Tourbillon Double Spiral
Laurent Ferrier SPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT
An extremely rare, early and collectible white gold tourbillon wristwatch from Swiss haute horlogerie brand Laurent Ferrier, founded in 2009 and named after its founder, Swiss watchmaker Laurent Ferrier. The reference was launched in 2010. Case in 18k white gold, diameter 41 mm, 12.5 mm thick, sapphire caseback. Black onyx stone dial, white lacquered gold ‘assegai’ hands, white printed Roman numerals, recessed small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Caliber FBN 916.01, manual winding, ratchet pawl with long blade, tourbillon with double hairspring, power reserve of up to 80 hours. Functions – display of time in hours and minutes, small seconds, tourbillon. Black leather strap, Laurent Ferrier white gold pin buckle.
The Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral is the first model in the brand’s collection launched by Laurent Ferrier in 2010. With the release of this upscale tourbillon model, the brand clearly showed its intention to enter the narrow and extremely demanding market of collector watches. This specialization of the brand has remained to this day, with an annual production of less than 200 pieces.
The brand’s successful launch is due in no small part to the rich experience and flair for good watches of Laurent Ferrier, the brand’s co-founder, who spent much of his career at Patek Philippe. It’s surprising and highly commendable that in developing his own brand collection, Laurent Ferrier eschewed the designs that became popular largely thanks to Patek Philippe and instead developed his own style. Perhaps the most valuable thing Laurent Ferrier has learned from a great brand is the value of a modest, unobtrusive design with the very valuable bonus of a high-quality craftsmanship. That’s what makes the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral watch so attractive, with its modest, elegant look and a tourbillon that opens only on the back of the case. Laurent Ferrier has dedicated his timepieces to connoisseurs and experts, and he has fully succeeded.
The combination of typical Laurent Ferrier design features such as the gently rounded pebble-shaped case, the refined and rare black onyx stone dial, the elegant hands in unique brand design and the rare hand-wound caliber in beautiful traditional layout with haute horlogerie finishing further enhances the appeal of the present lot.
In this sense, this timepiece is the embodiment and quintessence of Laurent Ferrier’s style. It’s one of 4 references presented at the launch of the brand in 2010. The design was highly appreciated by professionals, as already in the same year the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral was awarded in the Men’s Watch category at the Grand prix d’horlogerie de Genève 2010. The present example, whose caliber is marked with the early number 014, is one of the earliest watches ever produced by Laurent Ferrier, which makes this lot even more important.
The hand-wound caliber FBN 916.01 was developed for the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral and features a beautiful bridge arrangement. It traces its origins back to the early 20th century pocket watch calibers that were made in the Vallée de Joux in Switzerland. This is evidenced by the traditional design with a rounded edge of the bridges around the tourbillon, the characteristic shape of the mainspring barrel bridge and, of course, the pawl with long blades, which seems to be obligatory in Laurent Ferrier watches and was invented as early as 1891 in the LeCoultre et Cie. factory in the Vallée de Joux.
For development and production, the brand collaborates with La Fabrique du Temps, the complications atelier from Geneva. Caliber FBN 916.01 is finished according to the expectations of connoisseurs of haute horlogerie, so it makes a very pleasant impression. The rhodium-plated mainplate and bridges, textured by Côtes de Genève finishing, have hand-polished bevels, the inscriptions are engraved and gold-plated, the screw heads are flat polished, the pins, screws and jewels are set in beautifully executed beveled recesses. Particular attention has been paid to the impeccable finish of the sharp outer and inner corners, especially on the tourbillon bridge and the upper part of the tourbillon cage. Few haute horlogerie brands perform this extremely time-consuming process. Most do their best to avoid the additional cost of this work, but it’s highly prized by connoisseurs and discerning collectors. Movement specifications include high-tech features such as a free-sprung balance and two opposed hairsprings (one contracts while the other expands and vice versa) integrated into the tourbillon – both of which contribute to the caliber’s precision. The caliber is also equipped with a double direct escapement, a version of the échappement naturel invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1795, developed by Laurent Ferrier.
The soft shapes and beautiful finish of the Galet case are complemented by a graceful, but quite large and easy to operate turban-shaped crown. The elongated Roman numerals and hands of the modified ‘spade & whip’ style, which take on soft, streamlined shapes, are made of solid gold – Laurent Ferrier calls this design ‘Assegai’, although originally, in 2010, they were called ‘Sagaie’ hands. Anyway, the classic look of the case and the particular style of the dial give the watch a special charm and recognition value.
The Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral Ref. LCF001-G is an attractive purchase for collectors and connoisseurs looking for an extremely rare, early and collectible tourbillon wristwatch by Laurent Ferrier, a small creative brand and one of the most remarkable modern independent brands. The combination of typical Laurent Ferrier design features such as the gently rounded pebble-shaped case, the refined and rare black onyx stone dial, the elegant hands in unique brand design and the rare hand-wound caliber in beautiful traditional layout with haute horlogerie finishing further enhances the appeal of the present lot.
|Case||Polished 18K white gold case, with a sapphire caseback|
|Strap||Black Alligator strap, alcantara lining, with a original Laurent Ferrier pin buckle|
|Dial||Black Onyx dial, whith Roman numerals painted white, Assegai-shaped hour and minute hands in white-coated 18k white gold, small Baton-shaped, white-coated 18K white gold seconds at 6 o'clock|
|Movement||Rhodium-plated hand-wound movement, with a Breguet hairspring, a tourbillon complication applied with Geneva stripes opposite double balance spring|
|Case:||Very good, small signs of wear|
|Strap:||Very good, small signs of wear|
|Movement:||Very good, all functions working properly|
|Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):||Approx 300°|
|Accuracy (Dial on top):||Approx +2 sec/day|
Laurent Ferrier launched his watch brand with vast experience in the industry. He was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1946, also known as the birthplace of the great watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. Laurent Ferrier spent his childhood surrounded by watches, as his father and grandparents were watchmakers – choosing a career as a watchmaker was natural for him. In 1968 he completed his studies at the École d’Horlogerie de Genève and joined Patek Philippe, where throughout his career he held a variety of positions including prototype-maker and chief developer of the exterior parts of the watch. However, driven by his passion for motorsport, he left Patek Philippe that same year to devote his time to his hobby, intending to turn it into a profession. In a way he succeeded, albeit much later – in the late 1970s, when he and his friend François Servanin won Le Mans in the 2-litre sports prototype category, and in another race, when he came third in the Le Mans overall standings in a Porsche 935. By then, in fact since 1974, he was back at Patek Philippe and stayed until 2009, when, at the age of 63, he founded his own watch brand with his son Christian and François Servanin.