By Meor Amri Meor Ayob

Laurent Ferrier is an independent watch manufacturer that specializes in using precious metals in their creations. At SIHH 2016, the brand came out with this Galet Square Boréal watch which appears to break away from tradition. Made out of stainless steel, the dial is clean, almost minimalist in concept with just a seconds sub-dial to break the symmetry of the dial.

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As the name suggest, this takes the cushion shape as the basis of the casing. The illumination is also subtle and reminiscence to what one would expect when seeing the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights for the first time – fleeting wafts of algae-like green streaks over dark skies.

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In all honesty, the design is simple. Its diameter is approximately 41 mm left to right, 41 mm top to bottom and 11.1 mm think. Some would say it borders on the realm of sports watches but personally, I still stick to it being a sensible looking dress watch. Moreover, the use of a simple snap-on case back and the fact that it is only water rated for 30 meters give a lot of credence to my assumption.

At the moment there appear to be a slight confusion on why Laurent Ferrier called it “… Boréal…” when there is an option of getting the watch with a brown luminous paint.

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I have never heard of a brown coloured Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights before. This confusion is not unexpected as the press release for this watch was very vague. A number of writers have highlighted that problem. Hence the number of assumptions about the name as well as its true purpose being floated about by writers.

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The engine behind the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boréal is the in-house and self-winding FBN 229.01 calibre. Using a micro-rotor, the caliber operates at 3 Hertz or 21,600 vph and has a power reserve of 72 hours. Other interesting things to note about the movement are the shock-protection system for the micro-rotor, the use of silicon parts in the regulation system and the double direct-impulse system for the escapement. The double direct-impulse system technology developed by Laurent Ferrier enables the balance to be impelled twice per oscillation, a principle that requires two escape wheels and an appropriately shaped lever.

Despite the use of stainless steel as the base material, Laurent Ferrier chose to set the price for this watch at 35,000 Swiss francs on the traditional buckle and 36,000 Swiss francs with the folding deployant strap buckle. The price is too high. Just stick to precious metals if Laurent Ferrier wants to command such prices. I personally would give it a miss. For more info, please visit laurentferrier.ch

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MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here