Unveiling Excellence: The Finalists for Louis Vuitton’s First Timepiece Prize

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The Finalists for Louis Vuitton’s: The names of the five finalists and the five jury members for the first Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives have been disclosed by Louis Vuitton.


The winner will be revealed at a celebration ceremony that evening. The finalists will showcase their timepiece proposals to the jury members at the Fondation Louis Vuitton on February 6, 2024.


The watchmakers who have been independent since 2017 are Petermann Bédat, Gaël Petermann et Florian Bédat; Simon Brette, an independent watchmaker whose Chronometre Artisans watch combines art nouveau and neo-classicism elements with an in-house caliber; and John-Mikaël Flaux, another independent watchmaker. The silver and gold L’Abeille Mécanique (mechanic bee) by Flaux is incredibly bizarre with a unique symbolic mechanism that includes a carrousel movement, an AB-01 movement, manual winding, a dedicated key, and a “stinger” poetics hours indicator.


According to a release from Petermann Bédat, “This Prize gives independent watchmakers an opportunity to surpass themselves and showcase a unique savoir-faire.”


While Raúl Pagès created the RP1—Regulateur à détente—a manual-winding stainless steel wristwatch with an innovative construction that features an in-house caliber and, overall, a new Brutalist air, Andreas Strehler and Enrico Santoni, independent watchmakers since 1995, dreamed up the “time object” Tischkalender Sympathique, a mechanical perpetual desk calendar in gilded brass set with lapis lazuli.


“Independent watchmakers ought to be leaders in inventiveness and champions of skillful workmanship,” stated Pagès, who chose to go solo after acquiring expertise in restoring works of art.


The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize was established with the belief that those who are dreamers, rule-breakers, and uphold the most excellent standards of craftsmanship will be the ones who will shape the future of watchmaking. The future of independent watchmaking appears quite bright under your direction; thus, I would like to congratulate our five finalists,” said Jean Arnault, director of watches at Louis Vuitton. The wealthiest man in Europe, Bernard Arnault, has five children. Jean is the youngest. Jean’s father owns over seventy luxury brands, including Vuitton and LVMH.


The inaugural Louis Vuitton Watch Prize received close to 1,000 entries. Twenty semi-finalists were pre-selected and exhibited to a group of forty-five watch lovers that comprised the Committee of Experts. Five criteria were used to evaluate the candidates: technical complexity, creativity, innovation, craftsmanship, and design.


The five members of the jury are Jiaxian Su, a freelance journalist based in Singapore who specializes in watches and founded SJX Watches; Auro Montanari, a renowned watch collector, expert in watchmaking, and writer; Carole Forestier-Kasapi, director of movements at Tag Heuer, where young Jean’s older brother Frédéique is a senior executive; and Michael Tay, president of the jury and group managing director of multi-brand retailer The Hour Glass.


The ultimate winner will get a monetary award and a year-long mentorship with an internal team of professionals at Vuitton’s watch manufacturing facility in Meyrin, Switzerland: La Fabrique du Temps. Vuitton did not state the estimated value.


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