It’s not the name of the watch that sparked off wild thoughts. No, it’s the watch’s look. The dial of the Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor Di Rosa shows a 12-armed character named “Ah! Ah! Ah!” Hervé Di Rosa is a French artist who loves to travel the globe “in search of the mysteries of creation and the immaterial realms of thought.” On his quest, he created the “Diromythology” in Foumban, Cameroon, which features “Ah! Ah! Ah!” The motion of the shapes, their geometrical positioning, and the smiling face in the middle made me think of a secret society that uses this image on banners that hang in dungeons. This watch didn’t make me think of the micro-rotor inside. Instead, it made me fantasize about the Illuminati and a book by Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum.

If you’re not familiar with Italian author and philosopher Umberto Eco’s 1988 novel Foucault’s Pendulum, the book delves into the world of conspiracy theories and secret societies. Eco (1932–2016) takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride through history, literature, and philosophy. He also touches upon kabbalah and alchemy in a satirical way while the lines between reality and fiction increasingly begin to blur. The web Eco weaves consists of historical events and conspiracy theories written by mysterious authors claiming to unravel worldwide schemes. The three main characters in the book use the intrigue to invent “The Plan,” a supposed secret history connecting every conspiracy theory from the Knights Templar to the Rosicrucians. But their plan begins to live a life of its own, and fiction soon starts merging with reality. As a result, the hoax is believed to be true.

Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro Rotor

The Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor Di Rosa is not a hoax; it’s real

Eco’s book teaches us many things. One of them is that conspiracy theories are not a modern phenomenon. But in the internet-less ages, they did not spread as easily or as fast as they do now. The book also shows us that once people get behind a certain theory, it’s hard to come back from it. Foucault’s Pendulum is also a great and exciting read because secret societies have fascinated us for ages and will continue to do so in the future. I bet when you read the word “Illuminati,” it also sparks something in your brain.

The Illuminati — plural of the Latin word illuminatus, meaning “enlightened” — is a name given to several real and fictional groups. Historically, it began in 1776 as a secret society founded by Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830) in Bavaria, Germany. A society in which a range of social ideas centered on the value of knowledge learned through rationalism and empiricism were promoted didn’t sit well with the mighty Catholic Church, as you would imagine. Also, the political ideas regarding liberty, progress, and the formal separation of church and state were not welcomed with applause.

The powers that be started a campaign against the Illuminati. Its members were vilified and, as a result, went underground. Once underground, the myth around the Illuminati began to grow steadily year after year. The group was purportedly responsible for the French Revolution and the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy as well as the force behind a communist plot to initiate a “New World Order” via the Hollywood film industry.

Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro Rotor

What watch would they wear?

Now, what watch would Illuminati members wear? I had no clue until I saw the release of the Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor Di Rosa. This watch has a dial that features “Ah! Ah! Ah!” miniaturized in 18K white gold by the engraver Jeanne Valentine Ulrich from the Cadraniers de Genève. The geometrical and symbolic qualities make it look like an emblem for those in the know. Look, some people are uncomfortable wearing a ring or an amulet around their neck with the secret symbol. For those who are into watches, this timepiece is perfect.

Does that mean both watchmaker Laurent Ferrier and artist Hervé Di Rosa are Illuminati? Well, I don’t know about Ferrier, who studied at the École d’Horlogerie de Genève and graduated in 1968. But he did decide to pursue his passion for motor racing at some point, only to return to watchmaking. When he did, he worked for the most prestigious and connected Swiss watch brand ever, and later on, he started a brand of his own. One thing’s for sure: Laurent Ferrier is a time manipulator.

Hervé Di Rosa’s story is different. He was born in Sète, France, in 1959, and now he lives and works in Paris and Mexico City while also traveling around the world. Why does he travel so much? Is he an Illuminati liaison officer? It’s also interesting that he once received a scholarship from the Medici Foundation. The Medici family members — and this is a well-known fact — were like the godfathers of the Renaissance, who clawed their way to the top without scruples.

Laurent Ferrier

Ah, yes, the watch

I feel that I have revealed too much already, so I will wrap this up quickly with information about the watch itself. The Classic Micro-Rotor Di Rosa is a very exclusive edition; only five pieces are available at an undisclosed price. Its 40mm stainless steel case and its ball-shaped crown take inspiration from pocket watches of the 19th century. The powerful assegai-shaped hands are a clear sign that this is a Laurent Ferrier watch. Inside the case beats the caliber FBN 229.01 outfitted with a micro-rotor. It also features a double direct-impulse escapement on the balance wheel. This feature is rare and complex to produce and was inspired by the father of modern watchmaking, Abraham-Louis Breguet — we all know he was a prominent figure in the Parisian Illuminati scene.

Laurent Ferrier

Laurent Ferrier (left) and Hervé Di Rosa

The Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor Di Rosa also celebrates the retrospective “Hervé Di Rosa – The Worlds-Passer” exhibition happening at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The exposition is open to the public until August 26th. Who knows what happens after hours at the Centre Pompidou…

I have already shared too much information with you than is good for me. You do your research, go to the Laurent Ferrier website, and make up your mind on your own. After you have done so, please share your findings in the comments below.