Louis Vuitton Builds an Astral Automaton

From JustLuxe content partner iW Magazine

La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton earlier this year unveiled the impressive Louis Vuitton Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th Anniversary, a white gold and titanium-cased minute repeater with an astral-themed dial Louis Vuitton says is meant to mimic “a porthole opening onto an endless galaxy.”

The impressive Louis Vuitton Tambour Jacquemart Minute Repeater 200th Anniversary.

In that dial-borne galaxy, you’ll find an unusual space capsule automaton mechanism endowed with a cathedral-gong minute repeater.

Within the watch’s 46.8 mm by 15.2mm titanium case (with white gold lugs and bezel), Louis Vuitton places nine gold automatons (known historically as jacquemarts, characters devised to strike gongs on church bells).

When the wearer presses the slide, the rocket takes off to expose diamond ‘passengers’ in its cockpit. At the same time, the planets on the dial spin while the Louis Vuitton Monogram flower rotates and two stars shoot across the blue void. Even the case itself is finished with the celestial theme as its design is meant to echo the shape of an astronaut’s helmet. 

As this astral show unfolds, a cathedral gong minute repeater chimes the hours, quarter hours, and minutes.

La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton spent two years developing this unique piece as a tribute to the 200th birthday of Louis Vuitton. The watchmaker enlisted the creativity of engraver Dick Steenman and enameler Anita Porchet to decorate the case and craft the dial elements.

You might recall that Steenman and Porchet also collaborated on the Louis Vuitton Tambour Carpe Diem,  an earlier automaton unique piece, which won the Audacity prize at the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG).

Look closely at the dial at 7 o’clock on this new watch and you’ll see Ms. Porchet’s signature. 

On the bezel, the Louis Vuitton signature is encrusted in blue rubber letters. The pusher, crown, and the LV initials are set with a gradation of tourmalines and sapphires to match the deep blue dial.

From the back of the case, a sapphire crystal allows a peek at the LV200 caliber, a hand-wound movement with 480 components, several of which have been finished in a celestial blue hue.

The watch nicely blends traditional high-end watchmaking and gem-setting techniques with a contemporary, space-themed design. Its unique character again demonstrates how La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton has successfully marked its own path among its peers within traditional high-end Swiss watchmaking. 

iW Magazine

The unrivaled destination for any horological enthusiast, novice explorer or self-proclaimed watch nerd; and just about anyone intrigued by beauty and mechanics. For 29 years, International Watch has been the definitive authority for all watch-related matters, providing in-depth reports on all aspects of horology, from established Swiss watchmaking firms to independent houses of horology, product reviews, technical stories, wrist trends, the unique culture of collectors and more. International Watch Magazine offers a global perspective on all watch-related matters, aptly fitting into the context of our readers’ horological interests. We expose the expertise, craftsmanship and history, engage in brand storytelling and celebrate the mechanical acumen of the industry’s finest brands. Our team comprises some of the most respected authorities on luxury timepieces, educating, and eloquently capturing the experience of the watch enthusiast....(Read More)

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