A ceremony was held in Paris to award the winner of a new competition announced a year ago by the Louis Vuitton brand, whose watch division is headed by one of the young heirs of the LVMH holding, Jean Arnault. The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize competition was created as an alternative to the “too Swiss” Grand Prix de la Horlogerie in Geneva. They plan to hold it every two years, awarding one of the five finalists (this year almost 1 thousand applications were submitted to the competition). The focus is on the young and independent, which is quite understandable: it is difficult to imagine watch brands that would come to a competitor for a competition.
The professional and representative jury gave the main prize to the independent master Raoul Pages. A Swiss, former watch restorer, lover of design and architecture, he opened his own workshop near Neuchâtel in 2012. The award-winning model RP1 Regulateur a detente has a rare free escapement that does not use the usual anchor. The direct escapement was invented in 1748 and was used in marine chronometers. Its disadvantages were that the mechanism was too large and had insufficient shock protection. Pages managed to place a mechanism with a free escapement in a steel case of a wristwatch with a diameter of 38.5 mm with a regulator-type dial: with three separate scales, the main one for minutes, additional hours and seconds in beautiful gray and blue colors taken from Le Corbusier’s architectural palette.
The winner received €150 thousand to design a new RP2 caliber and the opportunity to work for a year at the LVMH Fabrique du Temps in Geneva under the guidance of famous watchmakers Enrico Barbazini and Michel Navas.