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Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Asia

And the art of enamelling
by Chester Lau on September 15, 2018

For this special limited edition, Laurent Ferrier decided to pay a tribute to Asia as it offers a special enamel dial.

In 2015, Laurent Ferrier launched the first version of a Galet Traveller with an enamel center dial featuring a world map. This initial view was Europe centric but in Laurent’s mind, it was a first step to some other views of our planet to reflect its beauty and infinity. For this second version, Laurent Ferrier decided to focus on Asia and particularly on Singapore.

Three timepieces were created in exclusivity for local retailer Sincere Watches.

 

Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Asia

 

The new Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Asia.

 

The case and dial

The Galet Traveller developed by Laurent Ferrier ensures smooth continuity in the watchmaking journey of the House. The solid white gold pebble-shaped case – that has become a brand signature – recalls the pocket watches of yesteryear. The winding crown is as round and generously sized as ever, and the gold hands retain their characteristic shape.

 

The dial features Asia in a Grand Feu Champleve enamel.

 

The dedicated dial alternates between two aesthetic finishes: grand feu cloisonné by champlevé enamel in the center and circular satin-brushed around the outside. The extremely slender hour- markers and the two bevelled apertures ensure optimal readability – one at 3 o’clock for the date and the other at 9 o’clock for home time, the Arabic numerals are painted in black.

 

Grand feu cloisonné by champlevé enamel

The outlines of the continents are formed using the technique of cloisonné champlevé that refers to an area hollowed out in a sheet of white gold, to take enamel. The dial is divided into compartments where the different colours of enamel are put.

 

The watch retains Laurent Ferrier’s iconic hands.

 

An additional effect is provided by a specific hand-finished treatment. Between the continent and the sea, the material is shaped in a gentle slope so that the layer of enamel is lighter near the shore providing a varying shade of blue.

Grand Feu enamelling is a difficult art to master, since the original colors are modified by successive firings in the kiln. Moreover, the dial itself is rendered more vulnerable by the extremely high temperatures to which it is subjected.

In a first phase, the selected colors are applied with a brush in a specific order. The dial is then fired at over 840°C, after which it must be cooled down and cleared of any potential imperfections on its surface. The other colors are applied layer by layer and the dial is repeatedly fired accordingly.

Enamellists must be experts in order to predict the evolution of the colors in the various phases. They must also be extremely dextrous if they are to avoid damaging the dial during the firings.

The pebble shaped case with a round crown.

 

The dual-time complication

The Galet Traveller helps its user get his bearings within this world time. A dual-time display is an extremely useful complication when travelling.

Positioned perfectly geometrically and delicately integrated on the left side of the case, two oblong push-buttons are pressed to modify local time indicated by a central hand. These two buttons at 8 and 10 o’clock are subtly integrated into the case middle so as to follow the harmonious curve of this solid gold “pebble”. Only a tiny notch designed for a fingernail forms a tiny protruding edge in order to facilitate handling. When moving from one time zone to another, the central hour hand indicating local time may be moved forwards or backwards, in one-hour increments, by successive presses.

 

Push buttons on the left of the watch are used for quick time adjustment for the 2nd time zone.

 

Pressing the upper push-button advances the hand by one hour, while pressing the lower push-button moves it backwards, all without affect the minutes hand. On a flight from Geneva to New York, the traveller will thus simply need to press the lower push-button six times to ensure the watch is set to exact local time upon landing.

In addition to this fast local-time adjustment, the date, appearing in a window at 3 o’clock, is automatically modified when the hand passes midnight, thus spontaneously adapting to transitions between the various time zones. The window at 9 o’clock maintains the reference or home time. Thanks to its 24-hour display, it is easy to check whether it is day or night in one’s place of residence even from the other side of the world.

 

The movement

The Galet Traveller houses self-winding Caliber LF 230.01, from the famous line of Micro-Rotor movements with natural escapement. It incorporates the dual time-zone adjustment mechanism as well as the date. This useful complication, that took a full two years to develop, is fully integrated and each part is an integral part of the global architecture of the base caliber.

 

The micro rotor in a fixed bridge assembly.

 

As with the previous developments, LF Caliber 230.01 features a pawl-fitted micro-rotor unidirectional winding system, backed by a double direct-impulse natural escapement. The major distinctive feature of this natural escapement lies in the fact that two impulses are directly imparted to the balance with each oscillation. The movement operates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.

Laurent Ferrier uses a silicon pallet-lever for its lightness and its self-lubricating properties, as well as escape-wheels in a phosphorous nickel alloy known for its extreme hardness, all made using LIGA technology. The main advances of these cutting-edge materials lies in the resulting perfect surface states, as well as strong resistance to both wear and corrosion.

 

The Laurent Ferrier Caliber 230.01 with exemplary finishing.

 

The micro-rotor is made with engine-turned 18K gold. It is fitted with a “silent bloc” shock-absorbing system similar to chassis mounting rubbers. The winding device is offset and fitted on the mainplate between two bridges, and fixed between two jewels. This reduces the thickness of the movement and provides a clear view of the construction, while ensuring maximum stability compared with a conventional oscillating weight.

This innovative horological architecture, complemented by the natural escapement, serves to achieve a one-third increase in the winding force of the micro-rotor and thus to achieve an 80- hour power reserve.

With regards to finishing, the addition to the Côtes de Genève motif adorning the bridges and the circular-graining of the mainplate, the sides are manually chamfered and the screw heads are polished. The authenticity of the hand chamfering is perceptible in the clean cut of the interior angles that no machine can achieve and which demonstrate the authenticity of the watchmaking art as exercised by Laurent Ferrier.

 

 

GALET TRAVELLER ASIA Technical Details

Reference CAD.010.GRE11

Movement:

  • Self-winding Caliber LF230.01 chronometer-certified
  • Off-centred Micro-Rotor in 18K solid gold with pawl-fitted unidirectional winding, fixed between the mainplate and the bridge of the micro-rotor and equipped with a “silent bloc” shock-absorbing system
  • Natural escapement with double direct-impulse directly on the balance
  • Indications: hours, minutes, date at 3 o’clock, home time at 9 o’clock
  • Correctors: crown for winding and time-setting and, on the left side of the case, two push-buttons (+) and (-) respectively positioned at 10 and 8 o’clock, to adjust the time hour per hour with automatic date correction
  • Diameter: 14’’’ (Ø 31.60 mm)
  • Thickness: 5,80 mm
  • Frequency: 3Hz (21,600 vibrations per hour)
  • Power reserve: 80 hours
  • 298 parts
  • 48 jewels

AESTHETIC CHARACTERISTICS

Case:

  • 18K 5N red gold
  • Three parts: case middle, bezel and snap-on case-back
  • Size: Ø 41 mm (49 mm including the lugs)
  • Domed sapphire crystals, front and back
  • Water-resistant to 30 meters
  • “Ball-shaped” crown in 18K 5N red gold

Dial:

  • Grand feu cloisonné Asia by champlevé enamel in the center surrounded by circular satin-brushed motif
  • “Teardrop” hour-markers in 18K 5N red gold
  • Bevelled date window at 3 o’clock
  • Dual time-zone aperture at 9 o’clock

Hands:

  • 18K 5N red gold
  • “Assegai-shaped”

Strap:

  • Brown alligator leather, Alcantara lining
  • 16 mm pin buckle or double-blade folding clasp, in 18K 5N red gold

 

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