Source: Laurent Ferrier via Bloomberg

Laurent Ferrier’s One-of-a-Kind Watch Is a Nouveau-Vintage Masterpiece

Two words for you: sector dial

Veteran watchmaker Laurent Ferrier just unveiled his donation to the 2015 Only Watch charity auction, taking place this November in Geneva—and it's flat-out awesome.

This watch is a unique variation of the Galet Square, Laurent Ferrier's new model for 2015. The square profile has rounded edges and this model is the first one available in steel (white and rose gold were released at Baselworld back in March). Ferrier has also revisited the lugs for this one-off piece, making them longer, thinner, and with the domes on the outer edges that recall screw lugs of the early 20th century. Inside beats the Calibre 229.01 movement, which is automatically wound by a micro-rotor and with its sharply beveled edges and ornate architecture is easily one of the most beautifully finished automatic movements available today. No joke. 

This unique Laurent Ferrier has a vintage-inspired sector dial with two-tone coloring.
This unique Laurent Ferrier has a vintage-inspired sector dial with two-tone coloring.
Source: Laurent Ferrier via Bloomberg

The dial is the real star, though.

This style is called a "sector dial" and was originally created in the 1930s to improve legibility for scientists and doctors. It's distinguished by the black markers radiating from a central ring that divide the dial into the namesake sectors. It's unclear who originated the style, but any search of vintage chronographs and calatravas will turn up tons of examples from various brands and Phillips recently sold an incredible Patek Philippe ref. 130 chronograph with a sector dial for more than $5 million. But for a style so beloved by vintage collectors, it's shockingly uncommon to see a sector dial on a modern watch. 

Additional standout details include two-tone coloring found on the best vintage examples, with the area inside the sector circle being lighter than the rest of the dial. Ferrier has also included sector markings on the seconds sub-dial and blue accents throughout. Where the dial would normally say "Swiss" at the bottom, this one reads "Only Watch 2015."

Only Watch is a biannual charity auction that benefits the Monaco Association Against Muscular Dystrophy. Manufacturers are invited to create a totally unique watch that will be sold at the black-tie auction. Brands of all sizes and type—40 in total—from Patek Philippe and Christophe Claret to Chanel and DeBethune participate. The auction was previously presided over by watch-specialist auction house Antiquorum, but the new Phillips watch department is taking over this year. A preview exhibition of the watches will visit Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Monaco, and New York later this year; the auction itself takes place on Nov. 7. 

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.