Only Watch, the grand Monaco event for devotees of fine watches, will take place on September 28th 2013. Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, President of Honour of the Monaco Watchmaking Circle, this exhibition and auction will present creations from 38 of the world’s most prestigious watch brands, including a one-of-a-kind creation developed for this special occasion by Laurent Ferrier.
For the second consecutive time, Laurent Ferrier has chosen to support research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This degenerative and highly debilitating disease affects 250,000 people worldwide, meaning one in 3,500. The Only Watch event orchestrated by Antiquorum brings together the greatest watchmaking Houses that generously donate a watch. A travelling exhibition will present this amazingly diverse collection in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New York and Geneva, before concluding with the traditional auction to be held at the Heritage Hotel in Monte-Carlo on September 28th 2013. The sum raised by this evening will be entirely allocated to medical research. Greatly inspired by this noble cause, Laurent Ferrier sought to create a symbolic watch that is sure to delight connoisseurs.
Only Watch 2013: a unique edition of the Galet Classic
In keeping with the Only Watch spirit involving models representing horological innovations, Laurent Ferrier again demonstrates its commitment to important causes. For this 2013 edition, it has chosen to offer the very first movement of the second version of its famous Tourbillon Double Spiral (double balance-spring tourbillon). It is duly numbered calibre “000” and housed inside a steel case shaped like a pebble (hence the French name galet), framing a unique sand-toned grand feu enamelled dial displaying a dainty dove. The Monaco coat-of-arms is painted in tone-on-tone shades on the small seconds display. Once again, Laurent Ferrier testifies to its wish and its ability to create symbolic models, while focusing on the “custom-made” approach for unique occasions.
Constantly renewed technology
Inspired by expertise dating back over 200 years, the Galet Classic Only Watch also incorporates avant-garde technology ensuring exceptional precision. It is equipped with a tourbillon device imagined by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801, and complemented by two head-to-tail mounted balance-springs in the centre of the balance. The main advantage of this construction developed by Laurent Ferrier is to maintain the centre of the balance firmly on its axis, while compensating for the effects of gravity. This approach guarantees the extreme reliability of the regulating system.
Laurent Ferrier worked for a full 15 months on the new version of the initial calibre introduced in 2010. In this 2013 edition, while the general principle with its proven performances remains unaltered, the technology has been improved, while the construction has been reinterpreted and subtly fine-tuned. As with any competitive mechanism, performances are determined by a wealth of tiny details. In addition to enhancing performance, Laurent Ferrier is keen to control the production of the regulating organ entirely in-house in order to maintain this expertise within the four walls of its workshops. The Tourbillon Double Spiral calibre thus now appears in a “second”, even more accomplished version of which the production is entirely handled in-house.
- The Laurent Ferrier Research and Development (R&D) department has created a new geometry for the lever and the escape-wheel intended to optimise the efficiency of the system. This design, along with the use of steel, further increases the performance of the Swiss lever escapement. The new shape of the lever (patent pending) stems from a reflection on how to improve the position of the two pallets in an optimal manner so as to reduce the security angles in the escapement construction – the goal being to increase the impulse surfaces and thus intensify the system’s efficiency. In terms of automobile imagery, Laurent Ferrier has sought to improve the efficiency of the engine in order to cover a maximum distance with a minimum amount of fuel. This new geometry provides constant support for the lever and serves to achieve optimal values in each position. It reduces the losses of force due to backlash and facilitates the unlocking impulse. Instead of increasing the forces in play in the barrel, Laurent Ferrier pursues its efforts in the same spirit of using existing energy in a more effective way.
- The famous head-to-tail mounted double balance-spring system has been revisited in a new and more resistant material that will remain confidential and is designed to further enhance regularity.
- The balance – now exclusive to Laurent Ferrier – has been redesigned in order to perfect its rating precision. The four adjustment screws are in gold to ensure the finest possible adjustment.
An icon of love and peace
What could be more symbolic than a dove to demonstrate support and loyalty to a cause as essential as that of scientific research? The new Galet Classic Only Watch features a unique dial created and designed by Laurent Ferrier. On an 18K gold plate, a sand-coloured grand feu enamel dial provides a tone-on-tone depiction of a dainty and infinitely pure dial designed in one smooth stroke. This ethereal symbol of love and peace embraces the small seconds at 6 o’clock bearing the Monaco coat-of-arms and its geography – all exquisitely crafted by hand. The “assegai-shaped” gold hour and minute hands and the baton-shaped seconds hand lend the perfect finishing touch. The dial remains perfectly readable thanks to the graphic arrangement of the “teardrop” applied gold hour-markers and the gold decorative fillet surrounding the counter.
The curve of the steel case reflects the brand’s pure, restrained design codes. It adopts the shape of a pebble (galet in French) in a nod to the large and refined historical watch models. It is equipped with a ball-shaped winding-crown ensuring more pleasant handling. The snap-on case-back makes the movement more accessible to the watchmaker via the olivette. Its water-resistance is guarantee to a depth of 30 metres.
The quintessence of the watchmaking art
The manual-winding system of the Galet Classic Only Watch appears without the modern winding-stem pull-out piece spring, replaced by a “long blade” ratchet pawl with a smoothly round-polished finish hand-crafted in the in-house workshops. This component may be admired through the back of the case, protected by a sapphire crystal that also provides views of the manual finishing of the calibre – performed in harmony with the most demanding standards of traditional Fine Watchmaking. The bridges are adorned with a Côtes de Genève motif, the mainplate is circular-grained, the sharp edges and interior angles are chamfered and hand-polished, and the screw heads are also bevelled and polished. Finally, the drum of the barrel is delicately engraved with the inscription “Only Watch 2013”.
The Galet Classic Only Watch is fitted with an Alcantara-lined beige alligator leather strap fastened by a steel pin buckle. The model is housed inside a presentation box featuring a commemorative plate showing the Principality of Monaco on a world map. This exceptional new creation vividly demonstrates the exceptional capacities cultivated by Laurent Ferrier in the field of horological techniques, watch exteriors, as well as its responsiveness and its will to maintain autonomous development.
- Calibre reference: LF 619.01 – series number “000”
- Hand-wound movement, chronometer-certified
- Diameter: 14’’’ (Ø 31.60 mm)
- Thickness: 5.57 mm
- Frequency: 3Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
- Power reserve: 100 hours
- 188 parts
- 23 jewels
- Central hours and minutes
- Small seconds at 6 o’clock on the tourbillon carriage pivot
- Tourbillon carriage visible through the case-back
- Tourbillon, two top-to-tail balance springs
- Two Geneva-type balance-spring studs
- Laurent Ferrier Swiss lever escapement with steel escape-wheel and lever
- Variable-geometry balance with gold adjustment screws
- Peripheral tourbillon carriage driving system
- Steel parts
- Three parts: case middle, bezel and snap-on case-back
- Size: Ø 41 mm (50 mm including the lugs)
- Thickness: of the material 9.50 mm / including the sapphire crystal 12.50 mm
- Sapphire crystal case-back
- Water-resistant to 30 metres
- “Ball-shaped” steel crown
- Sand-coloured grand feu enamel on 18K gold, depicting a dove
- 3 “teardrop” hour-markers in 18K white gold (12, 3 and 9 o’clock)
- Small seconds counter at 6 o’clock depicting the Monaco coat-of-arms and the map of the Principality
- 210Pd 18K white gold
- Hours and minutes: “assegai-shaped”
- Seconds: baton-type with counterweight
- Hand-sewn beige alligator leather, Alcantara lining
- Steel pin buckle
Laurent Ferrier Press