A superb contemporary wristwatch of exceptional aesthetic beauty and advancement in technical innovation, the Classic Traveller by Geneva-based independent watch manufacturer Laurent Ferrier is a remarkable dual time zone watch, which applies fresh thinking to this much loved horologic complication, resulting in an elegantly refined solution, and created for the discerning international traveller.
Throughout, its immaculate, minimalist styling, logical functionality, and the mechanical sophistication contained within, are a holistic distillation of all of its elements, in what is a superb example of understated refinement, and the brand’s uncompromising pursuit of technical and aesthetic perfection.
Originally inspired by the pleasing tactile sensation of holding a water-smoothed riverbed pebble in the palm of his hand, the case was first known as Galet, the French word for pebble, and for Laurent Ferrier, whose previous thirty-seven year career at Patek Philippe included the responsibility for transcribing Gérald Genta’s two dimensional drawings into the three-dimensional reality which would become immortalised in the shape of the iconic Patek Philippe Nautilus, the muse for his eponymous brand was resting quite literally in the palm of his hand.
Steeped in this pure and unpolluted design ethos, the Classic Traveller is a masterpiece of striking and immediate beauty, and one which recalls a classic era of Swiss watch manufacture and design.
The round case is manufactured in 18ct white gold, and measures 41mm across. It is completely curvilinear and so is bereft of any flat edges or lines, save only for the inner sides of the lugs, which flow from the lines of the case, before tapering off to rounded ends.
Beneath the gently domed sapphire crystal, the grey dial features long and slender white gold applied indices which taper to fine points, and which are interspersed with grey minute markings. In the recessed subdial at the six o’clock position the seconds are displayed with a thin but beautifully formed hand.
As with all dual time zone watches, the Classic Traveller displays two time zones simultaneously. The local time is indicated via the white gold Assegai spear style hour and minute hands, while the home time hour is displayed numerically through the elongated window at the nine o’clock position. Opposite at the three, a smaller, off-square window displays the date.
On the left-hand side of the case, at the eight and ten positions, two pushers facilitate the adjustment of the local time, so the hour hand can be moved forward or backwards in one hour increments, in a fast and easy push-button action. The date too corresponds to the local time, which is surprisingly not commonly found on dual time zone watches, and it also can be adjusted backwards as well as forward via the crown.
On the underside, a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback reveals the magnificent in-house Calibre LF 230.02 self-winding movement. A fully integrated mechanism, the dual time zone functionality is incorporated into the design of the movement, as opposed to being an additional module.
Across the plates, the traditional Côtes de Genève stripes are deep and pronounced, and the plates are defined by flawless mirror polished anglage, which is painstakingly finished by hand, and curves inwards, outwards and around the edges. The movement plate further on in is finished with the circular swirls of perlage decoration, while the bridges above the balance and the micro rotor are also meticulously mirror polished.
The micro rotor is made in solid gold, and its oscillations maintain the 72 hour power reserve, beating at 21’600vib/h, while the energy of the barrel spring is dissipated and regulated by the double direct impulse escapement, to ensure optimal accuracy.
A magnificent piece of contemporary haute horlogerie watchmaking from an independent Maison, where the pursuit of perfection in all aspects is an obsession, the Classic Traveller by Laurent Ferrier is presented on a dark blue alligator leather strap with 18ct white gold pin buckle.