Few boutique brands have accomplished as much in as little time as Laurent Ferrier. Since leaving Patek Philippe to found his own eponymous brand in 2010, Ferrier has claimed major honors at the Grand Prix d’Horologerie de Genève three times, including winning the overall Best Men’s Watch prize his inaugural year in 2010. The atelier’s latest attempt to continue this award-winning legacy is the limited-edition Galet Annual Calendar School Piece “Geneva Edition,” a handsomely balanced piece building on the design of last year’s Galet Annual Calendar School Piece series with the colors of a Swiss autumn.
The 40mm stainless steel case is elegantly simple, featuring a broad polished bezel and diminutive straight lugs. The oversized onion crown at 3 o’clock ties in the theme of classic “school piece” pocket watch conversions while remaining a beautiful element in its own right. Around back, a broad sapphire display window gives a full view of the decorated movement within.
If the dial of the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece “Geneva Edition” could be summarized in one word, it would be “balance.” Every element here is refined and precisely visually weighted for a harmonious whole. The warmly desaturated autumnal themes shine through in the muted salmon of the opaline dial surface and are given a spark with the blue and red of the outer pointer date numerals. The slim, spear-like Assegai hands are a mix of ruthenium for the hours, minutes, and seconds, contrasted with a high-visibility white for the central pointer date hand. This white color theme extends to the twin windows of the triple calendar at 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock for easy legibility at a glance. While the majority of this opaline dial surface is a reserved matte, the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock offers a small showcase of Laurent Ferrier’s finishing ability with concentric brushed and snailed circles. With such a clean and balanced overall design, however, the printed dial crosshair adds a touch of unnecessary visual clutter in an otherwise minimally reserved style.
In keeping with previous Laurent Ferrier offerings, the manually wound Calibre no. 126.01 movement inside the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece “Geneva Edition” is both finely finished and technically impressive. On the decoration side, the movement is well adorned with Côtes de Genève, perlage, chamfered edges throughout, and mirror-polished screws. In terms of technical prowess, the Calibre no. 126.01 offers a laundry list of achievements including a variable inertia balance, an 80-hour power reserve indicator, Laurent Ferrier’s signature blade-type click ratchet, and true annual calendar capability requiring adjustment only once a year. Equally impressive is the streamlined setting of the functions, with all displays except the day wheel adjustable via the crown, which is moved forward via the 10 o’clock pusher.
The exclusivity and build quality of the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece “Geneva Edition” demands an equally luxe strap to match, and Laurent Ferrier delivers with a warm brown alligator strap lined with matching Alcantara. This strap is offered with a choice of pin buckle or butterfly deployant clasps.
In a market filled with limited editions, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece “Geneva Edition” stands out as one of the rarest, with the boutique atelier only producing five models overall. Pricing for this piece sits at $50,800. For more information, visit the Laurent Ferrier website.