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Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Watch

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Watch Watch Releases

Founded by the former Creative Director of Patek Philippe, Laurent Ferrier needs no introduction among serious watch collectors. The brand has developed a reputation for classically styled timepieces which conceal an extremely high degree of hand-finishing and technically advanced movements. Perhaps most emblematic of this design ethos is the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral (reviewed here), which appears to be a simple gold dress watch until you turn it around to view the stunning movement within. The Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece being announced for SIHH 2018 is something of a departure from this formula, offering for the first time from the brand a full calendar display on the dial and an annual calendar complication.

“School Piece” is certainly an unusual name for this release, as I don’t imagine many students will be able to afford the sticker price of one of these watches. The brand tells us that this name refers to the case, which has been used twice before by the Galet Micro Rotor ‘Montre Ecole’ and the Galet Regulateur. This case was designed as kind of an homage to Mr. Ferrier’s first creations at watchmaking school, and is inspired by the rounded shape of early pocket watches which were converted into wristwatches. The watch comes attached to either a beige calf leather or black alligator strap with Alcantara lining (which is a synthetic microfiber with a suede-like texture), secured with a pin buckle or double blade folding clasp.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Watch Watch Releases

The dial of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece is clean and legible by full calendar standards, although it is still by far one of the busiest dials from the brand. Two dial options are available, either a silver tone (which appears white in the brand’s photos) or a slate grey. The dial employs a cross-hair design, which is combined with bold indexes at 3 and 9 o’clock and a double-bold index at 12 o’clock to assist with legibility. Half-length indexes are used to mark the minutes, lending the chapter ring a ruler-like aesthetic which ties in to the “school piece” theme. Beyond the chapter ring is an outer date ring featuring blue Arabic numerals in a vintage font, with a contrasting red “31” occupying the 12 o’clock position.

Bevelled apertures between 11 and 1 o’clock display the day of the week and month, just above the “Laurent Ferrier Geneve” branding. The month and date can be fast-adjusted both forwards and backwards via the crown, while the day of the week is adjusted via the button at 10 o’clock. A red pointer hand indicates the current date, while the brand’s signature “Assegai” style hands (which is a type of African throwing spear) indicate the hours and minutes. These hands are made of 18K / 750 210Pd white gold, which is then either painted black for the slate grey dial option or ruthenium treated for the silver dial option. A small seconds sub-dial occupies the 6 o’clock position and features a baton-style second hand with a matching counterweight.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Watch Watch Releases

A variety of finishing techniques have been employed for the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece dial. The central disc has been vertically satin-brushed, while the chapter ring features circular satin brushing. The small seconds sub-dial likewise offers a circular satin brushed outer ring and a contrasting snailed finish in the center. The slate grey dial option shows off this finishing better by providing stronger contrast, while the silver dial option will likely require much closer observation to notice the differing textures. The dial-work in either case is quite subtle yet refined, which is nothing less than I would expect from a brand which touts simplicity as a core design ethos.

The case of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece measures 40mm by 12.8mm, with domed sapphire crystals on both sides. It features straight thin lugs, with a “pastille” end-piece decoration mirrored by the winding crown at 3 o’clock. The case is water-resistant to 3 Bar, or approximately 30m, so prospective owners should avoid letting it get immersed. In another first for the brand, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece will be offered in a “pale” 18K yellow gold alloy, as well as red gold and steel options. We have no images of these versions as yet, but I’m hoping the pale gold version will look similar to A. Lange & Söhne’s “honey gold” alloy, which was used for their 1815 ‘200th Anniversary F.A. Lange’ watch (hands-on here).

The Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece is powered by the Calibre LF126.01, which is a manual-winding movement with an 80-hour power reserve. Sadly we have not received images of this movement as of yet, but we’re told it will feature Côtes de Genève decoration on ruthenium treated bridges, circular graining on the mainplate, sides and interior angles manually chamfered, and polished screw heads. A power reserve indicator will also be featured movement-side and will be sunburst-finished. LF126.01 also features a “blade” type click ratchet similar to Laurent Ferrier’s tourbillon double hairspring calibre. The movement is comprised of 235 components and 23 jewels, and uses a screw balance which oscillates at 21,600 A/h, or 3Hz.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Watch Watch Releases

The Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece is an interesting development from the brand, offering more information dial-side than any of their previous watches and debuting their first annual calendar calibre. Dial legibility appears to be excellent despite the increased information on offer, but this is still a very different watch from the clean and classic dress watches Laurent Ferrier is renowned for. We’ll have to withhold final judgement until we can handle this watch in the metal, in particular the “pale gold” version which for now remains something of a mystery. The Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece (Reference LCF025) is being offered for 50,000 CHF in steel, or 55,000 CHF for either gold version. laurentferrier.ch

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  • Tea Hound

    Lovely. You can close the comments now, there isn’t much for anyone else to add.

  • DanW94

    Sorry Mr. Ferrier, I know you’re used to rave reviews extolling the virtues of your finishing techniques and attention to detail but I got to say this is one homely design.

  • BNABOD

    holly Batman 50Gs

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Gorgeous.

  • Marius

    Although Laurent Ferrier is one of my favourite independent brands specializing in classically-styled watches, I have to say that I find this watch extremely unimpressive, and even disappointing.

    Firstly, I find the overall design quite ugly. The new case design doesn’t have the same elegance and “smoothness” of the Galet case, especially if you look at those unaesthetic lugs. Then, the printed dial looks extremely flat; personally, I would have used applied hour indexes so as to give the dial a bit more depth. Also, the dial colors give this watch a toy-like appearance. If I didn’t see the LF logo on the dial, I could easily mistake this timepiece for a cheap Kickstarter watch.

    Secondly, why doesn’t Laurent Ferrier provide any pictures of the new movement? Considering that the calibers produced by Laurent Ferrier are one of the main strengths of this brand, and considering that LF makes a big deal about its new caliber, I find their decision to not provide any movement photos as quite dumb.

    Lastly, I find the pricing of this watch quite bizarre. The gold references are only $5,000 more expensive than the steel version, so why would a person willing to spend over $50,000 on a watch buy the steel reference anyway? More importantly though, I just don’t see these watches being worth $55,000. Sure, the movement will most likely be highly-finished, but apart from that, I’m looking at a timepiece with an ugly dial, and an equally-unatractive case. Personally, if I were in the market for an annual calendar, then my top pick would be the Lange Saxonia Annual, which I find much more attractive, and at under $45,000, it’s also considerably cheaper than the Laurent Ferrier.

    • IanE

      Yes – surprisingly disappointing. Foversta shows the backside over at watchprosite, and, again, the movement seems very dull for an LF. As this watch is not that much more pricey than his 3-handers, I guess that Ferrier has made the watch to a price, rather than to his normal standards. I know that most of us here want cheaper watches, but somehow I suspect that LF’s normal buyers are more concerned with getting the ‘best’ than with getting ‘cheaper’!

    • egznyc

      This sure does seem kind of lackluster … for this price anyway (and no movement shot?). The pointer date would be better as a crescent perhaps, and this dial could use some applied elements. But as you said, why in the world would anyone go for the steel version; just to get a 10% price reduction?

    • BNABOD

      I want to like it, my heart says like it, my wallet says are you out of your Flippin mind and 50 grand in steel????? I get it superb finishing on movement but let me repeat 50 large in steel???
      Mind boggling.

    • ???

      Sorry, but I’m seriously considering to choose the steel version of Gronefeld 1941 Remontoire for €6000 less.

  • Ulysses31

    This just isn’t the kind of watch I expect to see when I hear the name of Laurent Ferrier. I think “School Piece” is the name because this watch has a certain naivety to it, of potential not fully realised.

  • SuperStrapper

    I would love to love a watch like this. But for LF money I want LF quality and even in these touched marketing images I’m not seeing it. Having Spartan finishes is not a crime and often enjoyable, but for this kind of money Spartan shouldn’t be in the mix, and a much more dedicated industrial aesthetic with purposeful and luxurious techniques employed. The case itself is nice but not great, the crown appears to be the best feature. The movement should have all hands centrally mounted. It would be a much more impressive visual appearance, and there would be no sub dials to cut into other information. I know ibgripe about subsidiary seconds often but in this case does it not make absolute sense that the entire track is blemish free and cohesive in appearance?

    If this were a 25k chf watch I would complain that the bezel is too heavy and should be redacted by at least 50%, with all other dial features expanded to meet the extra space. These hands are appropriately sizes for thier places but the places seem slightly cramped, evidenced mostly in the hour hands which looks awkwardly short; the feature at the end ofbth e arm is longer than the arm, and doesn’t suit it’s look. I wouldn’t make this assessment of it as a 50k chf watch because it looks like a 25k chf watch.

  • Ranchracer

    Beautiful.

  • Yanko

    In mechanics there is such a term as “linkage weight”. That is the weight of a locomotive on the front wheels. The friction of the front wheels is fifty times greater than the friction of the rolling wheels. Without linkage weight movement is impossible. This watch is missing the “linkage weight.”

  • Good Gene 42K18

    I really like this watch. I guess that makes me an idiot.

    • IG

      It’s a hand-wound watch, so it doesn’t.

  • I’ve never understood making parts, the hands in this case, out of gold and then painting them. Kind of defeats the purpose, if you ask me. Why not a lesser metal if it’s going to be painted or coated anyway?

  • Timestandsstill

    It looks much better in black ….. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5c2bf57a1e1f26623f1b9207c8597aa0c1e73f0ad21ed577bca4fb0f4cd3e58c.jpg

    Also it’s not totally uncommon for some references (Patek Philippe comes to mind) where steel iterations sell at a premium over their precious metal counterparts

  • David Rolls

    Not a fan. The thick bezel is horrible, makes the proportions of the watch look totally wrong, and makes the overall watch look ugly (also it’s a scratch magnet). I hate the “cross hairs” design on the dial – it seems pointless and adds nothing to readability and adds to clutter. The date numbers around the edge of the dial are too big and intrude too much on the dial real estate. The hands are actually quite nice. The 80 hour power reserve is good, but 3Hz, seriously?

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Like it.

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