The New Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor × Salon Des Horlogers Gives Me The Blues
This feels unfair, or I may just be spoiled… But as the self-appointed Laurent Ferrier correspondent here at Fratello, I’m left to struggle with my own creativity and grammar. Let’s face it — when dealing with a brand new watch from a debut brand, it’s easier to write a good story than with another Ferrier masterpiece. This Classic Micro-Rotor limited edition was created together with Salon des Horlogers, the Geneva-based retailer of luxury independent horology. Established in 2018 in the historic horological mecca, the Salon is at the forefront of promoting Swiss independent watchmaking.
Thinking as far back as my memory stretches, any piece of wristwear we’ve seen from Laurent Ferrier could easily be someone’s grail watch. But there is a similar language in each piece, whether it be the chunky Sport Auto or a more delicate square-pebble-shaped Micro-Rotor model. As a seasoned watch journalist with an eye for the tiniest detail, I see the variations in the range as marked. But what about you, our readers? I’m sure some of you see the Assegai hands and a beautiful onion crown, and the rest looks the same. Trust me, it’s not, and the Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor × Salon des Horlogers proves it. My challenge is to convey what I see as a very different blue Ferrier grail and help you recognize the small but intricate delights that set it apart.
I didn’t love sector dials until I saw this
Why not start with a bold statement, invariably colored by my personal love for blue dials? Well, blue shirts, bracelets, car paint… you name it. Does this make me a poor judge of yet another delectable Laurent Ferrier? I’ll leave that for you to decide. But let’s start with the colors, and what they do to the traditionally formal design of a sector dial. At first glance, I still get surprised by the sweeping shape of the white gold Assegai hands coated in matte white lacquer. It seems almost obscene to actually cover gold in a color, but it just works so well here. The instant clarity against the deep blue backdrop is nothing but sharp, framed by the soft-shaped smooth case we know and love.
A traditional sector dial is usually silver with black pad-printed numerals and sector markings. The reversed contrast of this new Laurent Ferrier, however, provides pin-sharp clarity. A dark shade of indigo, the center has a grained texture, and a vivid sunburst outer sector holds the markers for each hour. A crisp chemin de fer sits inside the rehaut with Arabic numerals marking every five minutes. This watch is based on the Classic Micro-Rotor design by Ferrier, but with a different personality in the cool mix of arctic white and deep blue.
My favorite detail, except for the ever-beautiful spear hands, is the small seconds indicator at 6 o’clock. A staunchly traditional design, it’s all about those minute details again. The sectors stop short of the sub-dial on each side, perfectly aligning with two of its cardinal markings. To me, this is sexy. But any Ferrier is just as much about the movement as the panache of the dial.
The self-winding heart of the matter
Flipping the Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor × Salon des Horlogers around, you’ll be charmed by the lip at 6 o’clock. It’s a nod to pocket watches, which actually inspire Laurent Ferrier more than you’d think. The micro-rotor FBN 229.01 caliber is as beguiling as ever with its linear and rather contemporary look. With three days of power reserve on a full wind, the automatic movement has a pawl-fitted, uni-directional beauty of a rotor. The complex design within the slim case is fitted with a silicon escapement, a collaborative effort between LF and Fabrique du Temps. This is yet another feather in Ferrier’s cap. As with any Ferrier movement, the finishing and anglage are superb, leaving you wishing for a twin-sided strap or hinged lugs so you could wear it upside down. I’m only 50% kidding here. It is really that good.
Why choose this in a saturated grail market?
Any 40mm Laurent Ferrier with a svelte 11.5mm thickness wears like a dream, and it is simply very good value. At €50,000, really? Think about it. Buy a Rolex or Patek for double or quadruple its retail price and look exactly like the man next to you in Business Class. Was that your dream? Any Ferrier would be the better choice, and this blue sector dial combined with a hand-finished movement wins it any day of the week. The Ferrier atelier operates at a quiet pace, for sure. But this year, we’ve already seen the integrated-bracelet grail, the Sport, and the hits keep coming. This is simply a very accomplished 40mm wristwatch, one that’s well worth its substantial €50,000 price. It comes on a blue suede strap with Alcantara lining and a blue alligator strap to change it up. Never has getting the blues felt so good.
What about you, Fratelli? Would you rather play it safe with your saved-up cash or invest in some top-level independent horology? Let us know in the comments.
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