In December 2022, La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton announced the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives, an award that celebrates creative talent, savoir-faire, and innovation, while encouraging artisans and entrepreneurs to step into their roles as the future generations of watchmakers.
The application process for the one-of-a-kind initiative, launched by the world’s largest luxury brand, was open to independent watchmakers from around the world and almost 1000 submissions were received. Twenty semi-finalists were shortlisted, based on an assessment by a special Committee of Experts, including 45 revered watch enthusiasts. The applicants were evaluated on the basis of five essential aspects: design, creativity, innovation, craftsmanship, and technical complexity.
The finalists have now been revealed; GMT India takes a closer look at them.
Finalists of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives 2024
L’Abeille Mécanique by John-Mikaël Flaux
A stunning object of horological art whose name translates to “mechanical bee”, this clock is crafted from gold-plated silver and is powered by the unique AB-01 carousel movement. It sports a unique “stinger” poetic hours indicator. Inspired by the historical significance of bees across civilisations, the clock’s intricate details and commitment to precision aim to draw attention to the harmony between nature and humanity.
RP1 - Régulateur à détente by Raúl Pagès
This stainless steel timepiece flaunts a unique construction featuring a rare pivoted detent escapement within its manual-winding mechanism. Highlighting a sophistication in terms of both mechanical engineering and aesthetics, the piece was inspired by chronometers of the past and marine chronometry.
Chronomètre Artisans by Simon Brette
An exceptional timepiece that draws inspiration from the ingenuity and refinement of 20th century watchmakers, this bears a distinct neoclassical appeal, enhanced by its distinct design, complex mechanisms — such as the excellent balance wheel and the visible gear train — and lavish, meticulous decorations. It’s a homage to extraordinary craftsmanship. No surprises then that it won the Horological Revelation Prize at GPHG 2023.
Chronographe Rattrapante by Petermann Bédat
The winner of the GPHG 2023 Chronograph Prize, this timepiece features a platinum monopusher split-seconds chronograph with a unique jumping minute counter and an open caseback for the wearer to admire the intricate movement. The dial’s semi-open structure ensures a clear view of the split-seconds mechanism.
Tischkalender Sympathique by Andreas Strehler and Enrico Santoni
An imaginative interpretation of the traditional desk clock crafted from gilded brass with lapis lazuli, this features a mechanical perpetual calendar along with a “master timekeeper” pocket watch. The timepiece was created while keeping in mind a harmonious coexistence of the past and the present.
The ultimate winner of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives will be carefully chosen by the special jury from among these five impressive finalists; the name will be revealed at the award ceremony on February 6, 2024. The winner will be offered a grant as well as a one-year mentorship by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, tailored to the needs of their creative project.