Laurent Ferrier is a true independent manufacture. It is headed by Laurent Ferrier himself, who worked at Patek Philippe for 40 years, finishing as their creative director. Beyond his watchmaking pedigree, Ferrier is also notable for having raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he came third in 1979, coming behind none other than Paul Newman. Located in the village of Vernier in Switzerland, his small workshop resides in a converted single-family home, where each watch is hand-assembled by a single watchmaker.
The name ‘Galet’ is derived from the French for ‘pebble’, which was Laurent Ferrier’s first collection. However, where those first pieces initially took the shape of more typically pebble-like, rounded cases, this Galet Square possesses the smooth edges of a cushion case. Key hallmarks of Laurent Ferrier’s pieces are also retained, such as the Assegai-shaped hands and the typical onion shaped crown that have become familiar to us across his work.
The Galet Boreal Square is a remarkably minimalist piece with a deep black dial and discrete branding, with a seconds sub-dial that can only be subtly seen under the correct light. This watch also features a sector dial, a highly coveted vintage trait in watches from the 1930s that is given a more updated look in terms of font and style. Meanwhile, the beige Superluminova found on the hour markers and hands of the watch is an unconventional addition to Laurent Ferrier’s work, but is reminiscent of a slight patina, adding further emphasis on heritage, in contrast to the piece’s modern feel.
The watch is powered by the 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.
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 is shown, which are uniformly achieved through the use of a burin, and the handwork of the manufacturer's skilled craftsmen