Hunter, cushion, barrel (tonneau): these are all words that fine Swiss watch manufactures have adopted to describe the shapes of their watch cases, but only the French term Galet (“pebble”) is used by esteemed independent watchmaker Laurent Ferrier. Galet is the name of the first collection unveiled by Laurent Ferrier in 2010, and while I tend to prefer his more traditional Galet Round cases rather than the Galet Square variation, the dial of this watch makes it hard not to love. Let’s take a closer look.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Porcelain
Limited Edition 10 pieces
41mm x 41mm white gold case
For this special 10-piece edition, Laurent Ferrier presents a white porcelain dial. The discs are fashioned by hand from a kaolin-based substance. Once modelled and fired at 1400°C/2550°F, the immaculate white porcelain is coated with a layer of transparent enamel that gives it a beautiful gloss. The porcelain discs must be perfectly profiled to ensure a perfect fit inside the watch case.
The elegant and delicate porcelain dial is topped by ten anthracite Breguet type numerals, a scarlet red at “12” as well as an outer ring marked with gold circular dots for the minutes, four diamond-shape gold markers at 3, 6, 9 and 12 and smaller diamond-shape gold patterns for the tenths.
The movement is a Laurent Ferrier’s own self-winding FBN 229.01 calibre, equipped with a unidirectional pawl-fitted micro-rotor providing a three-day power reserve. It also has a silicon escapement featuring a double direct impulse on the balance, also a Laurent Ferrier development and one which enables the balance to be impelled twice per oscillation for greater energy efficiency.
The finishes reflect the high standards Laurent Ferrier imposes on all its creations. All are performed in keeping with the finest watchmaking traditions. Alongside the Côtes de Genève motif on the bridges and the circular graining on the mainplate, the wheel spokes are bevelled, the screw heads are chamfered and polished and the interior angles are hand-crafted. The sapphire crystal case-back provides a fascinating glimpse of this fine workmanship and reveals an attractively balanced structure stemming from a clever combination of lines and curves.