Because the world’s most beneficial luxurious model, Louis Vuitton is related in each nook of the globe with high-quality leather-based items and equipment. Sustaining a constant stage of impeccable high quality throughout all product traces is a prerequisite, and Louis Vuitton’s comparatively younger watchmaking division reveals how earnest the model is in securing a rung within the prime echelons of watchmaking. To mark the 200th anniversary of founder Louis Vuitton’s start, the model has pulled out its massive weapons with a powerful horological masterpiece showcasing the experience and creativity of its watchmaking manufacture, La Fabrique du Temps. Marrying the technical audacity and prowess of the masterminds behind La Fabrique du Temps with the elegant enamelling abilities of Anita Porchet and the engraving mastery of Dick Steenman, the Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater is an distinctive showcase of what Louis Vuitton can provide. Two years within the making, this one-off bespoke fee is now getting a public viewing to whet our appetites and show that even the wildest horological fantasies can come true.
From trunks to watches
Surprisingly, the story behind the undisputed king of luxurious has all of the makings of a fairy story. You can say that Louis Vuitton (1821-1892), who ran away from the clutches of his depraved stepmother on the age of 13, cast his luxurious empire on the again of a trunk. By 1854, Louis Vuitton had arrange his personal workshop, and his revolutionary stacking canvas trunks marked a earlier than and after in journey baggage. Since then, journey, or reasonably the “artwork of journey,” has change into the unifying theme at Louis Vuitton, incarnated by baggage, luggage, trend collections and equipment emblazoned with the long-lasting LV monogram that’s recognised worldwide.
When Louis Vuitton turned its hand to watchmaking in 2002 (editor’s observe: although some watches have been accomplished previously, 2002 marked the second when the model significantly went into this trade), the best answer would have been to supply trend watches of scant horological import. Louis Vuitton’s Tambour, usually seen as the important thing mannequin within the watchmaking historical past of the model, marched out in 2002 with a particular drum-shaped case accompanied by an appropriately chosen GMT journey complication.
The corporate’s ambition to play on the very highest stage led to an encounter and fee with La Fabrique du Temps, the celebrated Geneva-based atelier headed by the vastly gifted watchmakers Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini. The consequence was the spectacular 2009 Spin Time, a brand new tackle leaping hours represented with rotating cubes and rapidly patented by Louis Vuitton – nonetheless produced right this moment. The creativity and technological prowess of the “two little geniuses” (Navas and Barbasini) proved an ideal match, and in 2011 La Fabrique du Temps was acquired by Louis Vuitton. That very same 12 months, Navas and Barabasini unveiled the spectacular Tambour Minute Repeater for globetrotters chiming a traveller’s dwelling time on demand.
Consolidating its watchmaking credentials below one roof, La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton workshop was relocated to a 4,500m2 manufacture in Meyrin (simply outdoors Geneva). And in an extra bid for better autonomy, LV purchased Léman Cadrans, a Geneva dial maker, in 2012. Different audacious creations, just like the 2021 GPHG award-winning Tambour Carpe Diem with jacquemart animation, and the rising variety of watches with Poinçon de Genève certification, attest to the prolific creativity and watchmaking wonders which might be brewing in La Fabrique du Temps.
Jean Arnault, the youngest son of LVMH proprietor Bernard Arnault and just lately appointed director of watches at Louis Vuitton, has grand designs for La Fabrique du Temps and is eager to draw new blood. In a bid to encourage younger watchmakers, designers, entrepreneurs and inventive minds, he just lately introduced the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Impartial Creatives.
The Sky is the Restrict
To be extra correct, outer house is the restrict of this Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater that was created from scratch to adjust to a buyer’s goals. Whereas different manufacturers have interaction in bespoke commissions – maybe the closest could be Vacheron Constantin’s Cabinotiers division – what Louis Vuitton is providing right here is off-the-charts customisation. Open to the wildest proposals, La Fabrique du Temps will construct your dream watch from scratch. Though the Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200 Years has been offered, it’s getting used as a showcase, an aperitif, for those who like, of what La Fabrique du Temps can pull off in-house – and it’s spectacular! And it’s not simply the horological fireworks of a minute repeater and automaton combo that dazzle right here; numerous different design and ornamental facets elevate this watch.
Two years within the making, the Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater takes the long-lasting drum form of the Tambour into outer house. Nonetheless spherical, extensive and curved, the Tambour case reveals a futuristic design. Evoking the profile of an astronaut’s helmet, the big porthole on the dial provides a beneficiant view of the cosmic surroundings. The case is crafted in microblasted titanium with 18k white gold lugs and bezel and has a 46.8mm diameter and a top of 15.2mm. The winding crown at 12 o’clock not solely respects the extensive, smooth curvature of the case center however can be a nod to chiming pocket watches of the previous. Whereas the size are giant, the quick angular lugs will undoubtedly guarantee a cosy match on the wrist.
There isn’t any escaping its elite terrestrial provenance, and the sloping facet of the brushed white gold bezel is engraved with the 12 letters of ‘Louis Vuitton’ and stuffed with blue rubber. One other reminder of its provenance is the lip of the bezel at 6 o’clock that invades the dial with a distinguished letter ‘V’ shaped by three openworked triangles (or is it a reference to the model’s Nineteen Sixties VVV marketing campaign inviting us to Volez, Voguez, Voyagez avec des valises Louis Vuitton, which made its method on to the dials of the Tambour VVV assortment?).
Just like the lights of an area vessel, the case emits a discreet glow because of gradient-coloured gems. Travelling from completely different tones of blue to aqua-green, the crown at midday is about with three baguette-cut tourmalines and 4 sapphires in gradient shades to match the dial. Equally, the minute repeater slide is embellished with tourmalines, sapphires and topaz, as is the letter ‘V’ on the lip of the bezel.
a quartet of Abilities
Whereas La Fabrique du Temps was busy within the engine room assembling the 480-component manual-winding motion (calibre LV 200) and coupling the 9 jacquemarts with the cathedral gong minute repeater, two well-known artists had been at work on deck. Nonetheless, earlier than we have a look at the ornamental components, a fast phrase on the motion.
Jacquemarts, that are, in essence, automata or animated mechanised figures, had been initially used to strike the hour on church bells. Normally positioned on clock towers close to the bells, examples of those mechanised bell strikers could be discovered on the medieval Zytglogge tower in Bern, Switzerland. Making their transition from life-sized automata to miniature representations on watch dials, most jacquemart figures in watchmaking are static. Right here, 9 jacquemart figures come to life when the pusher on the facet of the case is activated. To supply a richer, longer-lasting sound, Navas and Barbasini have fitted the watch with cathedral gongs.
Anita Porchet, the best-known enamel artist working in watches right this moment, is the hand behind the Twenty first-century house voyage surroundings on the dial. Deploying completely different methods, Porchet used miniature portray to depict the imaginary planet within the higher left a part of the dial – discover how the colors match the gems set within the case. To seize the swirling galaxy, the hazy rays emanating from the planet on the prime of the dial and the delicate LV monogram, Porchet utilized opaque and clear enamels to the dial. The twinkling components within the sky are shaped with hand-applied metallic spangles (paillons), and you may see Anita Porchet’s signature on the dial at 7 o’clock.
A lot of the shifting components on the dial have been hand-sculpted in white gold by Swiss craftsman Dick Steenman, a widely known title in luxurious watch and jewelry circles. The miniature spaceship, full with V-inscriptions on its wings and a blue fuselage, is fantastically sculpted in white gold, and its hatch opens to disclose three giant brilliant-cut diamond passengers. When the jacquemart operate is activated, the spaceship and its unbiased fuselage transfer up and down, and the hatch opens and closes. Concurrently, the 2 hand-sculpted white gold planets, one with a hoop and a pitted floor and the opposite with streaks of galactic blue, rock gently back and forth.
On the coronary heart of the galaxy is an iconic Louis Vuitton design, the quatrefoils or four-petal flower motif created by Georges Vuitton (together with the interlocking initials of Louis Vuitton), which types a part of the well-known Monogram canvas. The quatrefoils is sculpted in white gold with blue gradient enamel petals and highlighted with a gleaming star-cut diamond within the centre. In contrast to the opposite shifting components on the dial, the quatrefoils spins in a counterclockwise course. The 2 white gold capturing stars, positioned on the outer limits of the galaxy, are punctuated with giant star-cut diamonds and swing gently back and forth. At midday, a spherical blue planet twinkling with metallic spangles emits delicate rays throughout the dial and spins in a clockwise movement.
There aren’t any indices or numerals on the dial – the blue rubber Louis Vuitton letters on the bezel are aligned with the hours – and the openworked palms are handled with a turquoise shade of luminescent materials.
Calibre LV 200
Should you ever tire of the present on the dial, there’s all the time a view of the motion on the reverse facet of the case. Components of calibre LV 200 could be espied beneath the intense blue openworked bridges with their Côtes de Genève finishings. Conceived, developed and produced in-house by La Fabrique du Temps, it little doubt depends on options discovered within the LV 525 calibre used contained in the Tambour Carpe Diem with jacquemarts and the LC 178 calibre with minute repeater contained in the Tambour Minute Repeater of 2011. Beating at 21,600vph, this manual-winding motion delivers a powerful 100-hour energy reserve.
COSMOS IN A TRUNK
Offered on an identical blue rubber strap embossed with Louis Vuitton in reduction, this out-of-this-world mannequin is a teaser of what could be accomplished and what would possibly properly be within the pipeline for Louis Vuitton’s subsequent journey within the high-end watchmaking sphere. As you’ll count on, this miniature masterpiece will likely be delivered to its proprietor in a traditional Louis Vuitton trunk-style case. Any guesses as to who may need commissioned this watch?
For extra data, please go to louisvuitton.com.
Leave a Reply