The Laurent Ferrier Square has become one of the brand’s signature watches, going so far as to win the Horological Revelation award at the 2015 GPHG. And while these latest versions haven’t made it onto the 2021 shortlist they’re still gorgeous watches. They add an Art Deco twist to the elegant stylings of their predecessors, earning the name Square Micro-Rotor Retro.
At its core this is a fairly simple aesthetic redesign in two variations, so let’s start with the steel version. Structurally, the proportions of the case, 41mm by 41mm, have been preserved from previous models and it of course has a steel case like the majority of the collection. So, a classic look which it pairs with a silvery white dial.
Then comes the Art Deco dial markings, inspired by the geometric and minimalist designs that were popularised in the 1930s. It has a large hour track made from clean lines in a charcoal grey colour, punctuated by Arabic numerals at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock with a small seconds subdial at 6. This is the first time Arabic numerals have been used on the Square.
The overall impression is not dissimilar to that of the Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921. And the comparison is apt because they both sit in about the same price bracket of £30,000 – £35,000, depending on which models you look at.
Moving on, the second version of the Square Micro-Rotor Retro is in 18K red gold and features a charcoal grey dial with white markings. Ostensibly it’s exactly the same as its twin but the inverted design makes it feel like a completely different watch, a feeling emphasised by the fact it’s the only one in the current collection with a gold case. Honestly, it’s impossible to say which I prefer without seeing them in the metal and neither choice would be wrong.
You might be wondering why these watches are going pound for pound in price with Vacheron Constantin, especially the steel version. Specifically the steel is CHF 45,000 and the gold is CHF 55,000 (approx. £35,200/£43,000). What makes them so special?
Answer: the movement, which while not new is still fantastic. The FBN 229.01 is an automatic movement with a 72-hour power, a micro-rotor and a double impulse silicon escapement developed by Laurent Ferrier. It certainly makes those prices start to make a bit more sense, although I’d still probably opt for the Historiques American 1921 at that level.
Price & Specs:
Model: Laurent Ferrier Square Micro-Rotor Retro
Reference: LCF0013.AC.G3N (stainless steel, silvery white dial), LCF013.R5.N2W (red gold, charcoal grey dial)
Case/Dial: 41mm x 41mm diameter x 11.10mm height, stainless steel case with silvery white dial or 18K 5N red gold case with charcoal grey dial
Water Resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre FBN 229.01, automatic, 36 jewels, 186 parts
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72h
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock
Strap: Dark grey or khaki velvet alligator leather
Price/availability: CHF 45,000 (stainless steel, silvery white dial) and CHF 55,000 (red gold, charcoal grey dial)
More details at Laurent Ferrier.