We at A Collected Man would assume our readers would be very familiar with the Laurent Ferrier brand by now. However, for the handful that may not be, Laurent Ferrier is an independent watchmaker with history at Patek Philippe and somewhat less predictably, motorcar racing; more specifically Le Mans. During his time with Patek Philippe, he would advance over four decades to ultimately become the Technical and Product director, all the while, managing to find time to compete in the 1979 24hr Le Mans, earning a podium position right behind Paul Newman - Not bad at all. The Ferrier brand has gone from strength to strength in recent years, growing largely due to their minimal designs paired with absolute attention to technical detail. Their current offering consists of three major complications, the first being the tourbillon, secondly the micro-rotor and lastly the Dual Time. Traditionally speaking their tourbillon pieces have been somewhat reserved, concealing the complication behind an enamel dial, however, earlier this year we saw a departure from this, as they released a version which exposed the tourbillon cage on the dial side, along with a bold sector dial.
Laurent Ferrier Montre École & Galet Regulateur.
At the same time as the release of the latest tourbillon, Laurent Ferrier introduced the Montre École; a take on the Galet Micro-Rotor which would see the iconic movement being paired with an entirely new case and dial design. The aim of the piece was the highlight Mr. Ferrier’s entry into watchmaking, by paying homage to the design of his own Montre École or ’School Piece’. While young watchmakers study, they would traditionally make a pocket watch under the supervision of the master-watchmaker at any given firm or school. Laurent’s Montre École contains the origins of the brand’s design DNA, and is certainly recognisable in the evolved Galet Micro-Rotor. The new case of the Montre École was designed to resemble the original pocket-watch as closely as possible, using straight lugs to resemble a pocket-watch-conversion; something which became popular practice in the early part of last century when the wristwatch came into fashion.
The latest evolution from Laurent Ferrier to utilise this case style is the Galet Regulateur. The regulator dial, traditionally speaking, was used by watchmakers in the servicing and manufacture departments for setting and regulating new or serviced watches. The layout divides the hours, minutes and seconds into three distinct sub-dials of their own, making it easier to define the time individually. The use of this complication is a further nod to Mr. Ferrier’s entry into the watchmaking world, placing focus on the traditions and inspirations of the brand.
The movement, like all other Micro-Rotor models uses a double direct impulse escapement, which was inspired by the technical advances of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s ‘natural escapement’. The movement requires considerably less force to function, meaning less stress on components and ultimately a longer lifetime. The 40mm by 10.95mm thick case sits neatly on the wrist, feeling instinctively closer to 38mm if we were to estimate the size. The piece will be available in white gold and stainless steel from July.