The Origin Story
Making only several dozen watches per year, Laurent Ferrier is a true independent manufacture, producing pieces with a quality and know-how which is long lost in many corners of the watch world.
It is headed by Ferrier himself, who worked at Patek Philippe
for 40 years, finishing as their creative director.
Though it may not be apparent from the design of the watches themselves, the inception of the brand actually took place on a race track. Whilst at Patek Philippe
, Ferrier used to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, with his friend François Sérvanin. This even culminated with the pair coming third in 1979, which Ferrier marked by gifting Sérvanin an engraved Nautilus 3700. Following their joint success, the two friends decided to launch the brand together, as Sérvanin was retiring and wanted to invest in a new venture. As Ferrier puts it,
"He wasn’t a collector or connoisseur, he gave me carte blanche in terms of the approach and design. It was of absolute importance, in my mind, that we develop a calibre from scratch, so myself and my son Christian, set about making that happen."
Capturing his dedication to his new eponymous brand, Ferrier developed a double spiral tourbillon movement as his first project. This would set the tone for what would come next. Combining traditional manufacturing techniques and design principles with contemporary innovation, the manufacture now creates pieces which combine watchmaking classicism and modern reliability.
A Classic Design
This Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro-Rotor is sized at a contemporary 40mm, and has a distinctive amorphous, bevel-free shape. The case features a rounded bezel, thin lugs and the manufactures' signature onion shape crown, which work proportionately well together. The entire watch is polished and mirror finished, while the crown itself is engraved with a pattern.
Much like the case, the dial adopts a subtle, classic approach, with a finely brushed finish and recessed, snailed subsidiary seconds. The two patterns offer a welcome texture, in contrast to the highly polished case. These are accented with applied Breguet numerals, corresponding with Laurent Ferrier’s signature ‘Assegai’-shaped hands. Both the index markers and vertical brushing on the dial are reminiscent of some early Patek Philippe Calatrava models, which often featured the two together.
The dial signature at 12 o’clock is also a silvery-grey print, maintaining the overall minimalistic design and colour palette. The grey dial is one which is executed on a number of Galet Micro-Rotors, though few capture the look and feel of Laurent Ferrier’s main source of inspiration more prominently than this combination.
Powered by Laurent Ferrier’s self-winding calibre LF 229.01, it is interesting to note that where haute-horology often favours a manual-winding movement, (uninterrupted by a rotor), Laurent Ferrier decided that contemporary needs, called for an automatic movement. The solution was the incorporation of a micro-rotor as a winding mechanism, allowing the architecture of the movement to be shown completely. The fan-shaped rotor is made of solid gold and is suspended by a large bridge, together, intended to create the impression of a bird standing on one foot. Furthermore, it uses a pawl, allowing it to wind in a unidirectional manner, adding efficiency and reliability.
Impressively, this Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro-Rotor employs a double direct-impulse escapement, that improves the movement through its ability to use less power and maintain amplitude, achieved through the escape lever being locked down between two escape wheels. The finishing of the movement is a major focus for the Galet Micro-Rotor, with contrasts established between the perlaged backdrop and the thick circular grained Geneva Stripes on the bridges. When viewed under a loupe, the incredibly precise finishing of the interior angles are shown, which are uniformly achieved through the use of a burin, and the handwork of the manufacture's skilled craftsmen.
The timekeeping of the Galet Micro-Rotor is impressive - it is chronometer-certified by the Besançon Observatory, outperforming its more commonly, COSC-approved peers. It has a power reserve of 80 hours.
This Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro-rotor comes on one of our Tokyo grey grained leather straps; its original Laurent Ferrier alligator strap and corresponding steel pin buckle. It's also accompanied by the original outer and inner boxes, along with the original paperwork from Laurent Ferrier.