Laurent Ferrier and Only Watch 2015
is a biannual charity event, where watchmakers, ranging from Patek Philippe to F.P. Journe,
donate a unique piece to be auctioned off publicly, with all the proceeds helping to fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. For the 2015 edition, Laurent Ferrier
donated this particular piece, a derivation of their classic Galet Square Micro-Rotor
, with some distinctive vintage design cues. Laurent Ferrier
is a true independent manufacture, lead by Monsieur Ferrier
himself, who worked at Patek Philippe
for 40 years, finishing as their creative director. The objective of the Galet Square
is to assert a bolder presence on the wrist, whilst maintaining the classic “pebble” style from which the watch is inspired. The entire watch is polished and mirror finished, while the crown itself is engraved.
The distinctive feature of this Galet Square Only Watch 2015 is its brushed, silver two-tone 'sector' style. A transferred circle, featuring curved black markers, divides the vertical satin-brushed centre from the circular satin-brushed exterior of the dial, creating a powerful variety of shades and textures. A lightly recessed sub-seconds indicator adopts a similar styling, with Laurent Ferrier’s signature ‘Assegai’-shaped hands executed in black. The "Only Watch 2015" inscription appears discretely at the spot traditionally reserved for the word "Swiss".
The case was re-designed for this Only Watch edition, integrating straight lugs fitted out with cabochons, replacing the usual amorphous, rounded lugs found on the Galet Square; the choice further reinforcing the watch's overall vintage appearance. The stainless steel case, usually reserved by the brand for unique or limited editions, measures 41mm, wearing comfortably on the wrist because of its fluid proportions.
Unsurprisingly, the vintage inspiration and styling of the piece led some commentators, at the time the Only Watch 2015 watches were announced, to draw parallels with Patek Philippe wristwatches from the 1930s. Ben Clymer of HODINKEE commented,
"A steel case, two-tone sector dial, plus one of the most interesting movements around – here you have a sure-fired winner."
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 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 watch is accompanied by its original Only Watch box, papers and loupe. It comes on one of our taupe Zürich grained calfskin straps, and is also accompanied by its original Laurent Ferrier alligator strap and stainless steel buckle. The paperwork having been omitted when the watch was first acquired in 2015, Laurent Ferrier issued new paperwork for the watch in 2019.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment only.