Laurent Ferrier Tourbillon watch-1

I do say, I don’t believe we’ve published an article showing off the graceful beauty of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Double Spiral Tourbillon watch in over two years. How simply rude of us. One of my favorite high-end beauties, this masterpiece of classic watch design should be on your short list if you are looking for the ultimate dress watch. The watch started out as the Galet Classic Double Spiral Tourbillon, but then they apparently changed the name to “Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Balance Spring.” What is the difference? Nothing except that perhaps “double balance spring” has a more direct meaning than “double spiral.”

Speaking of double spirals, what does Laurent Ferrier mean? Well in addition to having a tourbillon, the balance wheel contains not one but two balance (hair) springs. They operate at the same time and average each other out. This is a form of trying to attain even more accuracy out of the movement. These systems aren’t exactly proven to yield ultra-high accuracy results, but are really good in the scope of mechanical timekeeping. This is also a conservative style of tourbillon as it is not displayed on the front dial. This was seen for example in the Patek Philippe Ref. 5101 (that just said “tourbillon” on the dial) and costs almost $400,000.

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Right now Laurent Ferrier produces about a dozen versions of the first watch, which is the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Balance Spring. This version comes in an 18k red gold case with an ivory grand feu enamel dial (it is reference LCF001-R). This is actually the only version of the Galet Classic Tourbillon that has this particular color dial. While this model is nice, it isn’t my favorite. That title still goes to the onyx dial version of the Galet Classic Tourbillon (hands-on here). Also in this article is a version with the brushed slate gray-colored dial (LCF001-R).

The onyx dialed version is simply gorgeous, especially matched to the 18k white gold case (ref. LCG001-G). I mean how often do you find watches with solid onyx stone dials? What is so amazing about the onyx version is that it also has a very high degree of legibility because of its painted white Roman numeral hour indicators and white hands. The elegance of that dial simple takes my breath away, and I’ve said that maybe a handful of times after seeing literally thousands of the world’s best timepieces.

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If you are curious, the style of the hands are known as “Assegai-shaped,” and they work perfect on the dial with their proper length and proportions. I’ve said this many times, but I really love well-proportioned dials with thin and long hour hands and indicators. Not all versions of the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Balance Spring watch have Roman numerals. In fact, there are some with guilloche machine engraved dials that have more simple baton hour markers. This was first used on Laurent Ferrier’s later automatic watch model called the “Galet Classic Micro-Rotor Automatic” (hands-on here).

“Galet” actually means “pebble,” (now there’s a name that isn’t at all popular for watches these days) and that refers to the shape and style of the case. With its graceful edges, it does look like a river polished stone. “Galet” has actually been used for a long time to describe watch cases, it is even the name of an historic watch brand (Gallet). The case of the watch only comes in precious metals and is 41mm wide. It is luxuriously made with no sharp surfaces and excellent detailing. Completely mirror polished, the fluted crown completes the classic look.

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