Travelling is rarely a relaxed affair. There’s the packing, the rushing to the airport or train station, losing your passport, finding it again, running the gauntlet through security. By the time you get to your destination you’re pretty much guaranteed to be exhausted (and let’s face it probably a little buzzed). The last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around trying to adjust your watch to a new time-zone. Enter the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller, a watch as attractive as it is easy to use. When haute horlogerie meets functionality…
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller is not a new watch by any stretch. After making its debut a few years ago however it has become arguably one of the most accessible and practical models in the Laurent Ferrier line-up. It’s also proved popular amongst fans of the brand. So much so in fact that in 2014 the Galet Traveller Enamel, a limited edition especially made for US retailers, was launched in white and pink gold. Two years on and the Galet Traveller continues to prove a hit with collectors thanks to its attractive aesthetic combined with practical functionality. Looking at this midnight blue dialled beauty we had in the Monochrome offices these last few weeks, it’s not hard to see why.
Presented in a 41mm white gold case, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller sits comfortably on the wrist, thanks to its modest thickness of just 10mm. The dial is easy to read and the watch is almost painfully easy to use, even for an absolute novice. As you’re probably aware already, the Galet Traveller is a dual-time watch, meaning it can display two time-zones simultaneously.
Different light, different color for the dial… A lot to play with, here.
Now as we already mentioned last week in our hands-on look at the new Chopard L.U.C Time Traveller One this sort of complication is arguably not as critical as it once was but it is still nice to have. Unfortunately though, some brands make this complication unnecessarily difficult to use, or reduce its functionality by not thinking through the design. Not so with Laurent Ferrier.
At first glance you will see that the design is very intuitive. The home time of the traveller is shown via an aperture at 9 o’clock, whilst the local time is shown on the main dial. The only flaw with this design however is the fact that it requires the home-time aperture to be cut wider than the date aperture, which does throw off the balance of the dial a bit. Presumably, this is because the home time disc doesn’t jump but instead turns slowly as the hour passes and so this allows the current hour to remain visible for longer. It’s not the end of the world sure but it does kind of niggle at you.
An elegant watch, combining high-end executions, practicality and relatively casual look
This is more than made up for though by the ease in which you can change the away time to match whichever time-zone you now find yourself in. You will notice there are two pushers on the left-hand side of the case, one at 8 o’clock and the other at 10 o’clock. These allow you to quickly and easily advance the hour hand either forward or backward in one hour increments. Particularly helpful is the fact that the date module is attached to the away time, which means if you’ve crossed the international date line on your travels the date will automatically update when you adjust to the new time-zone.
All of this is made possible by the Calibre LF230.01, complete with Laurent Ferrier’s well-known micro-rotor. It’s important to note here though that this is not just the same movement as the original Galet Micro-Rotor with a date and second time-zone modules bolted on top. Although the LF230.01 shares the same base architecture, for the Galet Traveller Laurent Ferrier has gone to the extra effort of fully integrating the additional complications into the movement.
The result, as you can see for yourself through the exhibition caseback, is an aesthetically pleasing movement that has been beautifully decorated. We’ve covered the specifics at length in previous articles however so we won’t bore you with the details again here. Suffice to say though, we spent a lot time switching between staring at that rich midnight blue dial and then flipping the watch over to examine the inner workings of the movement.
That’s what’s so great about a Laurent Ferrier timepiece though. If you want you can just strap it on your wrist and forget about it, knowing it’s going to look good in pretty much any situation, or you can spend hours examining all the painstaking details that have gone into its construction. The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller is available now in your choice of either white or red gold paired with a silver, slate grey or midnight blue dial. The price for the model reviewed is 53,700 Euros (before taxes) or 57,000 Swiss Francs (before taxes). More info on laurentferrier.ch.
Specifications of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller
- Case: 18K pink or white gold three-part case, 41 mm in diameter, 10 mm thick, domed sapphire crystal in front and back, water-resistant to 30 meters, “Ball-shaped” crown in 18K gold
- Dial: Midnight blue solid silver (also available in silver and slate grey), vertical satin-brushed finish in the centre surrounded by circular satin-brushed motif, “Teardrop” hour-markers in 18K gold, bevelled date window at 3 o’clock, dual time-zone aperture at 9 o’clock, 18K gold “Assegai-shaped” hands
- Movement: self-winding calibre LF230.01, chronometer-certified (Besançon observatory), natural escapement with double direct-impulse directly on the balance, micro-rotor in 18K solid gold with pawl-fitted unidirectional winding, fixed between the mainplate and the bridge of the micro-rotor and equipped with a “silent bloc” shock-absorbing system, 21,600 vph (3Hz), 298 parts, 48 jewels
- Strap: hand-sewn blue/brown alligator leather, Alcantara lining, 16 mm pin buckle or double-blade folding clasp, in 18K pink or white gold.