Growing up, I remember overhearing people say: “Don’t worry, you’ll just know when you meet the one.” For some reason, I was always sceptical. How could it be possible to meet someone and fall in love with them there and then? I mean, are we even designed to be with one person? At the end of the day, we are animals – filthy, filthy animals (we just pretend not to be). Maybe James Blunt was right. When contemplating this article, I couldn’t help but think of his track Your Beautiful:
I saw an angel
Of that I’m sure
She smiled at me on the subway
She was with another man…
I saw your face in a crowded place
And I don’t know what to do
‘Cause I’ll never be with you
Yes, she caught my eye
As we walked on by…
And I don’t think that I’ll see her again
But we shared a moment that will last till the end
There have been two moments that have changed my mind on love at first sight. The first was a couple of years ago, about three quarters of the way through blockbuster Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese’s smash hit. Margot Robbie’s mini-skirt clad character teases Jordan Belfort played by DiCaprio: “Mommy is tied of wearing panties daddy,” she purrs as she pushes him away with her high heels, while he scrambles on the floor. That scene changed me. She was everything I had been looking for. I had fallen in love for the first time.
The second was a few weeks ago, when I had the opportunity to strap on the Laurent Ferrier Galet “Clou de Paris” Tourbillon and gazed down on its horological greatness.
Laurent Ferrier has been making delightfully understated wristwatches since 2008. The son and grandson of watchmakers, Ferrier, spent many years at Patek Phillipe honing his craft. When starting the brand, he had a vison for simple, uncluttered watches. For me, and many collectors around the world he has gone on to surpass that vison. The Galet (or “pebble”) has been a fixture in the collection since day one. The case, beautiful to look at and soft to the touch, manages to harness the beauty of a time-only watch, while making it instantly recognisable with its sumptuous curves – no mean feat.
The look of love
As you can imagine, when I saw the message form the Laurent Ferrier team that simply said: “The Galet will be waiting for you at William & Son,” my heart skipped a beat. What I love about the watch, is just how under-the-radar it is. This is, from the outside, a very simple watch. It has a slate-grey, gold dial, with guilloché “Clou de Paris” motif in the centre, surrounded with a circular satin-brushed design. The only interruption to the clear two-hands-from-the-centre face is a small-seconds at 6 o’clock.
Oh boy, what a watch. My overarching feeling wearing it was just how exciting it was to have a watch that was far from obvious. At 41mm, it felt fantastic on the wrist. Despite being a larger guy, I tend to wear smaller watches. The beauty of this piece is that people notice it as a beautiful object, but nothing more. It’s the sort of watch that you wear with a smile knowing that very few truly know the effort that went into creating it – let alone the beauty that lies within the case. That is, until you take it off and show them – and I can tell you, the response from watch lovers and novices alike was that of awe. I was hooked.
The Galet is equipped with a manual winding movement developed, assembled and adjusted in the Laurent Ferrier workshops. The calibre features an 80-hour power reserve and a tourbillon fitted with a double balance spring – a first for Laurent Ferrier. The pared-down elegance of the piece is in aesthetic tribute to 19th-century pocket watches and each detail has been attended to with meticulous care. The watch is chronometer certified by the Besançon Observatory.
All in, wearing the Laurent Ferrier “Clou de Paris” was an exciting and enjoyable treat. A watch needs to fit in with your lifestyle but also your cause, your mission and I happen to love simplicity. I love reduction and I am on a personal quest to distil me existence to its essence, which means less waste, less stuff and more space. And if there was just one watch in my collection that encapsulated my personal mission, it would be the Laurent Ferrier Galet – no doubt.