Laurent Ferrier is a very small firm based in Geneva. They practically burst into the scene with a ultra classical watch featuring a tourbillon and immaculate finishing in 2010. That was the Galet Tourbillon. They added a peek-a-boo style dial to the Galet in 2011. And this year, they introduced the Micro Rotor - a completely new caliber automatic movement in a classical case and dial. Impressive for a young company.
I have covered Laurent Ferrier several times before in this blog. I believe their immense success is due to Laurent himself seeing a nice niche within the independent manufacturers for a beautifully finished, classical watch. Philippe Dufour was perhaps the sole occupant in this class, but one is not able to order a watch from Philippe.
But with Laurent Ferrier, that niche is filled. The fit and finish of the watches and movements are exceptional. They retain the services of a full time anglage technician watchmaker, whose job is just to do the beautiful anglage found within the movements. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me introduce what's new for 2012:
And of course, the new Micro Rotor. Click on the image below for a wall paper sized image measuring 1920 pixels across.
Perfect proportions. Measuring 40mm case diameter with a height of 10.7mm, the watch looks beautiful, elegant and discrete. Almost like the original Galet Tourbillon, except that the hour markers are totally roman, instead of a mix of roman and bar markers for the more expensive tourbillon equipped model.
The bridge layout is beautiful and very classical. I particularly like the steel cock holding the balance wheel and the bridge holding the micro-rotor. With a height of 10.7mm, there is sufficient volume within the movement to create a sense of 3D of the movement which is such a joy to view.
I also note the success of having a specialized anglage person doing the anglage work, which is radiant and magnificent. The bridges are finished with Côtes de Genève, mainplate with perlage, and all the sides of the bridges and wheel spokes are anglaged, including the interior angles of the balance cock and the micro-rotor itself. Even the screw heads are polished.
The movement is not only good to look at but the balance features a detent style chronometer escapement. Laurent Ferrier calls this their Double Direct Impulse system. Another look at the movement...it says it all:
Truth be told, this is one of the few watches this SIHH which made me want to pull the trigger and order the watch for myself. I do like some of the other pieces being shown at the show, but those I liked were those I cannot afford (Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, JLC Spherotourbillon, Parmigiani Pershing Open Work Tourbillon and the Toric Westminister and Debethune DB25T are examples), or which I already own (Lange Datograph Auf/Ab). The Galet Micro Rotor comes in an interesting price (read affordable) and looks and finish which tug at my heart strings.
Finally, to complete the collection, this year being the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese calendar, so a new dial, featuring enamel work and a peek dial to show the dragon was introduced.
I can see how some people would like this style of watch, but certainly not my cup of tea. The Micro Rotor...well, certainly is!