Laurent Ferrier × Revolution Classic Micro-Rotor ‘Amazonia’
Our latest collaboration with the legendary Laurent Ferrier is a Classic Micro-Rotor in steel featuring applied white gold indexes and a sector track, with a verdant green dial inspired by Ferrier’s love for nature.
There is an expression that comes over Laurent Ferrier’s august visage that I love. This happens when he picks up one of his own watches and gazes at it lovingly. It is akin to what I imagine Proust’s face looked like when he tasted the famous madeleine in À La Recherche du Temps Perdu, and a torrent of memories come flooding back into his mind.
Similarly, I imagine when Ferrier holds one of his wonderful watch cases in his hands, he senses how the edges feel like a river stone, worn smooth by the passing of water over it; he looks at the perfect, restrained design language, punctuated with just a touch of exhilaration injected by his signature Assegai hands modeled after the spears of an African warrior tribe; and when he gazes at the simultaneously vibrant yet subdued signature color palette, you know that he is experiencing a flood of memories that stretches back almost a half century.
Deep inside Laurent Ferrier’s imagination, inchoate but present when he made his first pocket watch in 1968, and enriching itself to full maturity over his 37 years at Patek Philippe and the 14 years as the creative director of his eponymous brand, is a singular voice of immeasurable horological grace. When he did unveil this vision to the world with the launch of his brand in 2009, the watch that he created, the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral, triggered an incredible flood of what Proust would call “involuntary memories.”
Since then, he has achieved this over and over again with each successive launch, from the Classic Micro-Rotor, to his Traveller and Annual Calendar, and most recently with his sublime Classic Origin. I would say, more than any other independent brand, Ferrier has reconnected us all with the love for classical watchmaking — a remembrance of things past that we had almost forgotten.
Laurent Ferrier is our bridge between the past and the present. His watches are the living, beating repositories of horology’s greatest collective memories. So artfully does he wield nuanced details inspired by 19th and mid-20th century Swiss watchmaking that his vision feels like it has already existed for a century or more, already permanently inscribed into the lexicon of horology’s great canon.
The point is, there is nothing in watchmaking design at this stage that Ferrier doesn’t know, hasn’t tried and, according to whether or not it fits his singular philosophy of less is more, hasn’t decided to discard or assimilate into his watchmaking vocabulary.
I recall a full three years ago when I first broached the subject of creating a “sector” dial watch with Ferrier, specifically a manual wind Classic Origin limited edition series of 12 watches, he’d already had far more design experience with this kind of dial than I could have ever imagined. The resulting timepiece, featuring a cream center section surrounded by a black sector track, followed by a circular brushed silver section with black printed Arabic indexes, far exceeded anything I could have hoped for. It was that beautiful and I am deeply honored to own the prototype of that beautiful timepiece.
Laurent Ferrier × Revolution Sector Dial Watches
My passion for all things sector dial goes back to the popularization of the sector or “scientific” dial watches. They began in the 1920s as a way of more clearly delineating time and were used on both wristwatches and pocket watches. They featured a circular track where the hour indexes would radiate outward. This means that the hour hand would align perfectly with this track and there could be no mistaking its placement.
On the perimeter of the dial, you would have a clearly printed minute track that would align with the minute hand to provide ultimate clarity. Seconds could either be placed in a subdial at six o’clock, or read off a central seconds hand. Further, different sectors of the dial would always have different decoration to more fully create a sense of information compartmentalization.
Over the ensuing decades, brands including Omega and Longines, the latter in particular with its “Tre Tacche” waterproof watches, became synonymous for this style of scientific watches.
In the modern era, I would argue that Laurent Ferrier is that unrivaled master of the sector dial. Laurent Ferrier has used the sector dial to great effect, in particular in his Galet Square with the Only Watch 2015 pièce unique, the two limited editions for Chicago’s Swiss FineTiming, a luminous version with the Boréal, and a beautiful pièce unique execution created by Aurel Bacs, the world’s greatest vintage watch auctioneer and expert.
It was my immense pleasure to launch our own Galet Classic watch with Ferrier in a series of 12 watches that quickly sold out and that appeared for strong premiums the few times they have sold at auction. Most notably, gentleman collector Mark Cho sold his Revolution Classic Origin at auction on October 13, 2021. That watch achieved a price of HKD 302,400.
In 2021 we followed up on this wonderful collaboration with two Revolution Laurent Ferrier limited editions, both featuring sector dials in combination with applied Breguet hour markers at 12, three and nine o’clock. The first of these was a “brut champagne” colored dial with sunray finish that used the Classic Origin’s manual wind movement. The second of these was a “rose champagne” colored dial with sunray finish that featured the Classic Micro-Rotor’s automatic caliber replete with Breguet natural escapement. The movements of both of these timepieces featured the same yellow gold, frosted finish with hand mirror-polished angles that was found in our first collaboration.
With each subsequent collaboration, I felt that Ferrier was allowing himself to be a bit more expressive with his sector track. The 2021 watches were distinguished by a more exuberant — dare I say — more tempestuously Latin sector track. I loved this as, to me, this was Ferrier allowing himself just a soupçon more of self-expressive freedom, perhaps best characterized by the additional square hour plots found within the minute track that creates a slightly more visually stimulating Laurent Ferrier dial than his normal oases of calm and tranquility.
Laurent Ferrier × Revolution Classic Micro-Rotor “Amazonia”
When asked what he might be inspired to do for our collaboration this year, Ferrier said the following, “I would like to bring an even greater sense of sophistication to the design of our sector dials by making the Arabic indexes at 12, three and nine o’clock as well as the sector track from white rhodium treated gold, and have them be applied to the dial itself.
“Previous to this, in our other collaborations, we have always triple printed the sector track to give it a raised effect,” he added. “But I didn’t want to use an additional element and apply it to the track, because there were some issues with how precisely this could be placed in the past. We have since worked with our dial maker to overcome these issues and I was confident we could have the track be applied as well, and even thinner than the previous ones we’ve executed to keep the dial elegant.”
I was blown away by Ferrier’s ambition to keep pushing the value and ambition of our collaborations to the next level. All I could think to ask was what color he might wish the dial to be.
Ferrier paused for a moment, got that slightly faraway look in his eyes, and said, “I would like it to remind me of the Amazon rainforest and be a wonderful verdant green. The Amazon is the single, most species-rich biodome in the world, and an important resource for humanity. It covers one percent of the Earth’s surface but is home to 10 percent of the species on our planet.”
Indeed, the Amazon rainforest or Amazonia plays an incredibly important role in stabilizing our environment, storing 76 billion tons of carbon, and releasing 20 billion tons of water. It is also the habitat for a rich plethora of undiscovered species of plants and animals.
Says Ferrier, “I’ve always believed there is no inspiration greater than nature. At the same time, I feel that the mechanical watch is an important ethical device in that it endures forever, and it only consumes the energy imparted by its owner when he winds it or, in the case of an automatic micro-rotor watch, when he wears it.”
The stunning Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor “Amazonia” features the caliber FBN 229.01, an automatic winding movement that uses Breguet’s natural escapement, a dual wheel escapement that runs without any lubrication. Like the other Revolution collaborations, this watch features a yellow gold colored finish. It will be made in just 15 examples with a price of USD 57,500.
AVAILABLE NOW. For enquiries, email [email protected].
Laurent Ferrier × Revolution Classic Micro-Rotor “Amazonia”
Movement: Self-winding caliber FBN 229.01 with natural escapement; 72-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes and small seconds
Case: 40mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 30m
Dial: Verdant green, with sector track; applied, white rhodium treated gold Arabic numerals and hour markers
Strap: Brown calf leather with Alcantara lining, stainless steel pin buckle; additional Milanese bracelet in stainless steel
Price: USD 57,500
Availability: Limited edition of 15 pieces
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FROM THE SHOP
|Movement||Self-winding caliber FBN 229.01 with natural escapement; 72-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes and small seconds|
|Case||40mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 30m|
|Dial||Verdant green, with sector track; applied, white rhodium treated gold Arabic numerals and hour markers|
|Strap||Brown calf leather with Alcantara lining, stainless steel pin buckle; additional Milanese bracelet in stainless steel|
|Limited Edition||Limited edition of 15 pieces|