In 2018 Laurent Ferrier launched the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece (or Montre École). It had been the third model in the ‘Montre École’ collection, following the original School Piece and the Micro-Rotor Régulateur.
At its launch, the Annual Calendar School Piece was released in yellow gold, rose gold, or stainless steel, with a silver-toned or slate grey dial and the same contrast of vertical satin brushed centre and circular satin-brushed dial finishing of the other School Pieces. Since then, there has also been a special edition for the Boutique Montres Prestige Geneva, with a coppery deep salmon coloured dial. It is this variant, without the prominent contrasting vertical satin-brushed finishing that characterised the launch models, that is more the dial aesthetic progenitor of the latest variation (and for me the most attractive to date) of the Annual Calendar – the Vintage.
Limited to just five pieces in a 40mm steel case, the Vintage’s pale opaline mustard-tinged gold dial is an ode to 1950s champagne dials. Functionally the hours and minutes in the centre, with the familiar slender Assegai-shaped hands in ruthenium-treated white gold, a small seconds at 6 o’clock, two bevelled apertures showing the day and month, and the date indicated by a white hand circumnavigating the periphery of the dial. The date numerals are in brown for 1-30 and in red for 31.
There is a corrector at 10 o’clock to advance the day. All other adjustments are made by pulling the crown and rotating it. The month indication is adjusted by advancing the date through an entire cycle of 30 or 31 days. The annual calendar complication recognises those months with 30 and 31 days, automatically advancing to the 1st of the month as appropriate. The only time when manual adjustment is needed is on the 1st of March. A push piece on the left side of the case provides a simple means of adjusting the ‘day’ display.
Behind an open case back can be found Laurent Ferrier’s fifth in-house movement, the manual-wind Calibre LF.126.01. It beats at 21,600 VPH and has a significant power reserve of 80 hours (a power reserve indicator is on the back). It features the typically high levels of Ferrier finishing, with Côtes de Genève, ruthenium treated bridges, and circular graining on the main plate. All angles are hand-beveled and even the screw heads are hand polished.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar – Vintage comes on a rather fetching honey alligator leather strap with matching Alcantara lining and the choice of a pin buckle or double-blade folding clasp and has an RRP of CHF 50,000.
[Photo credit : Laurent Ferrier]