Last year’s SIHH release from Laurent Ferrier was a callback to the very roots of the brand — the school piece, or montre école, that company founder Laurent Ferrier made upon completing his formal horological training. The Galet School Piece features the smoothly rounded case that has become a mainstay of Laurent Ferrier design, but with slim, straight lugs and prominent, decorative strap attachment endpoints.
In 2018, Laurent Ferrier makes a move to anchor the small-complications segment solidly within the collection. The Galet Annual Calendar School Piece takes the case design of last year’s SIHH release and adapts it to the pragmatic calendar complication that requires only one adjustment a year, at the end of February.
The day and month are shown in double apertures at the top of the dial, whilst the date is indicated on the dial periphery with a red hand that immediately stands out for increased readability.
A notched corrector on the case at the 10 o’clock position advances the day while the date is set via the crown. The month indication is adjusted secondarily, by advancing the date through an entire cycle of 30 or 31 days.
Despite the straightforward and unpretentious nature of the annual calendar complication, the Galet Annual Calendar School Piece doesn’t hold back on the superb tactility that first made the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral such a pleasure to experience first-hand. The depth of the dial is highlighted by the bevelled date and month apertures, while the alternating directions of the brushed dial finishes echoes the concentric design of the recessed small seconds counter.
The Galet Annual Calendar School Piece is thicker than its 2017 predecessor, despite having the same 40mm diameter, which gives the watch a noticeably stronger presence. The wide, prominent bezel and knurled crown are reassuringly old-fashioned, balancing out the clean-lined, subtly textured dial.
While the self-winding School Piece had a matt, sandblasted movement finish, the Annual Calendar’s ruthenium-treated manual-winding movement features sleek Geneva waves and mirror-bright bevels, with the prominent barrel click that creates just the right level of auditory and tactile feedback when winding.
Fans of Laurent Ferrier’s organically curved case designs, traditional movement construction aesthetics and stunning finish will find much to love in the Annual Calendar, a piece that is arguably just as attractive as the Galet Classic Tourbillon whilst also taking a more practical approach to fine watchmaking.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece is available in steel (CHF 50,000), yellow gold or rose gold (CHF 55,000 each) with a limitation of 50 pieces all in all.