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SIHH 2017 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie - Geneva, 16-20 January 2017

Laurent Ferrier - Laurent Ferrier goes back to school

Laurent Ferrier Laurent Ferrier goes back to school

Laurent Ferrier is going back to his roots. The watchmaker is launching a model inspired by his own “school watch” which he made back in 1968. At the same time, we get the first glimpse of the much anticipated backwards-way-round, dial-side tourbillon.

atchmakers have a sense of humour. Their clients do, too. Laurent Ferrier, the man behind the brand, has always been a stickler for technical coherence where his watches are concerned. Raised in the Patek Philippe tradition, he has always made his tourbillons visible on the back of the watch. It’s a purist approach: the tourbillon is a regulating organ, and consequently has no place on the dial, which is the domain of the time display and associated complications. 

Back to front, front to back

But this approach doesn’t take clients’ wishes into account. They like to watch a beautiful escapement doing its work on the dial side. Laurent Ferrier gave them what they wanted, but stuck to his guns. He opened up the dial to give a view of the tourbillon’s… backside.

This purely aesthetic, but whimsical and highly original move, was not without its share of technical challenges. A special two-armed bridge had to be created. While primarily functional, it was also vexatious to finish, with around 30 internal angles and multiple edges and curves. More than 30 hours’ hand-finishing is required to perfect the presentation of this rear-mounted tourbillon, visible through the dial – a watchmaking first! 

The Galet Classic Tourbillon Dual will be offered in a 41 mm white gold case, with all the usual distinctive features: spear-shaped hands, Roman numeral XII at 12 o’clock, grey satin-brushed dial and a navy blue alligator strap lined with Alcantara.

Laurent Ferrier goes back to school

 

Back to school

In parallel, Laurent Ferrier is making a completely new departure, the Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole”. This name, familiar to all watchmakers who have been through watchmaking school, refers to the piece they make and finish themselves, entirely from scratch, and submit as their final exam. 

The one Laurent Ferrier (and most of his colleagues) made was round – a classical shape that the watchmaker, now an established brand 40 years on, has largely eschewed in favour of his famous “pebble” case. Now, he has made up his mind to return to his roots with a new – round – Galet. 

But this shouldn’t be taken too literally. The “round” of the Galet doesn’t necessarily refer to the shape of the case, it’s more about the opulent curve of its crystals. These cambered contours are essential elements of Laurent Ferrier’s style, but this is the first time the watchmaker has incorporated them into both sapphire crystals. And so we have the Montre Ecole, the school watch, a rotund tribute to the first pocket watches that were converted into wrist watches, and which were also curved on the back as well as on the front. 

The Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole” comes in a 40 mm case, in red gold, white gold or steel.

Laurent Ferrier goes back to school

 

The brand

Laurent Ferrier’s approach to watchmaking revolves around five essential characteristics that are taken into account in the development of all the brand’s timepieces.

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