1 of 12 Laurent Ferrier Classic Origin Opaline for Revolution
Amongst a certain set of watch enthusiasts, the dual-tone split of a sector dial inspires the same sort of awe as Moses parting the Red Sea. It’s not a complex task, a sector dial. They began in the 1920s as a means of additional clarity, often in pocket watches. They were a touch easier to read, often called scientific dials. Today, their use is more a nod toward a lost era of great watchmaking. Unlike other vintage nods such as fauxtina or blued steel hands, sector dials are still not terribly common. But the demand amongst the nerdiest of us is ravenous. Hence, Longines, Massena, and even JLC have been capitalizing on our unmet lust recently. Then, in 2020, LF announced a run of watches made in collaboration with Revolution. And the result is one of the best looking indies I’ve seen in ages.
The platform used for this partnership was the Classic Origin, a study in understatement. This is the most simple LF ever made, and its restraint allows the quality of design and craftsmanship to shine above all else. No tourbillons, no calendar, not even a micro-rotor as you might expect; you don’t take a 18 year Scotch and make an Old Fashioned. Kiera Knightley wears simple silk dresses to the Oscars and not a meat dress. When the base is perfect, you let it talk on its own, no shouting required. You have a tradition Swiss anchor escapement and free sprung balance, with plates and bridges micro-sandblasted leaving a traditional-looking, champagne finish. The caseback and dial side aesthetics are well matched, both pocket watch adjacent. Oh, and blued steel Assegai hands too.
So the whole effort is cohesive, it’s 39mm, and it will stop the heart of the most jaded collectors. What’s the catch? LF only made twelve. One, and I’m only guessing here, is owned by Wei Koh. That means just eleven of these beauties are circulating today. This is the second I’ve ever seen pop up on the secondary market. Why must all that is great be scarce? Are we only attracted to things we cannot have? I don’t know, but this Classic Origin is making a strong case. I just hope that one day, somewhere, one winds up on the wrist of a CERN researcher, NASA engineer, or some other four letter acronym scientific role. Because despite being a beautiful indie, it’s also one of the most legible and simple watches out there. I adore seeing objects used as intended, even well out of context. And then the sector dial will truly have come full circle, a meaningful reference that few will understand. One of you, perhaps?
This example has a case that’s seen little wear. It’s steel, by the way, if I hadn’t mentioned it before. There’s very little to critique on condition. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded Shanghai retailer.
Find this Revolution Classic Origin Opaline here from Woohoo Time for 38850 USD.