I always prefer to start my tales about Laurent Ferrier with a similar reality. This man, who now makes the absolute best watches around, who additionally went through forty years of administration at a little company called Patek Philippe, eventually achieving the situation of technical and item chief, not just dashed at 24 hours of LeMans in 1979, however really podiumed, coming in third spot. Who came in second? The group highlighting one Mr. Paul Newman. In this way, regardless of what you consider Mr. Ferrier’s watches, he is, was, and always will be, unbelievably cool.
And about those watches. We’ve given you a harangue or two on why we love Laurent Ferrier so much – see here for a gander at the miniature rotor , here for a glance at the new and improved tourbillon twofold winding , and here for the just declared and going to be conveyed double time-region Traveler . In any case, simply this week, while investing some energy sitting in a Geneva lodging, I chose to give LF a note and check whether I could swing in for a little while. Fortunately for me, in addition to the fact that this was conceivable, Mr. Ferrier himself was there to show me around.
Located in the town of Vernier, Switzerland, the Laurent Ferrier workshop dwells in a changed over single-family home. There is totally zero signage from the street, and it is encircled by typical, regular offices like banks and laundromats. One would have positively no clue about that probably the best watches in the world are being made right nearby. It is just as you approach the entryway that you see you are going to enter the workshop of Laurent Ferrier, by means of the stained glass windows on the ground floor, showing springs, wheels, and outfits, and the machines scarcely noticeable on the second floor through the faintly lit window.
Inside, I was met by the association’s new CEO, Sylvére Demonsais, Vanessa Monestel, and Mr. Laurent Ferrier himself. To start with, I was told about where the company is today. Laurent Ferrier created only 100 watches in 2012. On the whole of 2013, it will hit around 140. That is 140 watches altogether, individuals. For the good of comparison, F.P. Journe makes around 900 watches each years, A. Lange & Söhne make between 5,000 and 10,000 watches each year, Vacheron makes around 20,000, Patek around 50,000, Omega around 700,000, and Rolex around 1,000,000. I say this since I want everybody to consider this next time they look at what as a “extravagance” watch truly is.
Laurent Ferrier the brand comprises of only 16 individuals, and that now incorporates Laurent’s child, Christian Ferrier, who, subsequent to working at Fabrique du Temps (which was eventually purchased by Louis Vuitton), is the drawn out vision of the LF brand (I will come back to that later). Also, when I say brand, I would not joke about this. Since, it is clear, that dissimilar to a portion of the other best watchmakers in the world, Laurent Ferrier is without a doubt a brand, and not a solitary man, similar to say Philippe Dufour .
The small Ferrier workshop has yet three watchmaking rooms, each with at most four benches inside. There is a space for the get together of the tourbillons (customary and Galet Secret), where at close to three individuals work on the double. The day I visited, a single watchmaker, who had been explicitly prepared to work on tourbillons, was occupied assembling.
Here you can see the type of the 2010 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve-winning Galet Classic , with imaginative and totally dazzling tourbillon with twofold twisting.
This specific type will be going inside an extraordinary form of the Galet Tourbillon called the Galet Secret, which utilizes a great mechanism to cover up and show an altered dial at specific occasions during the day. For example, on the off chance that you wanted to plan a modified, finish dial to shown distinctly between the long periods of 8am and 8pm, the dial’s two opaque gems would open a full 240° (like a fan) to uncover that optional dial. The fan may likewise be enacted by pressing a catch on the crown.
The fan mechanism in this watch is totally uncommon, and made by Laurent Ferrier. The patent-forthcoming idea allows the owners of the Galet Secret to not just choose which kind of auxiliary dial they would like, yet in addition at which times it will be uncovered. This is characterized during the gathering time frame, and can be changed by a LF watchmaker as the owner preferences.
By dumb karma, on my visit, I was ready to see a unique dial for the Galet Secret arranged by amazing enamelist Anita Porchet. Porchet is viewed as the best dial craftsman in the world, and Laurent Ferrier will get only a couple of her dials each year, as each requires an untold number of hours to complete. Porchet additionally manages job for different houses, including both Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels. She is sought after, and works just with the best, so it is fitting that she creates extremely extraordinary dials for Laurent Ferrier.
To the privilege of the three man tourbillon workshop is the Micro-Rotor studio. Here, four exceptionally prepared watchmakers gather the Galet Micro-Rotor and Galet Traveler.
The Micro-Rotor is, as I would like to think, perhaps the most fascinating self-winding watches with regards to the world, and absolutely quite possibly the most wonderful. To start with, the totally etched 40mm Galet style case is strikingly well fit to the wrist, and emits a cutting edge, dressy look. What’s more, the cost of 45,000CHF ($48,500), is, as I would like to think, sensible for the measure of technical creative and level of wrapping up. Let me explain…
This watch is simply extraordinary looking, however when you turn it over, you see the genuine wizardry. Now clearly with a name like Micro-Rotor, you know this watch is self-winding. Remember, you only occasionally see genuine examples of haute horlogerie (ie. hand-made, in-house watchmaking) that are automatic winding. A piece of this is on the grounds that numerous autonomous watchmakers endeavor to reproduce customary sorts of watchmaking from the pre-automatic days, and the other explanation is perfectionists love to see ALL of the delightfully made and completed development for which they are paying so much – a rotor just blocks a lot of that integrity.
Laurent Ferrier sees things in an unexpected way, and as opposed to attempting to reproduce the past, he will probably assemble something that honors days of old while making a very easy to use, wearable wristwatch with the most awesome utilization of power conceivable. Thus, what you have in the Micro-Rotor is a counterbalanced rotor suspended between two extensions that allows for fantastic viewing of the whole development. The 22k guiloche rotor is held set up by two jewels to keep it as steady as could be expected.
And at that point there’s the escapement. The Laurent Ferrier Micro-Rotor doesn’t utilize a customary Swiss switch escapement. It utilizes a completely oil free normal escapement, in light of an idea from Mr. Abraham-Louis Breguet.
Laurent Ferrier calls it, decisively, a twofold immediate drive common escapement, since motivations are applied straightforwardly to the equilibrium from the two sides, keeping contagious energy at the most elevated level conceivable. The escapement includes a silicon switch and a wheel made of a nickel phosphorous compound made utilizing LIGA technology. The outcome is both a delightful look and the principal characteristic escapement that requires no grease whatsoever.
The characteristic escapement of the Micro-Rotor is likewise found in the double timezone Traveler watch delivered for this present year at Basel World 2013. Truth be told, while I was visiting, three watchmakers were working diligently concluding the get together on the primary batch of Travelers, to be conveyed very soon. At a cost of around 56,000 CHF, there is absolutely a premium over the miniature rotor, however this watch is more complicated than it looks.
Above is an incomplete example of the Traveler, and I’m informed that despite the fact that it depends on the type of the Micro-Rotor, the expanded complication requires a lot of work. The double time mechanism is definitely not an extra module worked on the current miniature rotor, however is quite incorporated into the type, a demonstration of the no alternate routes system of Laurent Ferrier.
Each Laurent Ferrier, whether it be a unique Tourbillon Secret or an essential Micro-Rotor in white gold, is gathered by a singular watchmaker. That probably won’t appear to be a significant truth, however think about that within the lobbies of the greats – Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet – the lone watches are that are collected start to finish by a solitary individual are the most elevated complications. At Laurent Ferrier, regardless of what you get, you know that it was worked on by a solitary individual, completely by hand. Also, that, dear perusers, is extremely, cool, and for all intents and purposes never seen on a period just watch like the Micro-Rotor.
Sitting on the three story Laurent Ferrier workshop is a little completing office. What’s more, by completing office, I mean a little stay with only three work areas in it. The day I was there, just two craftswomen were there. One should recall, one of the supreme qualities of Laurent Ferrier is the degree and plan of the development finishings, so this is an exceptionally significant piece of the interaction.
Each component is completely hand sloped with a burin, including the inside points of each component. While, for example, Lange chooses to hand imprint its equilibrium cocks , Ferrier chooses to hollow them out, and chamfer, at that point clean, each and every edge, giving them a less fancy yet exceptionally smooth look that I simply love.
The quality of the Ferrier completing is completely first rate, and the whole development is Geneva striped with roundabout graining. It is this completing, in addition to the imaginative miniature rotor plan with ointment free common escapement that puts Laurent Ferrier so high on my own hit list. It additionally doesn’t hurt that each and every watch that leaves the Vernier industrial facility includes a great 80-hour power save.
Just take a gander at that development. This was a model Traveler captured at Basel World, and even here, the thing is simply downright staggering. I really figure it very well may be simply the most excellent winding development in the world.
And how about the drawn out reasonability of Laurent Ferrier? As I referenced in the absolute starting point, LF is anything but a singular watchmaker sitting in a hovel somewhere in the Vallée de Joux, it is a little company hoping to construct extraordinary items for individuals that care. With just 140 watches being made each year, it is in no way, shape or form an enormous activity. Truth be told, there is just a single retailer in the United States (Manfredi in Greenwich, CT), so you will probably not see these on the wrists of your partners any time soon. However, much similarly that F.P. Journe is something beyond a man, Laurent Ferrier tries to grow.
The watches will always be excellent and they will always be restricted in number, however essential growth and deals is what allows for reinvestment in new technologies and thoughts. I was recounted the dissatisfaction Laurent Ferrier presently has when attempting to arrange parts in a quantity of three. Indeed, three. Different brands are requesting in the quantity of, at least 3,000. So indeed, Laurent Ferrier will for sure grow and Christian Ferrier, Laurent’s child, is there to make a big difference for it, alongside CEO Sylvére Demonsais. It is one of only a handful few free produces that I can think about that has an organizer’s relative included, and to me, that is something excellent. Christian will safeguard his dad’s inheritance as the Laurent Ferrier brand proceeds to grow.
There is such a great amount to like about Laurent Ferrier that it’s difficult to specify only a couple things. There is the way the developments are planned by Laurent Ferrier himself after his long vocation with the world’s most lofty watchmaker. There is the way each component is made explicitly for Laurent Ferrier and nobody else. There is the way that each watch is hand-amassed by a solitary watchmaker. There is the way that the normal age of the 16 representatives of Laurent Ferrier is 30 (indeed, truly). There is the way that LF developments give recognition to the great experts like Breguet with the utilization of a characteristic escapement, yet push things forward by utilizing a twofold drive architecture with silicon switch. There is the way that the watches are done completely by hand, by a genuine subject matter expert. There is the reductionist’s style (the Micro-Rotor is 40mm in width, while both the tourbillon and Traveler are 41mm), and there is the way that Laurent Ferrier offsets freedom with a large scale level comprehension of collectability and worth.
I trust this little window into the world of Laurent Ferrier has opened up a few eyes to a brand that I truly have confidence in, and one I think should offer an extremely splendid future for authorities down the street. I profoundly urge you to check out the authority landing page to get familiar with Laurent Ferrier’s contributions , and in case you’re in Geneva, it’s totally worth reaching LF for a little while (they intend to leave Vernier soon for a somewhat bigger office in Plan le Ouates). Once more, Manfredi Jewels is the lone Laurent Ferrier retailer in the United States (as of now) so you’ll want to reach them in case you’re keen on seeing one in the metal in the US. You may locate any remaining retailers around the world here .