We paid Laurent Ferrier a visit during this year’s Baselworld Watch Fair and it is perhaps one of the very few independent watch brands that I not only appreciate but also fully respect for their commitment to creating beautifully sculpted timepieces. Their timepieces, from the outside have an air of simplicity about them but remain subtly detailed, keeping the wearer ever intrigued with its beauty. This feat only ever reminds me of a quote I’ve used before when referencing LF timepieces: “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away”. Laurent Ferrier are masters at doing this.
The Galet Micro Rotor was introduced in 2011 a few years after the highly acclaimed Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral that won the Men’s watch prize at GPHG in 2010. Where the Galet Classic was all about high-end watchmaking at exorbitant costs, the Micro Rotor was meant to address a need for an elegant dress watch, with the same level of detail, but at a relatively more accessible price point.
The visual dialogue of the Galet Micro Rotor has been thoroughly thought out. The flowing 40mm case, free from bevels and with its rounded bezel works together with the thin straight lugs. The signature onion-shaped winding crown has just enough detail in it to offset the entirely polished case and though large in size, is in proportion with the case.
However, where Laurent Ferrier really excels, in my humble opinion, is in the dial department. Laurent Ferrier create some of the most beautifully, stunning and intriguing dials in modern watchmaking and it is something often overlooked. Of course, the case design and size, along with the movement are very important aspects of any watch but the dial is the soul of the watch. This is was truly gives it character.
These recently introduced sunburst dial from Laurent Ferrier is simply gorgeous and completely refresh a design that has been with us for the past 7 years. The white sector dial is a feast, interrupted by a large subsidiary seconds dial, which is all surrounded by a railroad style minutes track. The use of just four applied hour markers, at 3, 9 and two at 12 o’clock, lends the perfect balance. Laurent Ferrier’s use of the signature Assegai-shaped hands can’t go unnoticed but is in harmony of the dial.
The Galet Micro Rotor is not only stunning when peering into to the dial but also when looking at the movement. Looking through the exhibition cask back of the Galet Micro Rotor reveals the pièce de résistance and heart of the watch; the self-winding LF 230.01, an in-house movement that communicates a sense of traditional watchmaking but in a modern forward-thinking context. Using a micro rotor, the folks at Laurent Ferrier managed to create a movement that is not only aesthetically traditional but with a modern sensibility and functionality in mind with the use of an automatic movement. The movement is impressive, a double direct-impulse escapement.
The contrasts of finishing with a backdrop of perlage shows the traditional side of Laurent Ferrier with interior angles hand-crafted with a burin, Côtes de Genève striped motif and circular graining.
The finishing from LF is perhaps as good as it gets and trust me when I say this, only a handful of watches in the world are finished to such high standards. If you are looking for a watch that strikes a great balance between beauty, performance and functionality, you’d be hard pressed to find something close to a Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro Rotor.