Watch lovers know that the most valuable resources in the world of haute horlogerie are the watchmakers themselves. A lifetime on from the devastation that quartz wreaked on the entire watch industry and, at last, the world is recovering thanks to a new generation of watchmakers, who have one thing in common: they learned the basics at watchmaking schools, to develop into complete artisans.
Laurent Ferrier, as is evident from the memes that inform his timepieces, appreciates the classic examples of fine watchmaking from the 19th century, when man and machine, rather than man, machine and computer, created these marvels of miniaturization. He recalled his very first creation as a watchmaker: the School Piece, or “Montre Ecole.”
It is an introduction into the world of watchmaking beyond mere assembly. The School Piece incorporated the 19th century pocket watches codes, the skills and techniques that traditionalists will never allow to disappear. In paying homage to his ur-watch, Laurent Ferrier’s objective is to develop a case with the same roundness above and below its wrist, as when those pioneering watchmakers converted pocket watches into wristwatches.
Ferrier’s efforts have given us a new 40mm three-piece bassiné case, its form enhanced by two satin bands, with a matte finish to contrast with the polished. The competing-yet-harmonious surfaces emphasize the curved shape and balance of the piece, assisting the eye in appreciating the subtlety of the curvatures.
Straight, thin lugs were developed to offer another contrast of the modern and the traditional, the “pastille” end-piece decoration mirrored by the winding crown.
The Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole” will be available in three versions including rose gold, white gold and stainless steel.
Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole” Steel: This new case demanded a new dial, also inspired by the Laurent Ferrier School Piece “Montre Ecole” with a vertical satin-brushed finish in a dark silver hue. Assegai-shaped white gold hands and indexes point to anthracite painted indexes. The minimalist small seconds dial, free of clutter, enjoys two contracting surfaces: a snailed finish in the center and a sandblasted outer section. Another nod to classicism is the finish of the main bridge, reminiscent of the “frosted” style of the great English watchmakers of the 18th century. Laurent Ferrier also chose a rougher decoration for its micro rotor movement, recalling the original materials uses in prototyping, such as brass, which offers a contrast with steel. Further hand-finishing skills applied to the movement include shot-blasting, known as microbillé, and mirror polishing for the parts in steel, including the balance cock.
It is fitted with a dark brown alligator leather strap with Alcantara lining, secured by a pin buckle or a double-blade folding clasp in steel.
Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole” Gold: Offered in rose gold or white gold three-piece bassiné cases, the gold models are fitted with Assegai hands matching the case metals. Sharing with the steel version’s dial are the vertical satin brushed finish in a silver hue and the minimalist small seconds dial with snailed finish in the center and a sandblasted outer section. The Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole” in gold will exhibit the exact same decoration as the brand’s existing Micro Rotor models. The gold editions attach to the wrist with light brown alligator leather straps with Alcantara lining, secured by a pin buckles or a double-blade folding clasps in white or rose gold.
A version in platinum is available on request.
Galet Micro Rotor “Montre Ecole”
- FBN Calibre 229.01, automatic winding with pawl-fitted micro-rotor
- 72-hour power reserve
- Micro-rotor winding system fixed between the main plate and the micro-rotor bridge
- Silicon escapement with double direct impulse on the balance
- A silent block shock protection type system for the micro-rotor
- Indications: hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock
- Frequency: 21,600 vph (3Hz)
- 40 mm three-piece bassiné case
- Thickness: including the sapphire crystal 10.95mm
- Sapphire crystal caseback
- Water-resistant to 30m
- Two-tone dial, silver-toned vertical satin-brushed finish for the center and circular satin-brushed finish for the outer dial (rose and white gold models)
- Dark silver toned vertical satin-brushed finish (stainless steel model)
- Minimalist small seconds with a snailed finish in the center and a sandblasted outer section