Double hairspring? But wasn’t it Audemars Piguet claiming a world first with their Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked? In actual fact, Laurent Ferrier launched the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Hairspring back in 2010, when it won an award at the GPHP Geneva watchmaking prizes. This year, 2016, Laurent Ferrier has combined that movement with the cushion-shaped case and classical hunter-type dial layout with small seconds at 6 o’clock. The small seconds hand is driven by the tourbillon carriage pivot.
Laurent Ferrier’s intention with the double hairspring is the same as for Audemars Piguet: the two springs are mounted in opposition, so that their radial forces cancel out, reducing friction and increasing precision and reliability. The arrangement is the ideal complement to the tourbillon, which itself was devised in 1801 by Abraham-Louis Breguet to eliminate the detrimental effects of gravity on the regulator.
The Galet Classic Square Double Balance-Spring Tourbillon reaches the height of refinement by making the tourbillon visible, but only through the caseback. From the front, you just see a hint from the name on the beautiful white grand feu enamel. It’s like a throwback to 19th century modesty, the same approach taken by A. Lange & Söhne. Laurent Ferrier has taken something else from that era of watchmaking, with a long-blade ratchet pawl system typical of 19th century chronometers. This improves the sensation given to the owner during winding, enhanced by the lovely oval crown: it transmits a series of delicate mechanical clicks during the process. Winding becomes a pleasant ritual, something that you perform every day after selecting the cufflinks and putting on your suit.
The dial has a lot in common with chronometer-style watches. It has assegai-shaped gold hour and minute hands, a baton-type seconds hand, and perfect legibility by virtue of the black painted Roman numerals. The movement is the in-house Laurent Ferrier LF 619.01, hand-wound and chronometer-certified. The tourbillon balance runs at 21,600 vibrations per hour, and the watch has a power reserve of 80 hours. The case, 41.5 mm across, is in non-rhodium-plated white gold, and it is 12.7 mm thick, water resistance to 30 metres. The alligator strap has an Alcantara lining, and a white gold pin buckle or folding clasp.
The Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Square Double Balance-Spring Tourbillon costs 180,000 Swiss francs. Such is the price of beauty. Oh well…
Read more on the Laurent Ferrier website.