Laurent Ferrier modifies its Square Micro-Rotor with a refined version of the “California Dial”
by James Malcolmson. photo courtesy of Laurent Ferrier
Many watch collectors are familiar with the so-called California dial, a blend of Roman and Arabic numerals that was originally conceived by a Los Angeles-based dial refinisher in the 1940s, and subsequently applied to watches by both Rolex and Panerai. This year, Laurent Ferrier has chosen to revisit this now-classic configuration on its iconic model, the Square Micro-Rotor. And as one might expect from Laurent Ferrier, this interpretation features ultra-refined aesthetics. Laurent Ferrier, who has often reserved his sportiest creations for his American collectors, has dedicated this engraved "California Dreamin" series exclusively to the US market. Limited to 11 pieces only, they are each numbered from 0 to 10/10.
When originally created, the California dial was designed with one aim in mind: to provide optimal legibility in all conditions. Legibility and elegance being the watchwords of the Laurent Ferrier workshop, they are transposed here in the smallest details of the hands and the incredibly refined decals.
In addition to the mix of Roman and Arabic numerals, this new dial features a grey powdered decal at 12, 3 and 9 o'clock, reproducing the outlines of the brand's famous drop-shaped hour markers, filled with white SuperLuminova. The brand's iconic blue dial, is enhanced by a sunburst finish and overlaid with a white railway line, reinforcing the legibility that such an important value to the brand.
The entire dial is completed by 18k white gold stamped "arrow" shaped hands filled with white SuperLuminova for the hours and minutes. The snailed seconds dial is punctuated with a fine white decal and topped by a red-painted white gold "baton" shaped hand, giving the entire composition a distinctive sporty spirit.
The Square case was created in 2015 out of a desire to offer a more casual version of its iconic Classic case. It embodies the same aesthetic codes inspired by a pebble and whilst leaning towards a cushion shape. The Square case, made of stainless steel, measures 41mm by 41mm and has therefore a bolder look on the wrist than its predecessor.
This case is fitted with the ball-shaped winding crown, a brand signature. As in most of the collection, the back is hooked. The movement is accessible to the watchmaker through the olivette. Its water-resistance is guaranteed to a depth of 30 meters.
The movement is Laurent Ferrier’s Micro-Rotor calibre, equipped with a unidirectional pawl-fitted winder and offering a three-day power reserve. This is the first exclusive in-house movement developed, assembled and adjusted in the Laurent Ferrier workshops. It is fitted with a silicon escapement featuring a double direct impulse on the balance. This technology developed by Laurent Ferrier enables the balance to be impelled twice per oscillation, a principle that requires two escape-wheels and an appropriately shaped lever. This innovative construction, combined with the use of cutting-edge materials, maximizes energy efficiency, thereby guaranteeing a high amplitude of the balance. This in turn reduces the amount of mechanical force required to wind the mainspring and optimizes winding.
For the finishes, Laurent Ferrier draws its inspiration from centuries-old watchmaking traditions. Satin-finishing, polishing, chamfering, or circular graining are all techniques inherited from the founding fathers of watchmaking. The Côtes de Genève motif is a recurring reminder of the Canton and the city of Laurent Ferrier's birth. The specific bevelling applied to the engaging angles is a discipline to which Laurent Ferrier devotes particular care. Although many manufacturers have abandoned this entirely manual technique, it remains the norm at the workshop, where two specific movement decorators are responsible for this task, among other decorations. Through this creation, Laurent Ferrier gives his contemporary and elegant vision to a mythical theme from the 1940s.
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