LAURENT FERRIER the new Galet Micro-rotor



With these two models presented at Baselworld 2014, Laurent Ferrier pays a further tribute to traditional watchmaking by setting a new tone for the Galet Micro-Rotor line.

Laurent Ferrier has decided to offer a new interpretation of the dial with gold appliques typical of the Micro-Rotor models. A minute track runs around these new dials, while straight relief-worked Arabic numerals focus firmly on readability. The vertical-structured black dial and the opaline silver-toned dial, both in solid silver, confirm Laurent Ferrier’s high demands in the realm of watchmaking aesthetics. These dials with their finely balanced architecture set an original tone for these models of which the case and movement are as pure and exclusive as ever.

The Laurent Ferrier signature is clearly apparent in the curve of the white or red gold case that picks up the pure aesthetic in-house codes in the now distinctive “pebble” shape that harks back to the understated models of 19th century horological history. The “assegai-shaped” hands are stamped in order to achieve the characteristic extreme slenderness of Laurent Ferrier model; while Its “ball-shaped” winding crown ensures pleasantly smooth handling.

Superlative finishing The exceptional finishing of the movement is crafted in the finest watchmaking traditions in Laurent Ferrier’s Geneva workshops. In addition to a Côtes de Genève pattern on the bridges and the circular graining on the mainplate, the flanks are hand-drawn, the wheel spokes are bevelled, the screw heads are polished and the interior angles are hand-crafted. The mirror polishing done by hand on the pawl, the  balance-clock and the micro-rotor bridge, as well as the guilloché motif on the 18-carat solid gold micro-rotor, give this model an entirely distinctive radiance. The sapphire crystal case-back provides a glimpse of the finesse of this workmanship and reveals harmonious architecture stemming from a clever combination of lines and curves. The Galet Micro-Totor is fitted with a dark or light brown alcantara-lined alligator leather strap. A pin buckle of double-blade folding clasp matching the colour of the case sets a refined finishing touch. The case-back is snap-fastened and can be removed by the watchmaker thanks to the olivette. Its water resistance is guaranteed to a depth of 30 metres.  

An exclusive Laurent Ferrier movement A subtle blend of past memories and contemporary techniques, the Galet Micro-Rotor is an impressive compendium of horological innovations. Its self-winding movement with off-centred winding micro-rotor stems from an exclusive development inspired by Abraham-Louis Breguet’s échappement naturel.

The automatic winding system was invented in the late 18th century and takes advantage of the watch wearer’s arm movements to wind the barrel spring and thus store up the energy required to run the mechanism. The device has been constantly enhanced ever since.

The Galet Micro-Rotor features three exclusive characteristics:

  • a micro-rotor pawl-fitted automatic winding system fixed between the mainplate and the micro-rotor bridge;
  • a silicon escapement with double direct impulse on the balance;
  • a silent-block shock-absorbing system protecting the micro-rotor  

The escapement with double direct impulse on the balance This exclusive silicon escapement with double direct impulse on the balance is inspired by the father of modern horology, Abraham-Louis Breguet. This modern construction, associated with the use of cutting-edge materials, maximises the restitution of energy. The excellent efficiency of this escapement serves to reduce the torque required to wind the mainspring and hence optimises the movement winding.

What is the meaning of “double direct impulse on the balance”? Inspired by detent escapements, this Laurent Ferrier escapement offers the advance of giving two impulses per oscillation (1 oscillation = 2 vibrations). This means that the movement frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 vph) impulses the balance 21,600 times per hour.

To use a metaphor, one might compare this principle with that of a swing:

  • with a detent escapement, you push the swing once and you wait until it comes back before giving it the next push;
  • with the double-impulse escapement, you push the wing and the other person sends it back to you when it reaches the other side.

An efficient winding system inspired by tradition The excessively noisy ball-bearing system has been replaced by a more traditional horological mechanism with pawls. The micro-rotor is equipped with a unidirectional-winding gold oscillating weight. The latter is fixed directly between the mainplate and the upper bridge in order to ensure maximum stability compared with a conventional micro-rotor. Furthermore, the shock protection system is very innovative by using the principle of silent-blocks or shock- absorbing anti-vibration pads. Moreover, and also with a view to optimising winding power, the barrel is mounted on jewels.

The harmonious construction and the technical performances of the Galet Micro-Rotor stem from the global approach envisaged for each of the movement parts, the goal being to optimise energy management – with the final aim of improving comfort on the wrist by means of more efficient automatic winding.

Calibre FBN229.01 is the third exclusive Manufacture movement developed, assembled and adjusted in the Laurent Ferrier workshops.

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  • Movement: FBN Calibre 229.01, automatic winding with pawl-fitted micro-rotor, 80-hour power reserve  - micro-rotor winding system fixed between the main plate and the micro-rotor bridge  - silicon escapement with double direct impulse on the balance  - a silent block shock protection system for the micro-rotor
  • Indications: hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock
  • Movement diameter: 14’’’ = 31.60 mm
  • Movement thickness: 4.35 mm  
  • Number of parts: 186  
  • Number of jewels: 34  
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph (3Hz)  
  • Case: 18K white gold 210Pd non-rhodiumed or 5N red gold  
  • Water resistance: to 30 m  
  • Case diameter: 40 mm
  • Case thickness: 11.10 mm  
  • Dial: solid silver 925Ag, vertical satin-brushed black or opaline silver-toned
  • Hands: “Assegai-shaped” in 18K/750 gold for the hours and minutes, baton-shaped for the seconds  
  • Strap: in dark or light brown alligator leather with Alcantara lining
  • Buckle/clasp: pin buckle or double-blade folding clasp in 18K white gold or 5N red gold