SIHH 2018: Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole Watch

In an interview back in November, 2017, Laurent Ferrier revealed something very important. Not a new watch or a caliber, but rather his goal for every watch his namesake company makes. In 50 years, when a watchmaker goes to service one of his watches, Laurent Ferrier hopes the watchmaker will say “Very nicely done” and if any watch will make a watchmaker utter those three words, it is the Laurent Ferrier Annual Calendar Montre Ecole.

In keeping with the brand’s traditional aesthetic, the dial of Annual Calendar is clean, easy-to-read and is reminiscent of many triple and annual calendars from the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, other than their modern 40mm size, almost all Laurent Ferrier’s could be transported back in time and they would be unrecognizable from the great complicated watches of that era. There are two dial options (a dark grey and a two-tone silver) and three case materials available: stainless steel, 18kt red gold and an 18kt ‘pale’ yellow which is unique to Laurent Ferrier.

The unique case shape of the Montre Ecole was first introduced at SIHH 2017 and pays homage to the early pocket watch conversions of the late 19th century with its rounder case and thin, curved lugs. Galet is French for ‘pebble’ and Montre Ecole is French for ‘school watch’ and refers to the final project timepiece that watchmakers must complete before graduating, a task that Mr. Ferrier himself completed in 1968 when he graduated from the Geneva Watchmaking School. 

Mr. Ferrier is much more than a name on the dial and is far more concerned with the granular details of watchmaking than creating an ephemeral marketing stunt. So concerned about the sound his watches made when winding, Mr. Ferrier made sure to use an old-fashioned long-blade pawl which emits a pleasing anachronistic click click click when engaged. The pawl is a lever and part of the going train and it engages the teeth of the ratchet to keep it turning in one direction. As the watch is wound and the teeth pass beneath it, it makes that pleasing clicking sound.

The Annual Calendar Ref. LCF025 houses the brand’s fifth in-house caliber, the LF126.01, which is also their first annual calendar. The date and month are controlled by rotating the crown whereas the day is advanced by pushing a button on the left side. Laurent Ferrier has yet to release the price or availability of the watch, though I’m not sure why I’m fretting about it as I’m sure I can’t afford it. That being said, I’m just glad that a watch like this exists, even if it is forever outside my reach.