Unexpected yet at the same time quite relevant given the background of Mr Ferrier, the Grand Sport Tourbillon was introduced a year ago as Laurent Ferrier’s vision of an (ultra-high-end) luxury sports watch. Mixing a more common case material with a delicate, hand-finished tourbillon movement, it was the Haute Horlogerie version of what is today the most coveted of all watch categories. First presented in brown with a rubber strap, the Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon comes back this year on a congruent steel bracelet with a gradient blue dial.
While widely known for its classic, elegant and restrained watches, all with smooth curves and delicate dials, Laurent Ferrier himself has an interesting background that helps to understand why this Grand Sport watch was created. First of all, the man has spent over 35 years at Patek Philippe, and in 1974, just before the launch of the Nautilus, he was in charge of the bureau technique d’habillage, a department in charge of the external parts of the watches. No need to say how important this division was for the praised ref. 3700… He ended his career at Patek as head of the creative department.
But there’s something else behind Laurent… Motorsport, his true passion. During his time out of the industry and even while he was still at Patek, Laurent made his way in motorsports as a semi-professional car racer, driving various models from Lotus, BMW or Porsche. He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times and in 1979, Ferrier raced the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the N° 40 Porsche Kramer Racing 935/77A, finishing the race in 3rd position, behind Paul Newman. This combined background of 1970s sports cars and high-end watchmaking is the raison d’être behind the Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon.
First presented with a gradient brown dial with orange accents and a matching rubber strap, the brand today introduces the second evolution of the model, which this time incorporates an integrated stainless steel bracelet – making the watch completely in line with the luxury sports watch concept. Brushed and polished, closed by a folding clasp, this steel bracelet complements the Grand Sport perfectly, without copying the competition.
The case, on the other hand, remains the same. The Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon is a large watch at 44mm in diameter. The shape of its steel case remains in line with the rest of the brand’s production, playing on concave and convex lines to create a smooth dynamism. The serrated onion crown, found on all LF watches, is still part of the package. The case is topped by a partially tinted sapphire glass and a screwed caseback that allows for a 100m water-resistance.
The second update for this 2020 Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon is the dial, which is now presented with gradient blue opaline in the centre and black at the periphery. The 18k white gold indexes and the ‘’Assegai-shaped’’ hands are still filled with bright, bold orange Super-LumiNova, giving this watch its own personality.
Inside the case is LF’s usual hand-wound tourbillon movement, a superb engine fitted with an opposite double balance spring regulating the one-minute tourbillon. The 14″‘ movement stores 80h of power reserve and ticks at 3Hz. It is finished in pure Haute Horlogerie style, with hand-applied anglage, angled spokes on the wheels, polished countersinks for the screws and the jewels, and special attention to details on the tourbillon bridge. The movement also shows satin-brushed bridges with a ruthenium treatment.
Price and availability
The Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon with steel bracelet and blue dial will be a numbered edition of 12 pieces. It will be priced at CHF 172,000 (excl. taxes). More details at www.laurentferrier.ch.