Despite being a relative ‘new kid on the block’, Laurent Ferrier has risen to the upper echelons of the watch sphere at an alarming pace.
As the name suggests, the brand was founded by its namesake Laurent Ferrier. Mr Ferrier had an esteemed career at Patek Philippe previously, whilst also podiuming at the Le Mans 24 Hour race. Without knowing him, or much about him, this is one seriously cool dude.
His watches are also very cool indeed. The company received its first major accolade in its first year of operation at the Geneva Grand Prix, taking home a prize for the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral.
Being their tenth year, it was only sensible for the brand to release a commemorative piece, and here it is. The Laurent Ferrier Classic Origin Opaline. As a throwback of sorts, this new release utilises that very case shape that put them on the map all those years ago at GPHG.
The watch comes in the classic case shape and is manufactured out of grade-5 titanium, making it impossibly lightweight. It comes in at a very reasonable 40mm, with a thickness of 10.7mm, making this an incredibly wearable piece for a range of wrist sizes.
Being a simple, clean three-hander, the beating heart of this stunning watch is a no-nonsense, hand-wound movement, the LF 116.01. However, the simplicity of the movements starts and ends with its winding mechanism. in true Ferrier fashion, this watch is technologically and aesthetically superb. For the movement nerds amongst you, this watch features a free-sprung balance, Breguet overcoil, and Laurent Ferriers in-house long-blade ratchet, which is responsible for the raw, mechanical feel of the winding mechanism.
There is something to be admired in a brand’s ability to execute such a simple dial, whilst giving it depth and richness. This is something that the Origin Opaline has absolutely nailed. As the name suggests, the dial is constructed from silver Opaline. This, paired with the burgundy markers for the sub-seconds and the numerals, gives a playful note to the otherwise crisp dial configuration. The simplicity, attention to detail, and aesthetic beauty are quintessential traits of Laurent Ferrier watches, and they are very evident in this piece.
This watch, as with many other Laurent Ferriers, has an amazing ability to be understated and very high-end in the same breath. Despite some people potentially saying that the price of £25,000 for a manually wound three-hander seems uppish, the aesthetics coupled with the stunning movement design speaks for itself.
Despite not yet being an established brand amongst mainstream watch fans, Laurent Ferrier commands very high respect amongst nerds and collectors alike, and considering the quality and thought of design, certainly knocks on the door or established brands such as Patek and Vacheron. In a similar way of there being a Holy Trinity of ‘traditional’ watchmaking, if there was to be an independent brand Holy Trinity, this watch, along with other Laurent Ferrier pieces (pictures below) makes a very strong argument for the brand being included in that list.
It is worth noting that whilst this watch is a commemorative piece, it is crucially not a Limited Edition. There has not been a definite announcement yet as to how many will be made, and with a price I mentioned earlier of around £25,000, this is by no means an obtainable watch for many.
That being said, if you have that sort of money to spend and you are considering the more cliché watches in that price range, this one should definitely make it onto the shortlist. It is elegant, versatile, technically stunning, and will get recognition from nerds who appreciate the horological nerdery that comes with owning and knowing about Laurent Ferrier.
My take away from this short review is that this watch is stunning. Laurent Ferrier is starting to be talked about a lot more than in previous years, and it is about time they were on the radar of more mainstream collectors and watch fans for the exceptional watches that they are.