Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece
While attending SIHH 2018, Angus Davies discovered the new Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece
This detailed review of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece includes live images, specification and price.
Etiquette is an acquired skill that some individuals possess but many don’t. It is a code that requires members of society to behave in a certain manner, a way which is polite and courteous. Etiquette separates the wheat from the chaff. There are no faux pas, discretion is a given.
Timepieces created by Laurent Ferrier remind me of the virtue of ‘etiquette’. The distinguished maison, based on the outskirts of Geneva, possesses a remarkable skill at crafting exalted timepieces. Each watch the company makes exhibits great decorum. Indeed, there is nothing gauche or outré, every detail is the becoming outcome of protracted consideration.
At SIHH 2018, Laurent Ferrier unveiled the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece. Unlike many models from the Swiss watch company, the inventory of functions is not restricted to hours, minutes and seconds, the dial also proclaims the day, date and month. Mindful of the additional indications, I felt obliged to look more closely at this new model and ascertain whether it upholds the brand’s reputation for sublime readability and, most pertinently, tasteful horology.
The silver toned dial combines vertical satin brush at its centre and circular satin brush on the outer circle. The combination of the two finishes delivers exquisite contrast and provides the perfect backdrop for the proclamation of time.
An annual calendar complication displays the day, date and month. The movement differentiates between those months containing 30 and 31 days. As such, assuming the watch is kept wound, the date will only require adjustment once per annum on the 1st of March.
Two apertures reside below noon. They feature bevelled edges, masterfully embracing depths. The left hand aperture displays the day while the right hand aperture shows the month. In the southernly aspect of the dial is a small seconds display. This display combines circular satin brush and snailed areas, affording delightful contrast.
The date display is a pointer-type, employing a vivid red hand and blue numerals, save for ’31’ which is presented in red. Consistent with other Laurent Ferrier models, the hour and minute hands are ‘Assegai-shaped’.
Laurent Ferrier has skilfully equipped the dial with additional indications without marring the dial vista with busy details. Everything is tasteful and harmonious.
The 18-carat pale yellow gold case has a slightly retro feel. Measuring 40mm in diameter, the case celebrates roundness with curved edges and an arcing bezel. The shape emulates the ‘school piece’ Laurent Ferrier himself produced as a trainee watchmaker. Laurent Ferrier’s objective with the school piece was to capture ‘the same roundness, as when those pioneering watchmakers converted pocket watches into wristwatches.’ The resultant case shape is beautiful, exuding a visual softness and conferring a comfortable union with the wrist.
There is a lightness to the appearance of the watch, courtesy of the slender lugs which gently taper downwards. No detail unduly vies with another to be noticed.
An exhibition case-back provides sight of the hand-wound calibre LF126.01 in all of its finely finished splendour.
The hand-wound movement showcases the watchmaking prowess of Laurent Ferrier which is the fifth exclusive calibre to be unveiled by the eponymous company.
The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and feature ‘a ruthenium treatment’. Perlage populates the main-plate and can be seen adjacent the balance wheel. The bridges feature glorious anglage with each bevelled edge gleaming resplendently. The jewel sinks and the screw heads are polished to a matchless standard. Wherever you look everything is executed to an exacting degree. There are no signs of compromise.
Laurent Ferrier has doffed its hat to the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double hairspring by equipping the movement with a long ‘blade’ type click ratchet. It is polished and features a curved profile.
The movement features a power reserve indicator, visible when the watch is removed from the wrist and observed via the case-back. At the heart of the ‘power-reserve area indication’ is a sunburst finish.
All indications are adjusted via the crown, save for the ‘day’ which is adjusted with an ‘easy to grip’ button unobtrusively positioned on the left flank of the case.
Despite the additional indications there is no impairment to readability. The dial is a model of clarity with well judged details augmenting its appeal. This timepiece is a practical ownership proposition, proving very easy to live with.
The case shape bestows an abundance of eye-appeal. The curved surfaces orchestrate light to eye-catching effect and the slender lugs exhibit a charmingly delicate profile. Beyond its aesthetic prowess, the case shape confers an ergonomically pleasing union with the wrist.
Flawless finishing differentiates Laurent Ferrier watches from many other brands and the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece proves to be no different. Each square millimetre of the movement is populated with exemplary finissage. It is clear this Swiss watch company employs a skilful team of artisans who impart joy with each deft use of hand.
Cleverly, all of the dial indications can be adjusted merely with a simple twist of the crown. The only exception to this is the day display which is corrected using a push-piece on the left hand side of the case. There is no requirement to use tools to perform adjustments, making everything simple.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece has a slightly vintage appearance with occasional episodes of modernity. However, the overall aesthetic appears sweetly resolved. The red date-pointer hand and the red coloured ’31’ on the periphery of the dial are quite flamboyant for Laurent Ferrier, but not at the expense of seemly styling. Indeed, this watch upholds all that is special about this brand, namely, it continues to be an exemplar of horological etiquette.
- Model: Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece
- Case: 18-carat pale yellow gold; diameter 40mm; height 12.80mm; sapphire crystal to front and case-back; water resistant to 3 ATM (30 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date; day and month (annual calendar); power-reserve indicator
- Movement: Calibre LF126.01; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); 23 jewels; power reserve 80 hours
- Strap: Alligator leather with Alcantara lining paired with a pin buckle or double folding clasp
- Price: CHF 55,000 (RRP as at 13.2.2018)