Laurent Ferrier’s Galet Annual Calendar School Piece is undoubtedly one of the finest annual calendar watches in recent years. Winner of the Men’s Complication Prize at the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the watch is inspired by its eponymous inventor’s days as a watchmaking student.
After blooding the collection with two new opaline-dialed versions at SIHH 2019 in Geneva, the independent brand from Geneva has now unveiled a new iteration, the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece "Vintage". The watch is encased in stainless steel and has a pleasing opaline yellow gold tone dial.
Like with earlier models, the round 40-mm case - with its straight, thin lugs - was designed to evoke the look of early wristwatches, which were converted from pocketwatches. The opaline yellow gold was inspired by the matte champagne finished dials of vintage watches from the 1950s. Time is indicated by the watchmaker’s white-gold “Assegai” hands while a small baton-type hand is used on the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.
A white center-mounted hand points to the date on a scale of vintage-style Arabic numerals, numbered 1-31, around the periphery of the dial, while the day and month appear in two beveled apertures above the center, below 12 o’clock. The calendar display has brown numerals from 1 to 30 and a red “31”. The day and month are visible via two beveled apertures at the top of the dial.
The watch is powered by the manufacture manual-winding Caliber LF126.01, which is revealed behind a clear sapphire caseback. In addition to its host of haute horlogerie finishes — côtes de Genève with ruthenium treatment on the bridges, circular graining on the mainplate, manually chamfered sides and angles, polished screw heads — the movement is notable for its user-friendly integration of the annual calendar functions.
An easy-to-grip button on the side of the case advances the day of the week, while all other adjustments are made via the traditional (for Laurent Ferrier) ball-shaped crown, which allows for moving the date and month backward and forward with a simple turn in either direction. Of course, like all annual calendar watches, this one requires only one adjustment per year in the ideal scenario that it remains fully wound during that period, from February 28 or 29 to March 1.
Other notable elements: the presence of the long blade-type click ratchet, which debuted in Ferrier’s first manual-wind movement for the Tourbillon Double Hairspring model; and an indicator of the movement’s 80-hour power reserve on the rear side.
The watch is paired with a honey alligator leather strap with matching Alcantara lining and tang buckle. It is limited to just five pieces and will be priced at is CHF50,000 (VAT excluded).