The Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto 40 Série Atelier V pays tribute to a racing icon

The Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto 40 Série Atelier V pays tribute to a racing icon

Fergus Nash
  • The Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto 40 harkens back to the founder’s racing pedigree
  • The green dial Is based on the Porsche 935 he helped to place third in Le Mans 1979
  • Even as a luxury watch, its 41.5mm titanium case is comfortable, and water-resistant to 120m

There are a lot of brands who claim that motorsport runs through their blood, and it’s true that watchmaking goes hand-in-hand with racing on all levels of competition, engineering, and finesse. This might be based upon decades of sponsorship involvement, technical collaboration, or just personal interest, but very few could claim the same level of connection as Laurent Ferrier. As a semi-professional racing driver, Laurent Ferrier himself came second in class and third overall in 1979’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for Porsche. He spent the next three decades working for Patek Philippe, proving his expertise in both areas. The new Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto 40 is part of the brand’s Série Atelier collection, fusing high horology and vintage sport style.

The story goes that 1979 edition of Le Mans was considered an easy title for Porsche, considering that no other major manufacturers were taking part that year. Laurent Ferrier, François Servanin and François Trisconi were essentially being given the chance to just ‘have fun’ in the race, equipped with a single-turbo Porsche 930/72 3.0L flat-six engine rather than the twin-turbo which would win the race, powering the monstrous Porsche 935. They definitely had fun, placing third overall with 297 laps, just two laps behind the Dick Barbour Racing team in second place, with Paul Newman at the wheel. The Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto 40 is paying direct tribute to their Porsche 935, which carried the number 40 in the race, and is packed full of automotive design homages.

The first element to note is the dial colour, which captures the kind of emerald-mint livery of the Kremer Racing car. It has a subtle vignette around the perimeter, which allows the bursts of yellow-orange to pop out of the applied markers and hands even better. Those zesty touches, along with the purple crosshair which segments the dial, represent the racing stripes on the Vaillant livery. Lastly, the small seconds hand has a white-on-white No. 40 sticker that’s easy to miss at a glance. The Laurent Ferrier Sport case, which has been used before with the Sport Auto Blue, morphs their ideals of a square case to fit with the smooth contours of vintage sports cars. The grade 5 titanium has a pleasingly dark hue, and the brushed finish is uniform enough to carry sophistication alongside its ruggedness.

Despite its luxury status, the Sport Auto 40 is still a capable and comfortable tool watch. The onion crown seals in 120 metres of water resistance, and the 41.5mm diameter is tamed by a short lug-to-lug and an integrated bracelet with a flexible centre link. Powering the watch is the Laurent Ferrier LF270.01, viewable from the sapphire display caseback with a 950 platinum micro-rotor. Aside from being pretty to look at with its decoration shining from behind a grey three-quarter plate, it’s packed with extensive shock protection, a 4Hz beat rate, and 72 hours of power reserve.

The Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto 40 pricing and availability:

The Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto 40 is a limited edition of just 40 pieces, and will be exclusively available online. Price: CHF 51,000

Brand Laurent Ferrier
Model Sport Auto 40
Reference Number LCF040.T1.V1GCO
Case Dimensions 41.5mm (D) x 12.7mm (T)
Case Material Grade 5 titanium
Water Resistance 120 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Green and white
Lug Width Integrated
Strap Three-link titanium bracelet
Movement LF270.01, in-house, platinum micro-rotor
Power Reserve 72 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Availability Limited to 40 pieces
Price CHF 51,000