Founded in 2010, while Laurent Ferrier the brand may be relatively fresh and new, Laurent Ferrier the watchmaker is certainly no neophyte, no upstart or arrogant imposter upon the world of painstakingly crafted Swiss watches. Laurent Ferrier first paid his dues at perhaps the most prestigious and exacting maison of them all, Patek Philippe. When he first put his name to a watch of his own, he called it the Galet Classic, and in the same year it won the Men’s Watch Category at the Grand Prix d’Horologerie.
With a wealth of technical understanding and vast skill in designing watch exteriors, Laurent Ferrier is a strong proponent of traditional watchmaking crafts, while his vision and horological values reflect Swiss watchmaking at its best; simplicity, precision and beauty.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller is a watch which deftly displays many of Laurent Ferrier’s values. Easy on the eye, clean and understatedly elegant, the watch features a dual-time display complication which makes world travel and dealing with changing time zones manageable by just the press of a button.
A dual time complication is one of the most useful there is, especially in the modern world where travel is a regular necessity. Minute repeaters and moon phases may have their place as complications of curiosity and wonder, but you can use a dual time display every time you set foot on a plane.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Dual Time is a straightforward watch to read thanks largely to the clean cut design values employed by Monsieur Ferrier. The two slimline push-buttons located at 8 and 10 o’clock are neatly built into the case on the left hand side. When pressed they immediately alter the local time as the central hand can move either forwards or backwards. As with most watches the date automatically changes at midnight, but it will do this linked to your travelling time.
The larger aperture at 9 o’clock shows the home time of the wearer and does not alter, so it can always be checked with just a glance. So the main hour and minute hands of the watch are employed to display the travel time, as you want to be able to know the time where you are, and occasionally check the time from where you have come from.
The watch is powered by a self-winding movement with no ball bearings but just a natural escapement. The LF230.01 is chronometer certified by the Besanc¸on Observatory and stores an ample power reserve of some 80 hours. The movement was selected from the Micro-Rotor range, however it was not merely dropped into the watch. No, instead it was expressly designed to competently manage the dual-time adjustment mechanism.
This in itself was no easy task, as it took two years of careful development with each component being seamlessly integrated into the original calibre so as to perfectly evolve to perform as a reliable dual-time mechanism. This long high road to glory reflects Laurent Ferrier’s training as a watchmaker of the Patek Philippe school where there should be no short cuts to achieve a thing of beauty and perfection. Patience and thoroughness are the key virtues of the artisans who develop such movements one component at a time. As with the best ateliers, the components of the movement are hand polished and finished.
The watch is 41mm and is available in both rose gold and white gold editions. The Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller has recently been showcased in a film to show off its finer points.
The latest release from Laurent Ferrier is the Galet Secret. The watch shows an enamel miniaturisation of a work by artist Charles Belle, a contemporary artist who creates large-size paintings bursting with bright colours. The challenge was to reinterpret his work for an extremely small ‘canvas’.