A superb wristwatch which straight out of the block has the presence of an instant classic, the Sport Auto by independent manufacturer Laurent Ferrier is a watch borne out of an authentic sporting pedigree and a celebrated design heritage. It is a piece which boasts immaculate styling and impeccable finishing throughout, underpinned with an exquisite and innovative in-house self winding movement, which is of course manufactured to the uncompromising standards of haute horlogerie.
Inspired by a passion for endurance sportscar racing, in which Laurent Ferrier successfully competed in the 1970s and ‘80s, the Sport Auto boasts a unique and authentic connection with motorsport heritage and the great challenge of the 24h du Le Mans itself, where he and his privateer teammate recorded a fantastic third overall, and a memorable place on the winner’s podium in 1979.
With its sleek profile and blend of soft curves and rounded angles, which sweep around the lugless case and on to the integrated link bracelet, the Sport Auto is a watch which wholly embodies the essence of the classic luxury sports watch. Measuring a universal 41.5mm, its smooth, tactile surfaces have ergonomic comfort built in, and the alternating brushed and polished finishes across the bezel and case, topped off with a gorgeous fluted ball shaped crown, accentuate the beauty of the minimal design.
The cushion-esque case is manufactured in Grade 5 titanium, making it both light on the wrist, yet hard wearing and durable to match an active lifestyle. It is superbly engineered and with a water resistance of 120m, its credentials as a watch which is practical as well as appealing to the eye are underlined. The off-square bezel rests on top of the case and features a fine circular brush grain on top, which contrasts with the highly polished sides, while the convex dome of sapphire crystal creates a sense of depth down to the dial below.
With generous applications of green Super-LumiNova set into the centres of the hour and minute hands, and the hour indices too, the time display is clear and legible in all light conditions. The powdery opaline finish of the dial graduates from dark blue around its edge where the white minutes track stand out, to a faded light blue at its centre. A shallow recess at the six o’clock position displays the small seconds, while at the three, the slope-sided date window is framed with a fine white border. The applied hour markers taper into rounded points, and like the signature Assegai hands are made in 18ct white gold.
On the underside, a sapphire caseback reveals the new LF270.01 self winding movement, which is entirely conceived, designed and developed in-house. Here, every component of this remarkable mechanism has been painstakingly finished by hand, using time-honoured craftsmanship in parallel with state of the art technologies and innovation. The ruthenium plated bridges are grey in colour, and have a muted satin finish which provides a striking contrast with the pristine polished anglage which curves inwards and outward, defining their edges.
The new calibre has a frequency of 4hz (28,800 vib/h), and its power reserve of seventy-two hours is maintained by the 950/1000 platinum micro rotor which spins beneath its elegant, mirror polished bridge. A fabulous watch which epitomises the brand’s distinctive yet minimal and reserved aesthetics with a cool and genuinely sporty personality, the Sport Auto by Laurent Ferrier is an exceptional piece in every regard.