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Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand’s First Sport Watch?

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

At SIHH 2016, in the new “watchmaker’s square,” Laurent Ferrier will introduce what is possibly their first sport watch with the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal watch collection that will come in two versions. With this timepiece release, the Swiss watch industry once again requires us to engage in some homework, as the press release utterly misses the point of what this watch is all about.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

In steel with an automatic movement and new “high visibility” dial, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal is all about offering a high-end homage to classic sport watches. Not even the “Boréal” part of the name is explained by the brand. It refers to “north” or things in the “north.” Most English-speaking people are familiar with the word as part of the term “Aurora Borealis” (northern lights). Taken together, I am going to assume that Laurent Ferrier is either suggesting the watch is for northern travel or the rich amount of luminant is meant to remind one of the Aurora Borealis lights. You can make your own interpretation because, as of now, Laurent Ferrier hasn’t given us too many more hints on how to understand the name.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

Speaking of confusing names, while the overall case does have a squarish look to it, this isn’t a square watch, but rather a cushion-shaped one. Given their great quality and attractive designs, I am going to forgive these rather confusing naming conventions. That said, “Galet Square” does sort of mean “square pebble,” so the rounded edges make sense. But really, this is a cushion-shaped watch.

Whatever the Laurent Ferrier Square watch case lacks in originality, it makes up for in refinement and grace. Produced here in steel (with a price that is… well, less than the gold models) the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square takes on a very sensible personality in a 41mm x 41mm size that is merely 11.1mm thick (not bad for an automatic watch like this. With the crown, the total diameter is 45.35mm wide, so this isn’t a small-wearing watch – which is good when looking for something more sporty.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

I am not a fan of all Laurent Ferrier dials, but when they want to do a good-looking dial with pristine quality, they sure know how to do it. The real appeal to these new Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal models are the SuperLumiNova enhanced dials. Rather than luminant on the hands and hour makers only, the dial has a luminant-painted ring that includes all of the hour markers. I will have to see it in person, but it looks pretty nice thus far. The dials has some further light decoration and the hands are in 18k ruthenium-coated gold produced in the brand’s “assegai” shape.

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Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

You’ll notice that the two versions of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal are “green” or “brown” which refers to the color of the luminant. Green will be brighter, and the brown has that more vintage look which people seem to like. The watches come with matching calf leather straps with a useful Alcantara lining (which reduces slip). Interestingly enough, Laurent Ferrier will offer either a traditional ardillon-style buckle or a folding buckle – both in steel. The later costs a full 1,000 Swiss francs more!

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

Perhaps the only enemy to this watch being truly considered a sport watch is the mere 30 meters of water resistance. I think this is because Laurent Ferrier uses a very traditional snap-on caseback which is not nearly as water tight as a screw-down caseback. Not totally sure why this is, but if you are going to be in wet northern regions, 100 or at least 50 meters of water resistance will make a lot more sense for an actual sport watch. At least, this is a “sporty watch.”

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

Inside the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal is the very attractive and nicely performing in-house made calibre 229.01. An automatic with a micro-rotor, the movement has a variety of neat features such as a shock-protection system for the micro-rotor and silicon parts in the regulation system such as the escapement (which uses a special double direct impulse system). The movement operates at 3Hz (21,600bph) and has a power reserve of 72 hours (three days).

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal Watch: The Brand's First Sport Watch? Watch Releases

Laurent Ferrier will easily find more than a few takers for the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal collection in both the green and brown variants. You get a straightforward and legible dial with a beautifully hand-finished and decorated “haute horology movement,” all in a sensible design and steel case. These timepiece aren’t cheap, however, with the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal being priced at 35,000 Swiss francs on the traditional buckle and 36,000 Swiss francs with the folding deployant strap buckle. laurentferrier.ch

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  • Sevenmack

    Love that lume on the dial. Love that case and dial. Hands aren’t too short, either. Yes! This is one hell of a watch.

    • frustin

      yep me too, it’s lovely.

  • Yup, i’m totally hitting the gym with this one

    • DanW94

      Lol….Yeah, sporty is a bit of a stretch. Good looking watch though. Maybe we’ll see a Ferrier chronograph next : )

      • I hope they release a chrono as well…i’ll need it for my Zumba class

  • BNABOD

    this is a dressy yet sporty piece meaning you won’t take it hunting or spear fishing but you can pretty much dress it up and down as you see fit.
    beautiful movement, and I like the idea of the ring lighting up. pretty unique. 35K is pretty steep but exclusivity is not cheap

  • Richard Baptist

    Doesn’t sound like it has an exhibition case back which is a pity. I like the watch, but for 35k it faces stiff competition for what it is.

    • MEddie90

      In the Laurent Ferrier press release it describes it as having a sapphire case-back, pity its got such a poor level of water resistance though, I would much prefer a screwed down case back over the snap on.

  • Nateb123

    One major potential issue with sportiness is that the movement has an escapement which is very efficient but looks more like a clock movement (which were also very efficient but lacked shock resistance) crossed with a co-axial.

    Perhaps a sporty application is not the best idea of this sort of design.

    • iamcalledryan

      I disagree. This escapement delivers direct radial impulses in a very tight arc. The two meshed escape wheels and the impulses make for a more stable escapement than a regular swiss lever.

    • MEddie90

      While i’m not exactly too sure about the escapements capabilities to resist shock it seems unusual for them to make propriety shock absorption systems for the rotor when the escapement isn’t protected. I imagine they have considered the stability of the escapement but some clarification from the guys at Laurent Ferrier would be nice.

      • Nateb123

        One could argue that it’s far more odd that they would make a shock absorption system for the rotor at all given that it’s sole function is to turn motion (the more abrupt the better) into energy to run the watch.

        It may very well be that the Ferrier escapement performs perfectly well in a sport watch, it’s just that the brand like any high end Swiss brand is hardly transparent. Aside from saying that it is more efficient, LF doesn’t really say much about something as dramatic as a wholly different escapement. That in itself should raise some eyebrows.

        • MEddie90

          Agreed a little more info on the subject will be appreciated, it does seem like the topic has been brushed off.

          As for the shock absorption on the rotor i’m sure it only damps vertical and lateral displacement, the rotor is stabilised at both ends and held in jeweled bearings which are themselves stabilised so the rotor can turn freely but in the case of shock will not develop excessive forces developing on the pivots. I don’t think it should have a major effect on the efficiency of the winding.

  • WImads

    Love pretty much all Laurent Ferrier designs, including this one! All their watches just seem to match my taste. They are very elegant and refined watches, understated and yet somehow also with a bit of glamour.
    If it weren’t for the price tag, I would have owned one of all their models 🙂 Sadly only one of them is already pretty much out of the question, at least for the coming 10 years if not ever…

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