Laurent Ferrier watches are at their best when they are at their most subtle. Seemingly subtle, at least. Because as much as you may be looking at a time-only watch with a small running seconds, turn the watch over and you’ll be left with no doubt that Laurent Ferrier means business. But with a great sense of delicacy and elegance that only a few are able to appreciate. With this in mind, enter the Classic Origin Opaline that the brand is unveiling today.
Right on cue, the watch is a time-only instance with a small running seconds placed in the traditional 6 o’clock position. The case is from the watchmaker’s Classic collection and features a round polished case. We would, however, be grossly mistaken if were to write the watch off there.
Because that case is rendered in titanium. Grade 5 titanium, specifically, as it allows for the high gloss polish we see here. Looking through the sapphire glass covering, the dial on the way is in opaline white-silver with 18k white gold hour indexes used for the cardinal points. Just above the hour indexes we’re presented with a railway track minute scale that doubles up with a 24-hour scale printed in a great shade of burgundy. The same burgundy is used to mark the scale of the small seconds that’s held within a stepped down sub dial.
Now, we turn the watch over to reveal the manual wound Calibre LF 116.01, which is making its debut in the Classic Origin Opaline. As much as the watch has very classic elegant aesthetic outlook from the front, Laurent Ferrier has taken a left turn having used Grade 5 titanium, no doubt a very contemporary choice.
In the same way, as much the new LF 116.01 bears the watchmakers signature movement architecture in place, its bridges are finished in micro blasted, black rhodium. Yet another contemporary direction. But the decorations thereafter are very much classical with hand polished angles on the bridges, mirror polished screw heads and so on. It’s also important to note that the LF 116.01 has a free-sprung balance with the Breguet overcoil and Laurent Ferrier’s long-blade ratchet system. What is the long-blade ratchet system? It’s not seen much in modern watches but was widely used in pocket watches in a time long past. Essentially the bar has a spring retention on one end and a pawl finger on the other. When you are winding the watch, the ratchet wheel can, therefore, only be wound in one direction as allowed by the pawl finger.
The last thing to mention is that the Classic Origin Opaline has been created to mark Laurent Ferrier’s 10th anniversary as an independent watchmaker. Considering how we’ve seen the watchmaker slowdown in the past few years, here’s hoping that the Classic Origin Opaline is a sign of things to come with Laurent Ferrier’s signature take on classism in union with novel finishing and materials used in an understated manner.
Manual winding calibre LF116.01; hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o´clock; 80-hour power reserve
40mm in Grade 5 titanium; water-resistant to 30m
Light brown Barbialla calf leather with Alcantara lining with pin buckle in grade 5 titanium