as it seems, considering that a micro-rotor requires much more rotations to turn the ratchet wheel. Laurent Ferrier found the solution in increasing the efficiency of the the escapement by one third and thus his micro-rotor needs only 200 rotation for a full turn of the ratchet wheel (compared to a usual 300 turns). Then the layout of this movement is a pleasure to look at, with beautifully carved bridges. The finish is impressive, with hand-made operations everywhere: bridges are finished with Côtes de Genève stripes, the main-plate is finished with circular graining, flanks of the bridges are beveled, wheel spokes are beveled, screw heads are polished, interior angles of the balance cock are beveled and polished and the micro-rotor bridge is beveled and polished. A closer look at the movement of a Galet Micro-Rotor will give you some clues – look at the sizes of the angles and the beauty of the balance wheel bridge.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Enamel US Limited Edition comes naturally with the in-house double direct impulse escapement. It give two impulses per oscillation (1 oscillation = 2 vibrations), twice as much as a normal lever escapement. Due to the use of this specific escapement, Laurent Ferrier was able to reduce the moment of couple (or torque) required to wind the mainspring and hence optimizes the movement winding. More about this mechanism can be read in our previous article.
The White Gold edition is limited to 8 pieces and the Pink Gold edition is limited to 5 pieces, both will be available in Laurent Ferrier’s US retailers, for $79.000, in November (white gold) and December (pink gold) of this year.
- Movement: 230.01 – Self-winding mechanical movement with pawl-fitted micro-rotor. Double direct-impulse escapement fitted directly on the balance. Frequency: 21.600bhp. 298 components. 48 Jewels.
- Case: 41mm x 12.6mm in 18k white gold or 18k pink gold. Water resistance: 30m.
- Indications: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock, “home time” at 9 o’clock
- Dial: In enamel cloisonné with dial depicting the American continent. Dial is surrounded by a circular satin-brushed midnight blue plate with gold indexes.
- Strap: Full skin, square scale, hand-stitched alligator (color at choice)
- Price: $79.000
- Delivery: November and December 2014