Case Diameter: 40mm
Case Thickness: 12.8mm
Case Material: Red gold
Power Reserve: 80 hours
Unique Features: Production is so limited, you (probably) won’t run into another guy wearing this at the bar
Upshot: The big news here is that the intensely charming independent watchmaker Laurent Ferrier has introduced a new movement, the LF126.01, which powers his Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole. You can think of a montre ecole, or “school watch” as a senior thesis of sorts. To graduate watchmaking school, a class of watchmakers can either work together to produce one amazing watch, or each student can make his or her own timepiece. So Ferrier, the former creative director of Patek Philippe, has undoubtedly seen several school watches, and even made a few himself. His Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole, updated for 2019 in a deep blue, is housed in a case based on one of those schoolday designs. And it’s just an insanely beautiful thing to look at.
Who It’s For: Laurent Ferrier’s production is so small it’s almost bespoke. This watch definitely isn’t for the first-time watch buyer — and it’s certainly made with a certain income level and net worth in mind. Though it may look simple at a glance, this watch is deeply refined and meticulously well crafted — the kind of thing that becomes an heirloom.
Hands On: On the wrist, the Montre Ecole feels light and comfortable — and it’s positioned pretty perfectly for evening wear. In addition to the movement, which boasts an incredible 80-hour power reserve, the numerals in the date ring have also been updated for legibility. (If you’re the kind of person who defaults to buying something in black, the award-winning original version of this watch comes in all black.)
Insight: Yes, visually this is another iterative design. But because it has as a brand-new movement inside, and because it’s coming from a small house with limited production, it feels more like a brand giving its dedicated customers better value and more choice — instead of a bigger maison re-dressing its best hits.