Last year Laurent Ferrier introduced us to the Square Micro-Rotor Retro, a duo of classy timepieces that put emphasis on their micro-rotor movements and Art Deco designs. However, their latest timepiece is not meant for the parties of the 1920s, instead being designed with the trials of the Le Mans 24-hour race in mind. Aptly called the Sport Auto.
If we’re being completely honest then the claim that this watch was designed with Le Mans in mind is technically true of every watch Laurent Ferrier has ever produced. That’s because the brand’s founder, Laurent Ferrier himself, first envisioned the brand after coming 3rd in the iconic race as an amateur driver. However, the Sport Auto has even closer ties to Le Mans because this is the watch that Ferrier wishes he could have worn on that special occasion more than 40 years ago.
To that end, it uses the watchmaker’s sportiest case, taken from the 2020 Grand Sport Tourbillon but reimagined in high quality titanium instead of steel. The change in materials makes it noticeably lighter on the wrist, which is further emphasised by the new watch’s slimmer proportions measuring 41.5mm in diameter as opposed to 44mm. However, while it’s lighter and smaller, it’s also more robust with 120m water resistance increased from 100m.
Stylistically the case retains its nautilus adjacent cushion bezel that sits atop a tonneau case. The signature Laurent Ferrier ball crown is also present, although for the first time ever it comes with screw down capability and it’s this that’s responsible for the increased water resistance. As a further nod to the Grand Sport, it also comes on an integrated bracelet.
References to the Grand Sport don’t end there. The Sport Auto’s dial maintains the familiar drop-shaped hands and hour markers (now sporting green lume), central crosshair pattern and a snailed small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The biggest difference is the addition of a large date window at 3 o’clock, courtesy of the watch’s new movement.
That movement is the LF 270.01 automatic calibre, a new movement from Laurent Ferrier and their second ever automatic calendar model. Alongside a 72-hour power reserve, it has a Swiss lever escapement which is less sensitive than a natural escapement, making it better suited to sporting activities and racing. It also features a visually pleasing micro-rotor, crafted from platinum in another first from the manufacture.
At its core, the Sport Auto is a streamlined version of the Grand Sport that retains much of the Grand Sport’s aesthetics, something well represented by the absence of ‘Grand’ in its name. However, as Laurent Ferrier set out in his intentions, the smaller size, titanium case and new movement make it well suited to the rigours of one of motorsport’s finest races.
Price & Specs:
Model: Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto
Case/dial: 41.5mm diameter x 12.7mm height, titanium case, gradient shades of blue dial with an opaline finish
Water resistance: 120m (12 bar)
Movement: In-house LF 270.01 calibre, automatic, 31 jewels, 215 parts
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 72h (3 days)
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Price/availability: CHF 46,000 before tax
More details at Laurent Ferrier.