Going from one extreme to another in our in-depth coverage of the Geneva Time Exhibition we today turn the spotlight on another of my favorite independent watchmakers; Laurent Ferrier. No more than a blip on the horological radar a few short years ago, Ferrier announced their arrival in emphatic form in 2010 with the unveiling of the highly complicated Galet Classique Tourbillon Double Balance Spring. That watch went on to win the Men’s Watch category of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève that year and things just simply haven’t been the same since.
Less Is More
Looking at Ferrier’s limited collection – there are only three series on offer at the moment – it’s hard to believe the brand is less than five years old. Daring avant-garde designs have been eschewed in favor of more traditional aesthetics, and one could easily be forgiven for thinking the brand has been making watches the same way for the last 100 years.
This is not a bad thing by any stretch and can largely be attributed to Ferrier’s rich watchmaking heritage. Before he founded the brand that now bears his name, he spent 37 years honing his skills at one of the world’s most respected and revered watchmakers; Patek Philippe. It’s not hard to see the influence this has had on his own creations, which are characterized by simplistic dials that barely hint at the extremely complex movements that beat beneath.
Ferrier is heavily involved in the development of each piece from concept to production, working closely with movement specialists La Fabrique du Temps – who count Ferrier’s own son Christian as one of their gifted employees – to develop highly complex movements that marry cutting edge technology with highly traditional finishing techniques.
The Final Word
The extraordinary attention to detail lavished on each piece by Ferrier means that annual production is extremely limited and ensures that the high standards of quality set by the brand are not compromised. It also means that the development of new models takes significant time and investment, so don’t expect to see any grand unveilings of multiple new offerings at the GTE as this is simply not going to happen.
We’re ok with that though, we know what Ferrier is capable of and so we are more than happy to wait however long it takes to see what he comes up with next (although a surprise this year would be nice!)