The 47th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979 was interesting for a few reasons, among them being: the Porsche 935 taking 1,2,3; Paul Newman, with co-drivers Rolf Stommelen and Dick Barbour finishing second; Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason and three co-drivers driving a Lola T297 to an 18th place finish; and finally, future watchmaker, Laurent Ferrier, along with fellow Frenchmen François Servanin and François Trisconi, finishing third. Newman and company, racing for Dick Barbour Racing, would have finished in first had it not been for a stubborn wheel nut late in the race, but that honor would eventually go to one of Porsche’s Kramer Racing teams in the 41 car piloted by Klaus Ludwig, and the Whittington’s Don and Bill.
Laurent would go on to work at Patek Philippe for the next 30 years before founding his own brand in 2009, with the very same François Servanin he raced with at Le Mans. It was this podium finish in 179, however, that has inspired their latest creation, the Sport Auto. As dry as the name may be, this is a new integrated titanium sports watch done in the now well established Laurent Ferrier ‘square in a circle’ style.