It’s hard to believe that the brand Laurent Ferrier is only 10 years old. The independent watchmaker has gained such a level of recognition in a single decade that you would think the brand has been around for far longer. Everything started in 2010 when Laurent Ferrier, an ex-Patek employee and race car enthusiast decided, with the help of one of his closest friends, François Servanin, to start his own watchmaking company. And things took off from day one. In its first year of existence, the brand was awarded the “Best Men’s Watch” prize at the GPHG with the Galet Classic Tourbillon. Together with his son Christian, MisterFerrier would go on to launch many superb watches and movements, such as the micro-rotor and its double direct-impulse escapement, the Annual Calendar “Montre École” and, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the brand, the sleek, yet elegant and superbly executed Classic Origin. Today, we talk with Mister Laurent Ferrier who will explain how he started his eponymous brand, what has been achieved in these 10 years of existence, and who will present the new Laurent Ferrier Classic Origin.
As he explains in the video above, Mister Ferrier comes from a watchmaking family, and it was a natural choice for him to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. After a successful 37-year career at Patek Philippe, punctuated by his passion for motor-racing (Laurent Ferrier finished third at the 24h of Le Mans in 1979), Laurent, with the help of his close friend Servanin (who raced with him at Le Mans), decided to launch his own watch brand, simply named Laurent Ferrier. With complete autonomy, Ferrier created his own watch, a timepiece with an extremely elegant design and great mechanical complexity, the Galet Tourbillon Double Spiral. A true masterpiece of understatement, recognition for the Galet Tourbillon came immediately and the brand received a prize at the GPHG 2010 in its first year of existence. This was followed by a more “accessible” piece, with the Micro-Rotor movement, yet equipped with a complex Breguet Natural Escapement – and variations, such as the Galet Square and the Galet Traveller.
But today the brand is celebrating its tenth anniversary. To mark the occasion, Laurent Ferrier has decided to create its most minimalist piece, a watch that represents the essence of the brand, and the latest evolution of the original Tourbillon watch, the new Classic Origin watch.
A classic hand-wound watch with a time-only display, the Classic Origin watch remains true to the brand’s codes: a superbly executed movement finished by hand; a long-blade ratchet pawl (which was first seen in the Galet Tourbillon and offers such pleasure when winding the watch); and the same ultra-elegant, sleek and smooth design. But this piece also signals a discreet move into modern times. While the case retains the same shape as previous Galet watches, it is now fashioned out of polished grade 5 titanium, resulting in a watch that is lighter and that has a different colour from the other models.
Although we introduced you to the white opaline model here, today Laurent Ferrier presents an absolutely stunning faded “gradient” green edition of the Classic Origin. The colour is soft and discreet, as you would expect from the brand, but also adds a nice touch of originality and modernity to this ultra-classic and elegant piece. The small seconds display is punctuated by the signature white gold Assegai (or javelin-shaped) hands and similarly shaped applied hour markers. Touches of yellow can be found on the sub-counter and the 24-hour track around the dial, adding a subtle touch of originality. A crosshair traverses the centre of the dial, a technical touch that appears on several previous models, including the Annual Calendar model.
One major difference with the Galet Micro-Rotor is found inside the case; this model is equipped with a new movement relying on the same base as the Annual Calendar. This calibre LF 116.01 is hand-wound and features a classic Swiss lever escapement, but still has its long-blade ratchet – responsible for producing the distinctive sound and feel when winding the watch. The movement oscillates at 3Hz and offers a robust 80-hour power reserve. The decoration of the movement is a great mix of modern touches, like the matte grey bridges, with traditional techniques such as bevels and hand-polished inward angles.
The final touch comes from the beautiful, soft, light-brown leather strap contributing a more casual look to the Laurent Ferrier Classic Origin Green. The watch will retail for CHF 28,500 (excl. taxes).
But enough of my words, Mister Laurent Ferrier’s words are far more expressive to describe what the brand has achieved in its first decade of existence and reveal all the details about this new model. More details at laurentferrier.ch.