Raúl Pagès wins the first-ever Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent CreativesJamie Weiss
It’s been well over a year in the making, but the winner of the inaugural Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives – an initiative started by the Maison to foster the future growth of innovation in the watchmaking industry – has finally been announced: Spanish-Swiss independent watchmaker Raúl Pagès, for his RP1 – Régulateur à détente.
Pagès faced stiff competition, with entries from well-known independents such as Petermann Bédat and Simon Brette among the finalists, but the deceptively simple RP1 ultimately took home the gold, with Pagès now set to receive a year of personalized mentorship by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton and a financial grant from LVMH alongside the beautiful balance wheel-inspired silver trophy he took home on the night, which came in a Louis Vuitton trunk, naturally.
The RP1 is deceptively simple: a manual-winding wristwatch in stainless steel with a unique construction, it features a bespoke calibre fitted with a novel pivoted detent escapement, a type of escapement common in marine chronometers and precision pocket watches from the 19th century that has largely been abandoned by modern watchmakers due to its susceptibility to shocks. Pagès’ movement, however, features an “anti-tripping” mechanism atop its balance staff that catches the detent in case of shocks.
“I really wanted to pay tribute to the chronometers of the past and marine chronometry, the golden age of watchmaking invention,” Pagès has said of his creation. Based in the small village of Les Brenets in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Pagès honed his craft first as a high-end watch restorer before becoming an independent watchmaker in 2012. He only creates four watches a year, which he makes completely by hand, from R&D to manufacturing, assembly and finishes – and his finishing is world-class, with anglage and meticulous black polishing hallmarks of his work.
This first edition of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize attracted almost 1,000 entries, so Pagès’ win was certainly hard-fought. “Being honoured by the jury of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Watchmakers is the best possible recognition of my work as an independent watchmaker,” he explains. Bravo Raúl, it’s a beautiful watch.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Watch meme of the week: Jay Jay Le Coot
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Our assistant retail manager Alex and I have a running joke about wildly overpronouncing watch brands’ names. He loves rolling that R in Rolex, and I speak German, so you best believe I’m feasting on that umlaut in A. Lange & Söhne…
Wrist shot of the week: out of office = on
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Borna’s on holiday in Vietnam at the moment taking a well-deserved break… But thankfully he found the time to share this summery wrist shot of his Seiko SKX009 (mounted on one of our Tropic straps) taking a dip. Personally, I’m jealous of all the top-grade phở he’s eating…
Time+Tide Shop pick of the week: Boldr Venture Carbon Black
A shipment of the updated Boldr Venture in Carbon Black has just arrived in store, with this fan-favourite field watch having ditched its date window at 4 o’clock, which gives the dial a more balanced look. It’s now powered by the Seiko NH38A movement, a true no-date movement without a phantom date crown position that’s otherwise basically identical to the NH35.
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