Louis Vuitton’s New Releases Hero Artistic Crafts and High Watchmaking

Poetic and whimsical, the models embody the Maison’s commitment to artistic and technical excellence
Louis Vuitton’s New Releases Hero Artistic Crafts and High Watchmaking
March 20, 2024
Louis Vuitton’s New Releases Hero Artistic Crafts and High Watchmaking

Louis Vuitton’s commitment to exceptional craftsmanship and artistic excellence is rather well known, and the Maison’s new high watchmaking novelties serve as outstanding examples. GMT India takes a closer look at the new launches.

Voyager Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” Plique-à-jour

At the heart of this highly intricate flying tourbillon timepiece (ref. Q7EBBY)—developed and designed exclusively within La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton—is plique-à-jour enamel. A technique pioneered by Byzantine artisans in the 4th and 5th centuries, it consists of depositing enamel into cells without the support of any backing. The process of working with plique-à-jour enamel is lengthy and painstaking; it’s a rare, complex technique still only opted for by exceedingly few artisans in Europe.

Louis Vuitton Voyager Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” Plique-à-jour
The watch stands out as a stellar tribute to the Maison's heritage of combining artistic crafts and high-end watchmaking

A Show of Artistic Excellence

Louis VuittonVoyager Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” Plique-à-jour
The dial was coloured by hand, with quick movements, to allow the enamel to spread evenly

With this watch, Louis Vuitton intends to restore the prestige of the technique; many months of research were required to obtain the striking blue gradient on the dial, the unique lustre and the colourful nuances. Several master enamellers worked together within the Maison’s atelier at La Fabrique des Arts to breathe life into the miniature stained-glass artwork. Each section was coloured using a paintbrush, with quick and light movements in order to allow the enamel to spread evenly. This resulted in lending the watch a sense of lightness and clarity. The white gold dial—that requires 100 hours of work to perfect—flaunts the plique-à-jour enamel, and is beautifully complemented by the gradient of three shades of blue varying in saturation and opalescence between ultramarine, azure and blue grey.

A Mechanical Marvel

Louis VuittonVoyager Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” Plique-à-jour
The striking case offers the right architecture for the artistic crafts showcased on the dial

The avant-garde 41mm case, defined by a circle within a square, offers the right architecture, allowing the dial to shine. The timepiece is powered by a unique skeleton movement: the Poinçon de Genève hand-wound LV104 calibre with an 80-hour power reserve. The carriage that houses the movement appears in the shape of a capital V, which spins on itself in a minute, and positioned at 9 o’clock is the prestigious Poinçon de Genève seal that attests to the highest level of manufacturing and finishing of all the components that go into making a watch.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Slim Vivienne Jumping hours Sakura and Astronaut

When Louis Vuitton first came up with Vivienne in 2017, the dainty little character quickly built for herself a special niche in the Maison’s creative universe. Poetic with a touch of mischief, Vivienne found its way into the brand’s jewellery, watchmaking, ready-to-wear, and leather goods collections, soon turning to a mascot of the Maison. Now, La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton has unveiled the 38mm Tambour Slim Vivienne Jumping Hours Sakura and the Tambour Slim Vivienne Jumping Hours Astronaut, representing a brand new chapter in Vivienne’s adventures.

A Touch of Whimsy

Louis Vuitton Tambour Slim Vivienne Jumping Hours Sakura
The Sakura variant sports Vivienne dressed in a kimono holding a parasol and a fan

For the Sakura variant, Louis Vuitton chose a pastel colour palette that harmoniously plays with the elegance of the flowers on the dial. The white gold case, featuring diamond-studded lugs, also enhances the iridescence of the flowers to shine through against the pink mother-of-pearl dial. Artisans of the Maison made use of the “Holomonogram” technique to create the floral pattern; the process involves sand-polishing the pearl to ensure high-contrast yet transparent motifs. Vivienne—dressed in a kimono and holding a parasol and a fan—herself serves as the time-teller, displaying time by alternating between two apertures that can show either a blossom or the hour. The minutes are indicated by a transparent hand tipped with a cherry blossom that seems to float around the dial.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Slim Vivienne Jumping Hours Astronaut
The Astronaut variant features the mascot donning an astronaut suit, perfectly complementing the mother-of-pearl and the aventurine

Astronaut Vivienne, on the other hand, appears on a stunning dial that combines blue mother-of-pearl with an aventurine, the blend creating a gleaming Milky Way sky. The mascot appears in an astronaut suit with red and black hand-painted details and her hair studded with snow-set diamonds, in the midst of a diamond constellation of Monogram flowers and miniature paintings of a rocket and planets. Like the Sakura variant, this reference is also cased in white gold with diamond-studded lugs. Vivienne displays the time in an alternating fashion–the time jumps from one aperture and planet to the next. The minute hand takes the shape of a comet orbiting the dial.

A Peek-a-Boo Mechanism

The innovative mechanical jumping hour movement, LV 180 calibre, was entirely created, developed and assembled within the Maison’s workshop in Geneva. Time is displayed in a charming, unconventional manner, via two separate apertures placed in the dials. The almost invisible minute hand enhances the mysterious appeal of the timepiece. To allow the wearer to properly admire the beauty of the movement and its rose gold oscillating weight engraved with Monogram flowers, the models have transparent casebacks. The dial also bears Louis Vuitton’s new signature: “Fab. en Suisse” – Made in Switzerland – indicating where the watch was crafted: La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, Meyrin, Geneva. The leather straps (blue Taurillon and pink Taurillon) complement the colour palette of both variants, lending a charming visual continuity to the overall appeal of the timepieces.

Both the references, run on the LV 180 calibre, highlights the brand's unwavering commitment to watchmaking excellence

Both variants highlight a bold playfulness while embodying La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton’s expertise in the realms of artistic crafts and high watchmaking.

Image credits
Still Life: Ulysse Frechelin
Savoir-faire: Piotr Stoklosa