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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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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