Prototype Galet Micro-rotor | steel
ONLY WATCH 2011
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 engraved with a pattern.
The chestnut brown, guilloché-worked flinqué dial is delicately textured, with concentric ‘waves’ radiating from the centre, interrupted only by Laurent Ferrier’s motif and subsidiary-seconds dial. On top of this, are Laurent Ferrier’s signature ‘Assegai’-shaped hands. The index markers and hands are subtle in form, and correspond harmoniously in shape.
Powered by the in-house, self-winding calibre LF 229.01, it is an incredibly high-quality movement that combines traditional watchmaking and modern innovation. Interestingly, where haute-horlogerie often favours a manual-winding movement so that it is not blocked 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. This prototype example features many of the latest improvements, to match the final production design.
Impressively, this Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro-Rotor utilises 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.
Like the front, the case-back is covered by a sapphire crystal, revealing the "PROTOTYPE" engraving on the movement. The finishing 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 manufactures’ skilled craftsmen. By request, the “Only Watch” engraving (typically seen on the case, movement or dial) features on the side of the micro-rotor (although is not visible in our photography).
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 72 hours.
Prototypes are usually closely-guarded by manufacturers, with the majority featuring in the the brands' own museums and collections. With so few production pieces leaving Laurent Ferrier’s Atelier d'Horlogerie, this example represents an extremely rare opportunity to acquire an important piece of independent watchmaking heritage.
This watch comes on an original Laurent Ferrier brown alligator strap; smooth, brown Prague calf-skin strap (with quick-change springbars) and a matching steel tang buckle.
|Model:||Galet Micro-Rotor Prototype - LF 229.01|
|Movement:||automatic prototype Cal. FBN 229.01|
|Functions:||time-only: hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||display back, guilloché-worked flinqué prototype dial|
|Case:||40 mm stainless steel|
|Crystal:||sapphire, front and back|
|Bracelet:||Laurent Ferrier brown alligator strap; our Prague, steel Laurent Ferrier tang buckle|
|Year:||2011 (sale date)|
|Box & papers:||original box and certificate from Laurent Ferrier|
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