BY DHANANJAY PATHAK
Founded in 2010, Laurent Ferrier can easily be considered a young brand in the watchmaking industry, but the quality and craftsmanship exuded by their watches certainly belie their experience. They are perhaps amongst few Haute Horology brands who have the ability to merge complex technical capabilities and creative ideas to create some of the classiest looking watches out there. Featuring beautifully brushed dials and powered by a new in-house movement, Laurent Ferrier introduced their first take at the annual calendar complication in the form of the Laurent Ferrier Annual calendar watch during Last year’s SIHH. For SIHH 2019 the brand is keeping the design elements of the original watch intact but is introducing a few new dial colors to add variety to the collection.
The annual calendar is an interesting complication in that it provides most of the benefits of a perpetual calendar with the exception of manually setting the date once a year, at the end of February. While this might sound like a minor difference, the truth is that a perpetual calendar is a far more complex and fragile mechanism to implement, making the annual calendar a promising alternative. A calendar complication can make a dial look quite busy if not implemented carefully, but Laurent Ferrier has managed to keep the execution quite refined and balanced.
The dial now comes in two new colors: black and white and look a bit more conservative as compared to dials on the previous versions which featured a nice of finishes and textures. A crosshair evenly divides the dial into four halves with the day and month occupying the upper two quadrants, and the large sub-seconds dial balancing things out in the lower quadrants. The date has been printed on the outer periphery of the dial and can be read using a centrally mounted arrow tipped hand which has been painted in red to add a splash of color to the dial. Time can be read using the lance-shaped handset which is nicely proportioned and suits the overall aesthetic of this watch giving it a lot of personality.
The case on the Laurent Ferrier Annual Calendar is 40mm wide and 12.8mm thick which implies that it would sit comfortably on a variety of wrists. It will be offered in stainless steel, red gold or yellow gold without any change in shape. There is a highly domed sapphire which sits proudly on top the case and there is a sapphire crystal exhibition at the back as well to give an expansive view of the movement. Powering this watch is the brands manually wound in-house caliber LF126.01. It features a traditional Swiss Lever Escapement and offers a power reserve of 80 hours which can be tracked using a circular indicator positioned above the balance wheel. The movement has been beautifully decorated using large and hand applied Geneva stripes along with hand-polished chamfers on the bridges.
Overall, the Laurent Ferrier Annual Calendar is a beautiful and elegant watch with a purposeful complication. The black dial variant would come attached to matt grey alligator leather strap whereas the white dial version would come fitted with a honey alligator leather strap. As for the prices, the stainless steel version would retail at CFH 50,000 and the gold models would be priced at CHF 55,000. Visit Laurent Ferrier here.