A spectacular piece of contemporary design and classical haute horlogerie which combines the sporting DNA of a gentleman racer and the technical complexity of a master watchmaker, the Grand Sport Tourbillon by Laurent Ferrier is a watch which is stylish, sophisticated and very exclusive.
Created to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the independent brand in 2019, the Grand Sport Tourbillon also has another highly emotive association for the watchmaker, as it also marks forty years since his third place podium finish at the 1979 Le Mans twenty-four hour race, and it is around the technical demands of such an endurance challenge that the watch was conceived and developed.
That is why its stainless steel case, while measuring a hefty 44mm, is still effortlessly comfortable to wear, as with its soft, rounded surfaces, and integrated link bracelet it is ergonomically designed and rests unobtrusively on the wrist, while still having an imposing presence and the cool, sporty demeanour of a technically accomplished timepiece.
The case is comprised of three parts, with steel rods passing through the chassis of the watch, connecting the front and rear bezels, which is evocative of auto engine construction. The upward facing surfaces are grained with a coarse but satin smooth circular brushed finish, giving the steel a muted, matte effect, while the polished vertical surfaces provide contrast. All adjustments are facilitated via the signature fluted ball shaped crown.
The domed sapphire crystal is subtly tinted and beneath it the dial is designed to ensure optimum legibility throughout a twenty-four hour cycle, with big, prominent indices which taper to perfectly rounded tips, filled with powerful orange Super-LumiNova, as are the hallmark Assegai spear-style hands which, like the indices, are manufactured in 18ct white gold. The dark blue at the centre of the dial fades into black around the outer area, further accentuating the contrast between information and background, as in a dashboard instrument. A recessed subdial at the six o’clock position displays the small seconds.
Behind the suave racing-inspired styling, what beats within is also a finely tuned thoroughbred. Inside the case, the in-house designed and developed manual winding Calibre LF 619.01 is a masterpiece of horological innovation, complexity and execution, and at its heart features a tourbillon equipped with double hairsprings.
The sapphire caseback reveals this mesmerising mechanical spectacle as it rotates within its polished cage, amid the plates and bridges which have been finished with horizontal brushed graining, with mirror polished anglage which follows each and every inward and outward curve of their edges, offering a view of the gear wheels, as well as the long blade ratchet system which is visible in the upper cutaway above the barrel.
The Grand Sport Tourbillon is an exceptional wristwatch in every way, and no detail has been overlooked. The stainless steel link bracelet which is integrated into the case is beautifully engineered and complements the smooth contoured lines of the rest of the watch, while a water resistance rating of up to 100m underlines its robust build quality and sporty personality.
A true connoisseur’s collector piece, from one of independent watchmaking’s most prestigious marques, the exclusivity of the all-steel Grand Sport Tourbillon by Laurent Ferrier is assured, with only twelve numbered watches being produced.