Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Globe – Night Blue ‘William & Son’ Edition
Justin Hast visits the retailer, William & Son, and falls in love with an exclusive Laurent Ferrier timepiece created for the prestigious, Mayfair-based retailer.
This detailed review of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Globe – Night Blue ‘William & Son’ Edition includes live images and specification details.
Creating an instantly recognisable round watch is one of the great challenges any watchmaker faces. Laurent Ferrier has been taking on this challenge, with great success, since 2010. The handful of watches (only a few hundred) that leave the Laurent Ferrier work benches, have become synonymous with discreet and understated elegance. Indeed, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Globe – Night Blue ‘William & Son’ Edition is nothing short of a watchmaking triumph.
If you’re into watches and have ever found yourself in London, chances are you would have visited William & Son on Bruton Street. This Mayfair based retailer is the sole UK distributor for multiple world class independent manufactures, including Laurent Ferrier (a personal favourite of mine). It was at the behest of William & Son that Laurent Ferrier created this limited edition 18k rose-gold Galet Traveller Night Blue.
There are few words that can adequately describe just how stunning the dial is on this Laurent Ferrier (my shots just don’t do it justice!). The centre of the dial is adorned with a convex map depicting the five continents in 18K white gold, surrounded by a blue enamel sea. From a technical standpoint, the process is long and requires tremendous patience as well as attention to detail.
To produce such intricate work, the enamelers first carve out cells on the metal dial plate. The enamel is then painstakingly embedded onto the surface of the dial, fired until it melts, cooled and then polished and painted. For this limited edition, the eagle eyed among you will notice the United Kingdom is highlighted in red gold on the dial – a nice touch. The enamel map is beautifully framed around the dial by the hand-finished circular satin-brushed decoration, the outer gold ring dips towards the central sphere, accentuating the illusion of a raised globe. The drop-shaped hour markers, whose tips extend beyond the ring, are exquisite and catch the light wonderfully.
The case is a classic Laurent Ferrier ‘galet’ (pebble in French) in rose gold. It is has to be one of the most beautiful cases on the market today. From an ergonomic standpoint, it’s perfection. So deeply satisfying to the touch, one could hold it in your palm all day and still want more.
To the left are two perfectly symmetrical oblong pushers delicately integrated into the case. This is where the wearer adjusts the local time indicated by the central hour hand. When passing from one time zone to another, the central hour hand may be moved forward or backwards in one-hour increments with successive presses. The upper pusher moves the hand one hour forwards, while the lower one moves it backwards, all without affecting the minute hand.
In addition to this fast adjustment of local time, the date aperture on the dial, located at 3 o’clock, automatically jumps when the hand passes midnight. An aperture at 9 o’clock keeps track of the wearer’s home time. Turning the watch over, the sapphire crystal case-back of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Globe – Night Blue ‘William & Son’ Edition showcases the sublime movement and the blue lacquer William & Son engraving at 12 o’clock.
The movement is based on the Galet Traveller movement LF 230.1, incorporating the dual-time adjustment mechanism as well as the date. It also has a power reserve of 80 hours and utilises a “natural” escapement (the natural escapement was invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet. It makes two direct impulses on the balance – much like pushing a swing back and forth from both sides for maximum transmissible energy).
The escapement is visible through the sapphire case back. The finishing is quite frankly jaw dropping with Côtes de Genève décor on the bridges, circular graining on the mainplate, the sides are manually chamfered and the screw heads are polished. The hand chamfering is particularly visible with the finesse of the interior angles. This is a movement one could stare at for hours and contemplate life.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Globe – Night Blue ‘William & Son’ Edition is a watch that any collector would be proud to have in his/her watch roll. It’s a timepiece that seamlessly exhibits several watchmaking disciplines, all housed in a beautiful case. The decoration and finishing are unparalleled. However, the production of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Globe – Night Blue ‘William & Son’ Edition is limited to five pieces in rose gold and platinum, hence availability of this watch is unlikely to adequately meet demand. Indeed, it is unlikely you will see another one in the wild.
References: Red Gold: LCF012.R5 / Platinum: LCF012.P1
- Self-winding Calibre LF230.01
- Off-centred 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
- Natural escapement with double direct-impulse directly on the balance
- Silicon pallet-lever with self-lubricating properties, escape-wheels in a phosphorous nickel alloy, produced according to LIGA technology
- Indications: hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock home
time/reference time at 9 o’clock
- Correctors: crown for winding and time-setting and, on the left side of the case, two push-buttons (+) and (-) respectively positioned at 10 and 8 o’clock, to adjust the time hour per hour with automatic date correction
- Diameter: 14’’’ ( Ø 31.60 mm)
- Thickness: 5.80 mm
- Frequency: 3Hz (21,600 vibrations per hour)
- Power reserve: 80 hours
- 288 parts
- 44 jewels
- Reference LCF0012.G1.NGE08
- 5N red gold or platinum
- Three parts: case middle, bezel and snap-on case-back
- Size: Ø 41 mm (49 mm including the lugs)
- Thickness: of the material 10 mm / including the sapphire crystal 13.70 mm
- Domed sapphire crystals, front and back engraved at 12 o’clock with a William & Son logo
- Water-resistant to 30 metres
- “Ball-shaped” crown in 5N red gold or platinum
- In 18K gold, spherical centre in translucent blue champlevé enamel with a circular satin-brushed sloping blue rim
- Drop-shaped hour-markers in 18K white gold
- Bevelled date window at 3 o’clock
- Dual time-zone aperture at 9 o’clock
- 18K white gold
- Hand-sewn blue alligator leather, Alcantara lining
- 16 mm pin buckle or double-blade folding clasp, in 18K white gold