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Louis Vuitton Releases Trio of Watches with Excessive-Finish Artisan Dials – Robb Report


A trio of watches in Louis Vuitton’s Escale assortment, known as Cupboard of Wonders, is nearer to the world of ornamental arts than to the pursuit of chronometry. The items are all concerning the three-dimensional dial compositions, with narratives involving two fish, a dragon and a serpent in a bamboo forest. They’re delivered to life utilizing each class of métiers doable: gem-setting, engraving, micro-sculpting, champlevé enameling, miniature portray, marquetry, damascening and paillonné enameling.

The three items, Koi’s Backyard, Snake’s Jungle and Dragon’s Cloud, have been impressed by the uncommon objects within the private assortment of Gaston-Louis Vuitton, notably his assortment of 800 tsubas (extremely embellished Japanese katana sword guards). Gaston-Louis Vuitton was a third-generation member of the corporate’s founding household. He led the corporate from 1907 to 1970, and his love for artistry formed the fashionable identification of Louis Vuitton. The Cupboard of Wonders trilogy is thus devoted to Gaston-Louis – every dial has a plate someplace bearing his initials – however these are usually not the primary fashionable Louis Vuitton watches with wildly artistic, colourful, three-dimensional dials. Previous creations embrace the Tambour Opera Automaton, with a standard Chinese language opera masks and a shifting dragon’s head, and the Tambour Carpe Diem, a memento mori piece that includes a cranium and a serpent. These and the brand new Cupboard of Wonders trilogy are rapidly changing into the signature aesthetic of La Fabrique du Temps, Louis Vuitton’s fashionable manufacture in Switzerland. They have been made and embellished in-house, with the assistance of some exterior collaborators, together with engraving by Eddy Jaquet, enameling by Vanessa Lecci, damascening by Fanny Queloz and marquetry by Rose Saneuil.

Koi’s Backyard

Louis Vuitton Escale Cabinet of Wonders Koi's Garden

Louis Vuitton

The motion on this dial entails a pair of three-dimensional carp fish swimming in a stream surrounded by colourful pebbles. The fish are hand sculpted in white gold, with scales, fins, and whiskers all engraved by hand. After being oxidized in a kiln, the fish are polished and painted by hand utilizing a translucent blue lacquer. The amber-colored pebbles are fabricated from smoky quartz, and the white ones are from rock crystal. Others are set with diamonds to create the impact of daylight on water. The sunshine blue pebbles are rock crystal layered over a mother-of-pearl disk engraved with Louis Vuitton monogram flowers. The undulating strains of water are hand-engraved on a white-gold dial plate. The plate bearing Gaston-Louis Vuitton’s monogram is within the 6 o’clock place, sculpted from gold in contrasting finishes and set with onyx. The watch is ready with 105 diamonds totaling 0.24 carat. The case is 18k white gold.

Snake’s Jungle

Louis Vuitton Escale Cabinet of Wonder Snake's Jungle

Louis Vuitton

The scene is a bamboo forest, through which a reticulated serpent in vibrant hues of blue and inexperienced, rears its head. Its forked tongue and fangs are in full view, poised to chomp down on the gold and jade emblem plate that bears Gaston-Louis Vuitton’s initials. The forest is created utilizing marquetry, with 367 particular person items of wooden, parchment, and straw inlaid by hand. They embrace 4 types of wooden, three colours of straw, and two kinds of parchment. The serpent was created utilizing three methods: micro-sculpture, engraving, and champlevé enameling. The physique is engraved with coils and hollowed-out scales, and embellished with engraved V-strokes that embrace Vuitton monogram flowers. The bamboo leaves have been sculpted, engraved, and enameled in the identical method. The leaf motif carries over onto the bezel, hand engraved into the 18k white gold.

Dragon’s Cloud

Louis Vuitton Escale Cabinet of Wonders Dragon's Cloud

Louis Vuitton

The dragon on this energetic narrative is carved out of gold over a background made utilizing a uncommon method known as damascening, a type of ornamental inlay utilizing metals of contrasting colours, leading to a layered look meant to resemble the natural textures present in nature. The dial plate is hammered to a matt end, after which grooves are reduce to obtain completely different lengths of yellow-gold or rose-gold wires. The wires are cold-worked into the dial plate, after which formed and completed utilizing a burin. The dragon’s scales are enameled, with the decrease half of the physique embellished utilizing paillonné enamel – tiny items of gold leaf (paillons) are suspended between layers of translucent enamel, forming the floral monogram. Bigger rose-gold Monogram flowers are utilized elsewhere on the dial.
The dragon’s eye is a ruby cabochon.

All three items include calf-leather straps which can be hand-braided to resemble the braided leather-based hilts of Japanese katana swords. The 40 mm circumstances are engraved across the center with three variations of “Seigaiha” waves, a stylized illustration of the ocean present in conventional Japanese iconography. The bridges of the motion are additionally adorned with this motif, which is related to success and well-being. In a last flourish, the crown of every mannequin is ready with the identical stone that adorns the corresponding GLV monogram on the dial. Every might be produced in a collection of 20 items. Worth on request.

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