To many, myself included, so much of Laurent Ferrier's identity as a contemporary independent watchmaker is tied up in the elegantly rounded Galet case shape and in the Natural Escapement. What we have here is definitely not at a Galet, and for that matter, it's movement doesn't have a Natural Escapement. The watch consists of a shaped case matched to an all-new manually wound movement with a rectangular form.*
But a Laurent Ferrier it is. Aesthetically, this watch manages to strike a familiar note, and we can safely attribute this to a collaboration between Ferrier and Urwerk that debuted as a piece unique for Only Watch in 2017. The Arpal One's design was guided by the constraints imposed employing *Urwerk's UR 105 movement with planetary display, which Ferrier helped adapt to suit his own distinct approach to watch design. Ferrier imbued what was essentially a modern and technical type of watch mechanism old-world finesse. The experience, in turn, seems to have given Ferrier lots to think. What would a rectangular Laurent Ferrier would look like? Now we know.
This watch debuts a new movement from Laurent Ferrier, the manually wound LF107.01, and that new caliber was necessitated by the case shape of the Bridge One, so lets start with the case. The Bridge one measures 44mm long by 30 mm wide, with a thickness of 14.58mm. I found that the Bridge One wore comfortably during by brief experience with it in an SIHH booth. I attribute this balance and comfort to the downward slope of its stainless steel lugs, whichheld it in place despite the fact that this is not an insignificantly sized watch. There is real presence here, as you can see in the wrist shots further down in the article. And that presence is amplified by a thickness that approaches 15mm.*These factors take the watch into a kind of unusual aesthetic territory. Its 30 meters of water resistance, its rectangular, hand-wound caliber, and its optional grand feu enamel dial all place it firmly in the dress watch camp, but it wears larger than your average dress watch.
While case obviously isn't round, its surfaces are rounded. When held in the hand and placed on the wrist, this watch does feel like a Laurent Ferrier, even if the connection may feel like a stretch based solely on a handful of press images.*From a design standpoint, the Bridge One also seems to be a reference to certain shaped watches produced by the likes of Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin in the 1950s. (This is a connection Jack made immediately upon seeing the watch during our Laurent Ferrier appointment at SIHH.) Though again, the proportions of those historical watches, and in particular their thickness, would have been in a different league.
The new LF107.01 movement, as you can see above, is fully finished to quite a high standard, as you'd expect from a watch from Laurent Ferrier. Its manually wound with Swiss lever escapement beating at 21,600 vph.*Its longer power reserve of 80 hours is a nice touch, especially in a manually wound movement like as this one, but it bears mentioning that the Natural Escapement is something that has historically generated a lot of interest for Laurent Ferrier watches. The absence of this technical calling card is something that collectors will likely factor in when deciding whether the Bridge One is the Laurent Ferrier that they want to add to their collection.*
Along with the white grand feu enamel with no small seconds ($42,000) seen above, the Bridge One is also debuting in grained grey with a small seconds display ($37,000) and a sector dial (below).
For more information on the Bridge One, visit Laurent Ferrier.