On the occasion of “the Year of Dragon”, Swiss luxury watch brand Laurent Ferrier is introducing a unique and highly technical timepiece model named as Galet Secret. This unique timepiece in white gold is highlighted with an ivory-colored Grand Feu enamel dial in 18K gold illustrated with a hand-painted enamelled miniature depicting an imperial dragon. A traditional zodiac sign in Chinese astrology, the dragon will be celebrated throughout the year in the Middle Empire.
Galet Secret is a classic wristwatch that conceals an extremely ingenious device, based on a high-precision mechanism that makes the two opaque sapphire dial crystals swivel on a pivot, much like a fan. This 240° curtain-raising thus reveals the splendid décor hand-crafted in soft and subtle shades of beige, grey and gold.
Enamelling is without doubt the most refined of the decorative arts, infusing the décor with unique depth and radiance. This time-honoured technique is based on a mixture of several materials such as silica sand, soda, borax and alumina. Metal oxides are added to determine the colour, transparency or on the contrary opacity of the final product. These powders are then placed on a gold plate and fired in a furnace at between 800° and 900°C. It is this latter stage that reveals the final colour of the dial and the intensity of its radiance. When performed with dexterity and patience, this technique affords an infinite range of subtle colour nuances. A first ivory-coloured grand feu enamelled layer is applied, on which the miniature dragon is meticulously painted, thereby giving it this unique depth and relief.
The Galet Secret is equipped with the famous Tourbillon Double Spiral calibre developed and crafted in the Laurent Ferrier workshops. The double hairspring, serving as a complement to the tourbillon mechanism which compensates for the effects of gravity, ensures extremely precise rating. This complex movement conceals an ingenious complication serving to open and close the dial by swivelling the dial’s two opaque sapphire crystals. The window opens on demand when, by activating a push-button on the crown, the two opaque glasses pivot instantly to reveal the beauty of the animal below. The dial window may also open on demand, as the mechanism can be programmed to automatically open for one hour each day, at the precise moment chosen by the owner and set by the watchmaker when assembling the movement. Like a sunrise or a sunset, it takes a full hour for the dial to be entirely revealed or concealed.
The already complex mechanism, for which a patent is already pending, downright defies the laws of horological construction. Making it calls for meticulous gestures and rigorous verification. While the principle behind this high-precision mechanism is inspired by the finest 19th century models, its modern and efficient construction ensures a level of rigidity and precision worthy of the great traditional chronometers.
After the décor and the “motor” comes the finishing, involving an exceptionally meticulously applied set of details including no less than 30 interior angles, all hand-crafted with a burin. The finishing is performed in accordance with the noblest watchmaking traditions, while the exquisite finesse of this work is confirmed exclusively through the sapphire caseback, thereby confirming Laurent Ferrier’s preference for a degree of subtlety verging on perfection.
The FBN 961.02 hand-wound movement has a guaranteed power reserve of more than 80 hours, meaning over three days. Visible exclusively through the caseback, the mechanism is protected from daylight that adversely affects the lubricants and thus the rating precision. It also ensures discretion in terms of the treasure housed within this gem of a complication.
The solid white gold case reflects the “pebble” shape of the large understated and elegant 19th century models, especially pocket watches. Witness the “ball-shaped” crown as well as the absence of setting-lever spring, replaced by a pawl. The centuries-old mythical dragon is thereby preserved from prying eyes, since the Galet Secret provides it with a refined stage-setting entirely worthy of its fabulous history.
– Hand-wound Tourbillon Double Spiral Calibre FBN 916.02, 80-hour power reserve
Display mechanism: 240° dial opening and closing according to a double rotation procedure (patent pending) which can be activated in two different ways:
– On demand, instantaneously, by pressing the push-button on the crown
– In passing, or automatically, at the moment chosen by the owner and set by the watchmaker when assembling the movement. In this latter case, the opening time lasts 60 minutes, and the same goes for closing.
The added complication of being able to activate mechanism uniquely determined on demand, preserves the ultimate secret to its owner only.
Indication: hours, minutes
Movement diameter: 14’’’ = 31,60mm
Movement height: 7,02mm
Component parts: 236
Number of jewels: 23 rubies
Power reserve: 80 hours
Frequency: 21’600 A/h = 3Hz
Material: non-rhodiumed 210Pd 18K white gold
Case diameter: 42mm, water resistant 30 meters
Case height: 15,20mm
– Ivory-colored Grand Feu enamel on gold 18K, illustrated with a hand-painted enamelled miniature depicting an imperial dragon to celebrate the new year of the Chinese calendar placed under the sign of the symbolic creature.
-Painted Roman numerals on Sapphire. 240° aperture mechanism on demand or in passing
– Hands: “assegai-shaped” in 18K gold
Hand-sewn Alcantara-lined alligator leather
Buckle/clasp: pin buckle or folding clasp in non-rhodiumed 210Pd 18K gold