What comes to your mind when you think of Louis Vuitton? Well, though there could be several different answers to this question (including the more sought after Louis Vuitton signature products with the LV logo), one thing that I am most certainly sure of is that not many of you out there would associate the brand with watches. So yes, Louis Vuitton does make watches, and some very distinctive and technically competent ones as well such as the Louis Vuitton Escale Spin Time Black and Fire watch featured here, the brands offering for this year’s Only Watch auction. So without further ado let’s have a closer look.
Every watch by Louis Vuitton has a standout feature and in case of the Escale Spin Time Black and Fire, the star of the show has to be the dial. The matte black dial on this watch follows a layered design approach, giving the watch a good sense of depth and detail. First up, is the interesting looking Louis Vuitton branding on the outer periphery of the dial which comprises of the 12 characters of the Louis Vuitton brand name placed above the corresponding hour markers. Each character has been painted in yellow and has further been highlighted with different shades of yellow and orange. Moving a step down from here we have the unique cube shaped markers which have been painstakingly hand painted in shades of red, orange and yellow, with abstract motifs on two sides along with am/pm hours on the remaining two. The minute markers on the watch have been presented through finely printed yellow lines along with printed yellow rectangles at intervals of five, and can be read using the one and only hand on the dial. Finally to complete the dial Louis Vuitton have placed a disk at the center of the dial bearing the “Only Watch” branding, evoking the shape of a stylized globe, continuing Louis Vuitton’s tradition of world travel.
The Louis Vuitton Escale Spin time black and fire watch comes in a 41 mm titanium case, which has an overall thickness of 11.2 mm. Though wearability of a time piece is a subjective issue, the modest dimensions of this watch do seem to indicate that the watch should sit comfortably on the wrist of the wearer and it should not be difficult to slide one under the cuff. Another interesting detail on the case are the applied horns on the sides of the case which also seem to showcase a connection between the sides of the case and the lugs. Although this might not look necessary from a utility standpoint it surely adds some charm and personality to the case especially when looked at from the sides of the case.
The watch is powered by Louis Vuitton’s LV77 Calibre automatic movement, which has been developed and assembled by the folks at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton. This movement incorporates the ingenious hour display principle of the Spin Time movement which enables the hand painted cubes to rotate in order to display the hours on this watch. The movement offers a power reserve of 42hours and can be operated using the signed crown at 3.
In the end I would like to sum up things by saying that the Louis Vuitton Escale Sping black and fire is a true wild card watch and does not look like anything out there. Also, adding to the exclusivity is the fact that only one such watch would be ever produced, making it a true collector’s item. The watch would come fitted on orange alligator strap and would come packaged in a Louis Vuitton trunk which would be personalized according to the owner’s wishes. Also, to further sweeten the deal, the lucky owner of this watch would get to visit the historic Louis Vuitton workshop in Asnieres, followed by a lunch at the Louis Vuitton family house with master watchmaker Michel Navas and Hamdi Chatti, the Vice-President of Louis Vuitton. The watch is estimated to sell between a price range of 50,000 – 80,000 CHF.