The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives
Jean Arnault – who took over Louis Vuitton watches in 2021 – announced one of his main achievements at the end of 2022: the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize. This contest is aimed at all the ones with big aspirations – especially when it comes to creativity and entrepreneurship – in the independent watchmaking field. The candidates can be watchmakers, designers, entrepreneurs, young graduates, and creatives from all over the world. The first winner will be selected at the beginning of 2024 and will receive one-year sponsorship and mentoring from La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, specially catered to their artistic needs. Besides, the winner will be supported by a dedicated team that will help in specific fields such as communications, copyright infringement and law aspects of the business. But also with the marketing, industrial strategy, and financial management of a brand. Among the jury of this new prize are big names like Philippe Dufour, Kari Voutilainen, Kim Jones, Anita Porchet and Rexhep Rexhepi.
Louis Vuitton and Akrivia introduce the LVRR-01 Chronographe à Sonnerie
You may not have heard of the latter, however, he is the most famous young independent watchmaker in the world. After fleeing Kosovo to go to Switzerland at the age of 14, this genius became an apprentice at Patek Philippe. He then earned his stripes in François-Paul Journe’s workshop before founding Akrivia in 2012, his very own high watchmaking workshop. To launch a new series of watches created in collaboration with independent watchmakers, Louis Vuitton opted for Rexhep Rexhepi. Together, they unveiled the LVRR-01. This surprising double-faced chiming chronograph is only available in ten copies for €540,000 each.
A clever mix of traditions and contemporaneity
For the first time, the Louis Vuitton logo is associated with another brand. The sapphire crystal dial is indeed decorated with the “LV” initials, which are subtly intertwined with the letters of “Akrivia”. This marks the meeting of two maisons for an exclusive journey through time.
This piece is based on the recently redesigned case of the Tambour watch. Made in platinum, it is 39,9 mm wide and 12,2 mm thick. The chiming chronograph complication is animated by an unprecedented tourbillon movement entirely developed by the Akrivia workshop. This high-precision chronometer has both a regulator tourbillon and a chiming mechanism that strikes as each minute passes. A first in the watchmaking industry.
These complications are a nod to the heritage of Louis Vuitton and Rexhep Rexhepi. The very first timepiece created by the Akrivia workshop, the AK-01, indeed used to have both a chronograph and a tourbillon, while the Tambour LV277 – the very first great complication of the maison – also featured a chronograph. Moreover, unlike traditional movements, the calibre of the LVRR-01 is reversed. This means that the mechanisms of the chronograph and the chiming complication are visible through the front and not through the back of the piece. Their architecture and elegant decoration catch your eye while the watch is on your wrist.
The dial: a merger between maisons Louis Vuitton and Akrivia
On the double-sided case, the dials symbolize the identity of the two maisons. One of them in the front is an ultramodern smoked sapphire glass, and the other on the back is in white Grand Feu enamel. The smoked translucent sapphire dial reveals the sophisticated finishes as well as a tourbillon at 6 o’clock which completes its revolution every five minutes, as opposed to the usual sixty seconds of conventional tourbillons.
Each of them was decorated by hand with craft techniques such as anglage, and black polishing. The dial is enhanced by six gold cubes filled with translucent Plique-à-jour fired enamel. This technique was borrowed from stained-glass window-making. The second dial on the other hand displays a classical design that pays homage to traditional measuring instruments.
It was designed by Rexhep Rexhepi and made by Nicolas Doublel, enameller for La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton. Inspired by the chronograph pocket watches of the 19th century, this dial is adorned with twin scales for hours and minutes.
A complicated movement
As for the movement, it stands out with its chiming chronograph, a double complication integrated into a wristwatch in a new way. The functions of the chronograph – start, stop, and reset – depend on a single pusher at 2 o’clock. This watch is also endowed with a clear and musical chime to signify the passage of each minute, and it is sounded by a black-polished steel hammer striking a tempered steel gong. Last but not least, the LVRR-01 Chronographe à Sonnerie comes in a unique Louis Vuitton traditional trunk.
Made specifically for each example of the LVRR-01, this trunk is decorated with a hand-painted motif inspired by the twin scales of the enamel dial, as well as the “AKRILVIA” logo and the individual serial number of the respective timepiece. The utmost elegance.