Laurent Ferrier introduces a brand-new collection in an unexpected sporty style to celebrate 40 years since the brand’s founders raced together at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 10 years since the conception of its very first tourbillon.
Laurent Ferrier is best known today as a master independent watchmaker, but rewind 40 years to the 1970s and his name was more likely to be seen on the roster of some of the most prestigious motor races. He competed in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times, coming first in the two-litre prototype category in 1977.
It was during this period that he met fellow driver and industrialist François Servanin. The two men shared a passion for both speed and mechanics which cemented their friendship and in 1979 they raced together behind the wheel of a Porsche 935T from the Kramer racing team, coming an overall third in the competition. Their performance was all the more remarkable considering that many of their competitors were professional Formula 1 drivers.
The two gentlemen’s love for mechanics never waned, leading them to form the Laurent Ferrier watch brand in 2009. Today they remember the beginning of their friendship and motor racing adventures with this brand-new limited edition Tourbillon Grand Sport that captures the spirit of 1970s motor racing.
The Tourbillon Grand Sport catches the eye with its smoked taupe-coloured dial and orange luminescent hands and indexes that respect the brand’s love for elegance and finesse, while offering a sportier and more powerful design. The dial is protected by a spherical tinted sapphire crystal that softens the dial and provides a beautifully rounded profile when viewed from the side.
The 44mm stainless-steel case, with its cushion-shaped bezel against a slightly tonneau middle case, features all the design codes of a Laurent Ferrier timepiece with smooth rounded lines and a refined aesthetic, but it also presents a powerful new design with increased strength and character.
Like all of his creations, Laurent Ferrier designed the Tourbillon Grand Sport case for the wrist so that it would be extremely comfortable and a pleasure to wear throughout the day. Every aspect of the experience of wearing the watch has been considered, from the sensation of winding the crown in the morning, to checking the time while driving home at night. A closer look reveals refined crown guards, sporty bolts on the case back and highly polished parts next to satin finished elements that accentuate the attention to detail and exceptional workmanship that has gone into the fabrication of this unique case.
The year 2019 is not only the anniversary of the founders’ motor racing careers, it is also the 10th anniversary of the conception of the brand’s first tourbillon. It is for this reason that the Tourbillon Grand Sport features this highly-appreciated complication.
The tourbillon device created by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1801 is fitted with a double balance spring. The two reversed-fitted balance-springs neutralise the lateral displacement of the balance axis, while the tourbillon compensates for the variations in rate in all vertical positions. Associating these two devices combines their advantages and ensures impressively high rating precision.
Laurent Ferrier has also developed its own escapement mechanism. In association with the tourbillon, with a specifically adapted construction and a rigorous choice of materials and manual adjustments, the regulating organ ensures excellent precision. The Tourbillon caliber is indeed chronometer-certified by the Besançon Observatory.
The mechanical hand-wound movement, entirely developed and produced within the Laurent Ferrier workshops, is fitted with a double balance-spring tourbillon crafted in the finest traditional manner. Visible exclusively through the sapphire caseback, the mechanism is not a mere aesthetic enhancement, but also discreetly serves its former functional purpose of guaranteeing the precision and reliability of the regulating system.
The calibre construction is inspired by the major 19th century chronometry models with their manual-winding system featuring a long-blade-type ratchet pawl system distinguished by the delicate mechanical clicking sound emitted during winding. The movement has been given a horizontal satin-brushed finish with a ruthenium touch for a sportier allure and has been finished with extreme care, as evidenced by the manual decoration on the tourbillon carriage bridge. The design of the bridges is inspired by pocket-watches and the decoration is executed in keeping with the finest watchmaking traditions, including 30 hand-crafted interior angles.
The Tourbillon Grand Sport comes in a limited edition of 12 pieces, is water-resistant to 100 metres and is fitted with a taupe-coloured rubber strap with a new deployant buckle with three blades for additional ease and comfort on the wrist. Each edition will also come with a very special box including a commemorative plaque.
Tourbillon Grand Sport Numbered Edition, 12 Pieces
Diameter: 14’’’ (Ø 31.60 mm)
Thickness: 5.57 mm
Frequency: 3Hz (21600 vibrations/hour)
Power reserve: 80 hours
188 mechanical parts / 23 jewels
Hours and minutes in the centre
Small seconds at 6 o’clock on tourbillon frame pivot
Tourbillon rotating cage visible through sapphire case back
Horizontal satin brushed bridges with a ruthenium treatment
Tourbillon, opposite double balance spring
“Swiss” lever escapement
Balance at variable geometry, with screw
Tourbillon frame carrier in periphery
Dimensions: 44 mm
3 parts, middle, bezel and bottom hooked
Sapphire bottom, tourbillon movement vision
Water resistant at 100 meters
Tinted sapphire glass
Satin finishing on the sides and polished bezel
Sporty bolts on the case back
Brown gradient with nickel opalin in the center
Small second at 6 o’clock
Indexes: 18K/750 210Pd white gold with orange superluminova
18K/750 210Pd white gold
Hours and minutes: ‘’Assegai-shaped’’ with orange superluminova
Taupe, folding clasp