Brian M. Afuang

Bridging The Past And Future

Laurent Ferrier unveils line of rectangular watches powered by a new calibre

A NEW case shape and a new calibre specific to it; these are the significance of Laurent Ferrier’s Bridge One, freshly announced at the ongoing 2019 Salon de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, Switzerland. The Bridge One heralds a new collection for the watchmaker.

The rectangular case and swoopy lines of the Bridge One were inspired by the Passerelle de l’lle pedestrian bridge crossing the Rhone River in Geneva — a structure Ferrier always saw from his room when he was a child. This explains the thick, arcing line on the side of the watch; it recalls the curvature of the bridge’s trusses. Even the lugs, which flare outwards at their tips, emit an architectural vibe. But, at the same time, these drape over the wrist snugly, assures Laurent Ferrier.

To further boost the timepiece’s affinity with the bridge, the Bridge One’s case is made of steel rather than some precious metal. But that said, the watch isn’t entirely industrial looking. In fact, when its case’s shape and finish are combined with the graceful contours of the top and bottom ends of its dial, not to mention Laurent Ferrier’s signature assegai-shaped hands and hour markers, the result is a faint Art Deco aesthetic. Even the ball-shaped crown and the muted tone of the dial, achieved by the smoked sapphire crystal covering it, promote the look.

Well, there are actually two dials available to the watch. One is rendered in white Grand Feu enamel with slate gray Roman numerals and markers (also enameled), the other a grained slate gray dial with a raised XII marker and a subdial.

On the obverse side of the dial is another sapphire crystal through which Laurent Ferrier’s cal. LF107.01 peeks. This new hand-wound 21-jewel calibre, which spins at 21,600vph and has an 80-hour power reserve, was designed from the get-go to reside within a rectangular case — clearly no afterthought, this. Like all the brand’s movements, it boasts bridges richly decorated with a Cotes de Geneve motif treated with ruthenium, a mainplate with circular graining, polished screw heads and plenty of manually chamfered pieces.

While giving a nod to the past, the Bridge One also links Laurent Ferrier to the future.