Moondance: Laurent Ferrier’s Classic Moon Has All the Right Moves

Moondance: Laurent Ferrier’s Classic Moon Has All the Right Moves

In April, Laurent Ferrier released two new moon phase models that marry timeless, elegant design and a beautifully crafted movement featuring hand finishing worthy of the label haute horlogerie.

By Laurie Kahle

After indulging its sporty side with GPHG 2023-award-winning Grand Sport Tourbillon Pursuit, indie brand Laurent Ferrier has returned to its classical roots with the new Classic Moon, the boutique brand’s first moon phase complication.

Available in two versions – stainless steel with a gray-blue opaline dial (CHF 70,000) and 18-karat 5N red gold with a silver vertical satin-finished dial (CHF 80,000) – the Classic Moon also includes an annual calendar that automatically adjusts for months of varying lengths, except for once a year on March 1, due to leap year variations.

These complications are housed within the rounded pebble-like contours of the brand’s 40mm Classic case with a gently curved bezel, a neo-classical design that was inspired by 19th-century pocket watches.

The distinctive case design has been a Laurent Ferrier signature since the brand launched in 2010 with its first creation, the Classic Tourbillon Double Hairspring, which won Best Men’s Watch at that year’s GPHG awards. Talk about starting off with a bang!

Face Values

The Classic Moon’s artful dial conveys the time and calendar information at a glance while drawing the eye to 6 o’clock, where a slightly oversized version of a small seconds dial is intertwined with a stunning moon phase display.

What makes the moon phase so stunning? It features aventurine glass from Murano engraved with twin moons (as viewed from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres) and stars that are hand-painted in white and filled with luminous Super-LumiNova, then fired at high temperatures.

After, Super-LumiNova is added to engravings of craters on the lunar surfaces for added intrigue after dark. Then, on top of the aventurine, a translucent petrol-blue enamel disc is placed.

Finally, a miniature baton-shaped hand points to the second markers encircling the moon phase and are punctuated with an N and S, denoting north and south.

Other than the moon phase/small second display, just below 12 o’clock, deep-set, beveled apertures frame the day and month, while a pointer hand displays the date around the periphery. The number 31 stands out in a darker shade of blue on the steel version and in cherry red on the red gold model to match the color of its central date pointer.

A chemin de fer (railroad style) minute track encircles baton hour markers mixed with slender, elongated Roman numerals. These are a classical flourish complemented by the brand’s slender Assegai-shaped hands. Delicate vertical brushing on the dial’s surface enhances light play as the wrist moves.

On the Movement

Showcased through the sapphire crystal caseback, the Classic Moon’s manually-winding LF126.02 calibre takes inspiration from the brand’s previous annual calendar movement, the LF126.01. This new and improved version with a moon phase adds more than 30 new components (for a new total of 266), while more than 20 components have been tweaked and optimized.

A power reserve indicator on the back of the movement tracks the 80-hour power reserve, and an Olivette at 6 o’clock on the caseback’s bezel (another Laurent Ferrier signature) serves as a tool to make the movement accessible to a watchmaker for servicing.

Hand-crafted haute horlogerie finishes are on full display, from rhodium-treated Côtes de Genève on the bridges to circular graining on the main plate and beveled and polished edges and interior angles throughout, just like each recessed screw head in the movement. A hand-crafted polished bassiné finish decorates the long blade ratchet pawl, a characteristic of all Laurent Ferrier manual-winding movements.

The Classic collection’s grooved ball-shaped crown winds and sets the date and time, while a flush-fitted corrector at 10 o’clock is used to adjust the day display, and another corrector between 8 and 9 o’clock sets the moon phase complication.

On Background

One of precious few brands with a living watchmaker’s name on the dial, Laurent Ferrier adheres to the demanding quality standards and harmonious design instincts he honed over the course of four decades at Patek Philippe, where he eventually reached the position of creative director.

In 2009, he set off to launch his own marque with François Servanin, a longtime friend and fellow race car driver who teamed up with him to race in the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1974 through 1981. Ferrier recruited his son Christian, who was working at Roger Dubuis, to join him in establishing a family business with a caliber they developed from scratch.

Today, the company produces about 500 pieces annually, designing and creating every element in-house, then outsourcing production of the components that are ultimately finished by hand the old-fashioned way and assembled in its small atelier on the outskirts of Geneva.

With its marriage of timeless, elegant design and a beautifully finished complicated movement, the Classic Moon stays true to its founder’s core values of simplicity, precision, and pure, uncluttered beauty. For more information, check out the Laurent Ferrier website.

(Images © Laurent Ferrier)

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