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This Laurent Ferrier Traveller in rose gold features a prototype dial, which was displayed when the model was first introduced, at Baselworld in 2013. It is also accompanied by an additional dial, from the regular production series.
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.
An early Galet Traveller
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller was first shown at Baselworld in 2013, complementing the Galet Micro-Rotor collection with a modern reinterpretation of the classic travel watch. This example is accompanied by two dials. The one fitted to the watch, is an original prototype dial shown at Baselword, in 2013, with a lighter outer-track, that never went into production. This is confirmed by a Letter of Authenticity from Laurent Ferrier, which accompanies the dial. The second dial is from the standard collection.
The restrained dial design is interrupted by a date aperture at three o'clock and 24-hour home-time window at nine o'clock. The central hands shows the local time, and these can be incrementally adjusted in both directions. This intuitive system allows the Galet Traveller to be quickly and easily adjusted. On a flight from London to New York, five pushes of the lower button would set the watch to the exact local time upon landing.
The watch is sized at a contemporary 41mm, 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.
Powered by the in-house, self-winding calibre LF 230.01, the movement combines traditional watchmaking elements, with modern innovation. Interestingly, 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 micro-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, the Galet Micro-Rotor also utilises a double direct-impulse escapement, which improves the efficiency of 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, with contrasts established between the perlage backdrop and the thick circular-grained Geneva Stripes on the bridges. The interior angles are achieved through the use of a burin, and the handwork of the manufacture’s skilled craftsmen. It took two years to create the fully-integrated, dual-timezone mechanism and date, for the calibre LF 230.01.
The timekeeping is equally impressive - it is chronometer-certified by the Besançon Observatory, outperforming its more commonly, COSC-approved peers. It also has a power reserve of 80 hours.
This Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller is accompanied by its outer box, inner box, loupe, polishing cloth, Certificate (confirming sale in October 2013), manual, Certificate of Authenticity for the prototype dial, and additional dial. It comes with its Laurent Ferrier brown alligator strap, rose gold deployant buckle and a bespoke taupe saffiano strap.
Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.
mechanical automatic chronometer Cal. LF 230.01
date, dual-timezone, hours, minutes, sub-seconds
display back, prototype dial, extra standard series dial
41 mm rose gold
sapphire front and back
Laurent Ferrier brown alligator strap, rose gold deployant buckle, bespoke taupe saffiano strap.
Box & papers:
outer box, inner box, loupe, polishing cloth, Certificate (confirming sale in October 2013), manual, Certificate of Authenticity for the dial, additional dial
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