Laurent Ferrier’s work speaks for itself. First encounters with his watches bring back a heady sense of ’60s and ’70s classicism, or even earlier, a rakish world where clean, pure lines in design and style ruled, and a certain rigor was practiced in dressing and etiquette. Along with the soft, pristine curves of his watch cases comes a sense of propriety, where nothing is out of place or extraneous.
Despite that, his watches do not look out of place in the 21st century — if anything, like a good mid-century modern design, they feel even more suited to our era, and eras forthcoming. One great example is the Grand Sport Tourbillon, which is definitely a sports luxe or sports chic watch, right along the greats of the Nautilus and Royal Oak.
Though Laurent Ferrier did spend some 37 years at Patek Philippe, eventually ending up as head of the creative department, and one can draw a correlation between the Grand Sport Tourbillon and the Nautilus, it’s more in spirit than design per se.
A Sporty, Luxury Steel Watch
The watch has more to do with motorsport, which Ferrier is an avid lover, and less to do with Genta’s designs of the Nautilus. Looking at the soft curves on the barrel-shaped watch, the gently round cushion bezel in a brushed finish, the curves of the case middle around the crown and one can see the lines of ’70s sports cars all over.
The Grand Sport Tourbillon first came along last year, bearing an integrated rubber strap. The strap is mounted into the center of the case, making it a proper integrated model. The watch had a gradated dial from a soft to deep brown on the circumference, with a tourbillon housed in the back of the movement, running under the small seconds display at 6 o’clock. Hour markers and hands bore bold orange Super-LumiNova.
The LF 619.01 caliber, fully admirable on the back, bears numerous Laurent Ferrier signatures, and is absolutely stunning and elegant. It’s also treated with a dark ruthenium coating for a more muscular look. This year, the Grand Sport Tourbillon gains a integrated steel bracelet, with a three-link tapered design that reminds one of the engine block in a car. The matte finishing of the entire watch gives it a classic, weathered appeal. The dial, instead of the brown from last year, takes on a gradated blue to black presence, while the hour markers and hands remain the same.
Only 12 pieces of this model will be created in a numbered series, so if you want one, better grab one quick.
Manual winding LF619.01 caliber; hours, minutes; small seconds; tourbillon with double balance spring; 3Hz; 80-hour power reserve
4mm case in stainless steel; screw-down caseback; water resistant to 100m
Integrated stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp