A very rare, fine and classy dress wristwatch of the Swiss haute horlogerie brand Laurent Ferrier, established in 2009 and named after its founder, Swiss watchmaker Laurent Ferrier. Estimated production period: 2015–2022. Case in stainless steel, dimensions 41 x 41mm, 11.1mm thick, sapphire caseback. Dark blue dial, vertical satin-brushed finish, white gold hands, white gold applied indexes, slightly recessed small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock with fine circular grooves. Caliber FBN229.01, self-winding with solid-gold micro-rotor, silicon escapement with a double direct impulse on the balance, power reserve of up to 72 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours, minutes and seconds. Dark blue leather strap, Laurent Ferrier stainless steel pin buckle.
The Galet Square is a watch of particular importance in the history of the Laurent Ferrier brand. When it was introduced in 2015, it was the first wristwatch from a Genevan brand with a non-round case, and it was also the first time Laurent Ferrier had used stainless steel in the manufacture of a watch. Despite the cushion-type case, the design of the Galet Square embodies the same DNA as the brand’s inaugural Galet Double Spiral Tourbillon models. The shape of the Galet watch case is fully consistent with the English translation of this term, i.e., ‘pebble’, which means all components are smoothly rounded. This reflects the aesthetics of a classic hunting pocket watch. In particular, instead of using of a screwed caseback, the Galet watch is equipped with a press-fitted (snap-on) caseback, and to facilitate the opening of the case, there is a characteristic ‘lip’ on the rim of the caseback at the bottom, which further enhances the relationship between the design of Galet and the design of pocket watches.
The case of the Galet Square watch is so carefully polished that the smooth, streamlined outlines are really emphasised. For this reason, the feeling of the watch on the wrist is very comfortable. Galet watches, including the present Galet Square, are among the most emotionally attractive watches of the small brands of today which specialize in the release of collector’s models. In this regard, Laurent Ferrier occupy one of the leading positions.
The shape of the Galet watch case is fully consistent with the English translation of this term, i.e., ‘pebble’, which means all components are smoothly rounded. This reflects the aesthetics of a classic hunting pocket watch.
The shape and finishing of the case are matched by a graceful, yet rather large and easy-to-use turban-shaped crown. The pin buckle follows the curve of the case, while the elongated markers and hands of the modified ‘spade & whip’ style, which are given soft streamlined shapes, give the watch a special charm and recognition. Hands of this design are best paired with a polished finish, which is what is most often done in the collection, including this watch.
The present Galet Square Micro-Rotor Blue, with a dark-blue dial and an industrial finish that features fine vertical straight grinding and a contrasting small seconds counter with a fine circular groove, was the first model in the Galet Square collection to be unveiled by the brand at Baselworld 2015. In November of the same year, it won for Laurent Ferrier the Horological Revelation Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).
The present watch features the self-winding micro-rotor caliber FBN 229.01. The ‘FBN’ in the caliber designation credits Christian Ferrier, the son of Laurent Ferrier, and the co-founders of the brand, Enrico Barbasini and Michel Navas. The latter are both co-founders of La Fabrique du Temps, the watch movements atelier (which now belongs to LVMH). The FBN 229.01 was designed and launched in 2011 as a more affordable alternative to caliber LF619.01 of the Double Spiral Tourbillon, running alongside, but with the same high-end execution. It is recognised as one of the best offerings in the time-only luxury watches segment.
Apart from the design with bridges and layout that is reminiscent of tourbillon chronometric calibers of the mid-20th century, the caliber FBN 229.01 features an extremely rare type of escapement with double direct impulse transmission. This is very efficient, so that a single barrel is enough for a three-day power reserve. The prototype of such an escapement is the famous échappement naturel of Abraham-Louis Breguet, invented by him in 1789, which is implemented with state-of-the-art technologies using LIGA (nickel-phosphorous impulse wheels) and silicon DRIE (switching part). The caliber also includes an overcoil hairspring, another invention of Breguet, and a free-sprung balance.
The caliber FBN 229.01 features an extremely rare type of escapement with double direct impulse transmission
The self-winding system uses a heavy solid-gold micro-rotor of unidirectional operation with a ratchet, and is mounted under the bridge on two ruby jewels.
The quality of the finish of the caliber can be described as very high and performed in the classic Genevan tradition. The outer surface of the bridges is decorated with a Côtes de Genève, vertically oriented and very sharply executed. The mainplate reveals perlage decoration, while the chamfers are bevelled and mirror polished with careful finishing of external and internal corners, which is a desirable high-end finish but often neglected by other brands. The slots for screws, pins and jewels are chamfered and polished as well. The outer surfaces of the steel parts, including the screw heads, pawl, balance cock and micro-rotor bridge, are mirror-polished by hand. The inscriptions are engraved and gilded, and the micro-rotor is decorated with spiral guilloché.
Reasons to bid
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Micro-Rotor Blue Ref. LCF013.AC.CG2 should be regarded as an attractive purchase for the collector and connoisseur who desires a very rare, fine and classy dress wristwatch from a modern haute horlogerie watch brand, one of the leading players on a modern collector’s watch market. The combination of typical Laurent Ferrier design features, including the smoothly rounded pebble-shaped case, sleek hands of unique branded design, rare self-winding micro-rotor caliber featuring valuable hi-end haute horlogerie finishing, further enhances attractiveness of the present lot.