Laurent Ferrier Introduces the Galet Tourbillon ‘A Collected Man’

Steel, with a taupe enamel dial.

Back in 2013, Laurent Ferrier updated its highly-regarded tourbillon movement, transitioning from the FBN 619.01 to the LF 619.01 that’s still used in its tourbillon wristwatches. To mark the occasion, the brand unveiled a limited edition of 18 tourbillons with steel cases and sun-ray guilloche dials. All were sold, but for reasons now lost to time, one remained, and it numbered “8/18”.

That has now become the one-off Galet Tourbillon ‘A Collected Man’, produced for the independent watchmaking specialist in London.

The tourbillon has a 40 mm, Galet steel case (galet is French for pebble), just like the rest of the original edition, but with a discreet “ACM” hallmark on its lower lug to distinguish it from the rest of the 18-piece run. But more important and unusual is the unique, fired enamel dial created for this watch.

A dark taupe brown, the dial is grand feu enamel – the traditional sort baked in an oven – but decorated with an uncommon, textured finish. The pattern is actually created with tiny lines engraved at random by hand, resulting in a surface that resembles abstract brushstrokes.

The enamel dial is matched with elegant, applied Breguet numerals, and the signature Assegai hands of Laurent Ferrier, which get their name and shape from an African spear.

The enamel dial also does away with the tourbillon label that is usually found above the seconds register, giving the dial a cleaner look

Inside the steel case is the LF 619.01, a gorgeous calibre inspired by observatory tourbillon pocket watch movements. It’s beautifully constructed, with graceful and refined details like the separate cock for the centre wheel, while also being impeccably decorated. Although Laurent Ferrier is now a decade old, with several in-house movements to its name, the original tourbillon movement remains its best.

“ACM” on the lug

Three watches for 10 years

Because Laurent Ferrier celebrates an eventful decade in business this year, A Collected Man has put together a trio of notable Laurent Ferrier watches for the occasion, including the unique tourbillon.

The second watch is the Galet Square ‘Only Watch’, the one-off automatic made for the 2015 instalment of the charity auction. Being sold by the gentleman who purchased the watch for 62,000 Swiss francs at Only Watch five years ago, it combines a cushion-shaped steel case with a “sector” dial.

The Galet Square ‘Only Watch’

And the last watch of the trio is a Galet Micro-Rotor prototype. Originally owned by the founding chief executive of Laurent Ferrier, Olivier R. Muller, this watch is one of a handful of prototypes made.

It has a 40 mm white gold case with a bona fide prototype movement; not only is the barrel bridge engraved “PROTOTYPE”, the engraving and Geneva stripes on the two bridges are not exactly a match.

Importantly, this watch is accompanied by a certificate from Laurent Ferrier that notes its prototype status.

The prototype

Note the different engraving and finishing on the two bridges

Key facts and price

Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillion ‘A Collected Man’

Case diameter: 40 mm
Material: Steel, with “ACM” hallmark
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: LF 619.01
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds; tourbillon regulator
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Taupe calfskin

Limited edition: Unique piece
Availability: A Collected Man
Price: £135,000 (equivalent to US$177,000)

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Konstantin Chaykin Introduces the Mouse King

A fairytale Joker.

Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin had a hit on his hands when he unveiled the Joker at Baselworld 2017. Inspired by the “moving eye” clocks invented by German clockmaker J. Oswald in 1926, the Joker has since been iterated into several new versions, including the one-off Joker Selfie that sold for 75,000 Swiss francs at last year’s Only Watch charity auction.

To mark the upcoming Chinese Year of the Rat, Konstantin has created a special variant of the Joker – the Mouse King – featuring the same “rolling eye” time display, but powered by a new base movement.

According to Konstantin, the genesis of the watch came during the recent Christmas season, when he read the German fairytale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, or Nussknacker und Mausekönig in its original language, to his daughter.

A story about a nutcracker doll that comes to life and then defeats the evil Mouse King, the fairytale is the basis for Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. But most relevant to Konstantin is the fact that one of its main characters, Drosselmeyer, is a clockmaker. And in another coincidence, the Chinese Year of the Rat begins on January 25, 2020, which is also his daughter’s birthday.

And so the Mouse King watch was created, as a limited edition of seven watches – because the evil Mouse King has seven heads, each wearing a golden crown. It indicates the hours and minutes regulator-style with a”moving eye” display, along with the moon phase at six o’clock inside the mouth of the mouse face.

And the crown of the watch is 18k gold and topped with a ruby cabochon – and actually shaped like a crown, just like that worn by the villainous Mouse King.

The case is titanium, with the ears of the mouse forming the upper pair of lugs.

Inside is the K07-01 movement. Unlike earlier versions of the Joker that relied on an ETA 2824 as a base movement, the new K07-01 uses the more upscale Vaucher 3002, which is also used by Hermes, Parmigiani, and Richard Mille. The 3002 is thinner than the ETA 2824, and also has a longer power reserve of 50 hours (instead of 38). On top of the base movement is the 67-part, “rolling eye” module that’s built by Konstantin himself.

Key facts and price

Konstantin Chaykin Mouse King

Case diameter: 42 mm
Case height: 13 mm
Material: Titanium with 18k gold crown
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. K07-1 (Vaucher 3002 base)
Functions: Hours, minutes, and moon phase
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 50 hours

Strap: Black alligator

Limited edition: 7 pieces
Availability: Direct from Chaykin or via authorised retailers
Price: €24,900

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