Ask collectors who some of the best independent watchmakers are today and chances are you will hear ‘Laurent Ferrier’. Famed for working at Patek Philippe as creative director for 40 years and for placing third at the 1979 24 Hour Le Mans race, today he is known for Haute Horlogerie with his eponymous brand. Making several dozen pieces only a year, to own a Laurent Ferrier is quite a special experience.
Laurent Ferrier has become renowned for creating some of the most meticulously crafted, beautifully finished, and wonderfully designed pieces of horological art money can buy with an annual production output in the low hundreds. This is a reputation that the brand has earned thanks to adhering to traditional Genevois watchmaking while combining old-world handcrafting techniques and Haute Horlogerie detailing with contemporary horological solutions that only experience can bring.
One such example of these qualities is the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic AdM that I have here, a limited edition timepiece produced for famed French watch dealer and Laurent Ferrier authorized dealer Antoine de Macedo. With just ten watches produced, it is incredibly rare and something you will most likely not see on the market anytime soon.
The second Antoine de Macedo edition Laurent Ferrier produced, this model features a gorgeous stainless steel case that blends classical aesthetics with a contemporary dress watch design in the form of a 40mm wide diameter and a beautifully textured grainy blue dial. Featuring Laurent Ferrier's signature teardrop indices and ‘Assegai’ shaped hands, this wonderfully rare timepiece is hugely understated. It is only when you look closer that you notice that this is no ordinary blue dial, displaying hues of light to dark blue depending on the light source.
Perhaps its most intimate secret, the Galet Classic Antoine de Macedo features the immaculately finished labyrinthine micro-rotor movement, the FBN cal. 229.01. Together with the Tourbillon, this was the movement that put Laurent Ferrier on the map.
Packed with 80 hours of power reserve, this 3Hz beauty methodically beats away behind its sapphire crystal exhibition caseback to proudly showcase its Côtes de Genève finishing on its bridges and the circular graining found on its main plate. Beautiful in its entirety, the FBN cal. 229.01 features a litany of other stunning finishing techniques and flourishes that only artisans like those in Laurent Ferrier have the skill, time, and experience to apply.
A truly rare and unique watch with decades of watchmaking prowess behind its design, creation, and execution, this extraordinary timepiece shows just what can be created when the commercial pressure of a larger group is removed, and a watchmaker is enabled to create something exemplary.