My first “Independent Artists” Post today is the independent French born Watchmaker Ludovic Ballouard, now based in Geneva Switzerland, having worked previously for 3 years with Frank Muller and 7 years with J.P Journe to name but two. Now an Independent Watchmaker he produced his “UPSIDE DOWN” in 2009 and followed with his “HALF TIME” in 2012. With a new creation every two years – what’s in store for 2014?
It’s the “UPSIDE DOWN” that intrigues me. With 12 upside down numerals, each one changes right way up with a dot marker beside it, after one 60 minute sweep of the single hand. The position of the single hand denotes the minutes. The complication viewed from the exhibition back is quite amazing.
A few versions are made of this extraordinary watch and of course they are all fabulous, though I do have a favorite, which is the following one – just sublime!
The web site of Ludovic Ballouard can be found HERE.
Check out the first page animation, though remember the hour transition is a bit quicker than normal!
I should also mention that Ludovic Ballouard is also responsible for the 2013 Harry Winston Opus watch, the X111. Introduced at the 2013 Baselworld watch fair in the haute-de-gamme (high end) Opus collection.
This amazing concept watch certainly drew the attention of the world with its 242 functional rubies and it’s revolutionary indication of time by use of tiny, pivoting markers round the dial. The Opus XIII has 11 triangular hour hands, which jut out from the polished dome in the center of the dial , retracting again at the end of each hour. For minutes there are 59 minute markers (every 5 minutes tipped in red) and these pivot in towards the center as each new minute starts. Initially not the easiest watch to read, though that said, once you understand the dial mechanics, it becomes much easier to immediately tell the time. And seeing it in action, the detail technology is quite incredible.
The Harry Winston Opus XIII – Ludovic Ballouard movement is really something very special – with 660 components, 242 functional rubies, 59 minutes hands and 59 blade springs carved from a single piece of steel, 11 Triangular shaped hours – it is without doubt a masterpiece of watch engineering.
But personally for me – the “Upside Down” model is my choice. It simply has an elegance and artistry which is Ludovic Ballouard, without influence of projects such as Opus – and that surely is why he does what he does.
His next concept creation hopefully is in 2015 and I for one – can’t wait!