Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” Watch
Contemporary Fine Watchmaking
The Watch Quote™ - January 22nd, 2016
Louis Vuitton has obtained the “Poinçon de Genève” and entered the inner circle of the watchmaking houses that bear this certification. With this distinction, a new case, a never before seen skeleton tourbillon movement and an exceptional degree of transparency, the Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” watch is a major advancement for Louis Vuitton watchmaking. The powerful impact of nothingness imposes its presence in this timepiece where the radically contemporary approach is combined with the highest degree of watchmaking quality.
The “Poinçon de Genève” is an independent institution regulated by the laws of the Geneva canton, which examines the manufacturing and finishing of all the components that go into making the watch. Whether its movement, case, workings, power reserve, precision or technical choices, all aspects of the watch are verified and certified. The “Poinçon de Genève” has guaranteed the highest degree of craftsmanship and compliance with fine watchmaking standards since 1886. However Louis Vuitton’s approach to this tradition is unique and innovative.
Sixteen months after establishing itself in the canton of Geneva, La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton has entered a new era. For the first time, a Louis Vuitton watch bears the mark of the “Poinçon de Genève”, which can be seen on the face of the watch. This is the most prestigious certification that a watch can carry, and a testament to Louis Vuitton’s watchmaking experience and expertise. It takes the form of a delicate skeleton watch fitted with a tourbillon regulator.
The “Poinçon de Genève” states that the surface of each watch component must be decorated. Louis Vuitton fuels it with its modern vision while retaining the purest of all finishes. The V of the tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock is entirely block-polished and has a mirror-like shine. The bridges at the back of the movement are all horizontal satin-brushed. All the bridges on both faces are bevelled. Their flanks are thoroughly satin-brushed. Even their invisible side, hidden by other elements, are circular-grained or finished by the watchmaker.
The Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” case alternates between a mirror polished and circular satin-brushed finish. The contrast of these textures reinforces the subtle play on volumes of its bezel. Each square millimetre has done meticulous attention to detail. These traditional yet dynamic decorations create a piece of contemporary fine watchmaking.
The LV104 calibre was developed entirely from scratch by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton. In fact, fulfilling the criteria of the “Poinçon de Genève” means designing the movement according to it from the first component. From this blank page came the most aerial of movements ever designed by Louis Vuitton. The skeleton calibre appears to be suspended in mid-air by invisible forces, as if floating inside its 950 platinum case.
The skeleton structure is ingrained in the Louis Vuitton watchmaking culture but it had never been taken so far in terms of slimness. This goal has been achieved by adopting a minimalist approach to construction, with only 168 components. Its lightness begins with simplicity and continues in a delicate skeleton.
The graphic strength of the Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” watch is based on its minimalism. Nothingness and transparency dominate this watch, which shows the technical prowess that has been implemented in its design. At 6 o’clock, a completely new tourbillon performs a rotation on itself every minute, and at the low frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. In perfect harmony with the lightness of the watch, it is of the flying kind. That means that it is not held by an upper bridge, it is only supported from below.
As such, it nearly touches the sapphire crystal and appears to project a letter of the alphabet towards the onlooker: the V from the tourbillon carriage. Every minute it overlaps the lower tourbillon bridge, also a V shape, shaping the letter into thin air. The Louis Vuitton identity is thus asserted through the structural and decorative elements of this watch. At noon, an off-centred dial shows the hours and minutes. It is punctuated by a series of index, which are also in a V shape.
Always with lightness in mind, the dial is made of smoked sapphire, achieved by metallisation. The barrel can be made out which gives this hand-wound movement 80 hours of autonomy. The fine structure and vertically aligned movement wheels are a feast for the eyes with their apparent weightlessness inside the brand new case.
As the newest addition to the Louis Vuitton collections, the case is the combination of a circle and a square. Measuring 41 mm in width and 43.7 mm diagonally, it fits into no existing shape category; it is neither cushion nor oval. Its polished mirror case with distinctive and sophisticated bevels underscores its natural finesse.
At just 9.1 mm thick, the Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” watch fits naturally onto body curves. The soft lines of this 950 platinum case are an extension of the wrist. These exceptional ergonomics are enhanced by its short and plunging lugs.
It is impactful because it plays with nothingness, sophisticated yet the ultimate in simplicity, the Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” shakes up the codes of fine watchmaking.