Made famous by the likes of Universal Geneve, Bulgari, and Parmigiani, micro-rotors are one of the small pleasures of fine watchmaking. Typically reserved for the upper echelon of timepieces, their reduced size requires reconfigured gear trains and additional components that’s out of reach for most brands buying pre- or partially-built movements on the open market. While Laurent Ferrier has managed to crack the micro-rotor code, it’s rather the brand’s incorporation of the natural escapement that makes it a legend in its own time. And in 2023, the all-new Evergreen dial releases from the Micro-Rotor collection look better than ever, incorporating one of the rarest achievements in watchmaking.
Conceived over 200 years ago by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the idea behind a natural escapement is (massive oversimplification ahead) to reduce the need for lubrication. In ordinary mechanical movements, the interaction of the pallet fork and escape wheel generates a lot of friction. Two centuries ago, before synthetic oils, this friction was a more pressing issue than it is today. Nonetheless, the mere concept of building a natural escapement that actually works has proven devilishly difficult for even the most skilled technicians. Only in the last few decades, thanks to the advent of modern materials like silicone and techniques such as microscopic metal molding, have watchmakers begun to get their arms around the problem of natural escapements. Spare a thought for Breguet, who built eighteen of the damn things… by candlelight.
Thus, having developed the FBN 229.01 natural escapement calibre, the only thing left for Lauren Ferrier to do is stick it in some decent looking watches. Here, simplicity is the order of the day, with vertically satin-brushed green dials paired elegantly with brown leather straps and flowy case geometries. Choices here are binary: choose either the 40mm round Classic case in 18kt red gold or the slightly more modern Square steel case measuring 41mm. Each features a 3 o’clock crown and a big, bright sapphire caseback that makes for great entertainment when viewing the highly decorated movement.
Amidst the noise of the Watches & Wonders show, with hundreds of new watches storming the proverbial beacheads of our feeds, the Micro-Rotor Evergreens are a quiet respite. There’s no hype-beast collab here, no limited edition get-it-before-it’s-gone mania. Instead, it’s a reminder of the innovations that put Laurent Ferrier in touch with the history of watchmaking, carrying the torch into 2023. The Laurent Ferrier Square and Classic Micro-Rotor Evergreen are available now for 47,500 CHF and 57,500 CHF, respectively. Learn more at the brand’s website.
Brand: Laurent Ferrier
Model: Square Micro-Rotor (LCF013.AC.VG1) and Classic Micro-Rotor (LCF004.R5.VR1)
Dimensions: 41mm diameter (Square), 40mm diameter (Classic). 11.1mm thick.
Water Resistance: 30 meters
Case Material: Steel (Square), 18k red gold 5N (Classic)
Movement: Features: Laurent Ferrier automatic calibre FBN229.01 with micro-rotor and natural escapement
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Strap/Bracelet: Brown calf leather, Alcantara lining. Pin buckle or folding clasp.
Price & Availability: 47,500 CHF (Square), 57,500 CHF (Classic)