The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives announces the jury and the shortlist

December 2023

The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives announces the jury and the shortlist

For its 2024 inaugural edition, the luxury maison introduces the candidate shortlist and jury names. Five finalists will present their timepiece projects to the jury at the Fondation Louis Vuitton on February 6, with the winner revealed at that evening’s celebration ceremony.


ean Arnault, Director of Watches at Louis Vuitton, states: "The Louis Vuitton Watch prize exists because we believe that the future of watchmaking belongs to the dreamers and rule-breakers who meet the highest standards of craftsmanship. I would like to congratulate our five finalists - in your hands, the horizon for Independent Watchmaking is looking very bright indeed.”

The first Louis Vuitton Watch Prize drew nearly 1,000 submissions. Of these, 20 semi-finalists were pre-selected and presented to a Committee of Experts comprised of 45 watch enthusiasts. Candidates were evaluated according to five criteria: Design, Creativity, Innovation, Craftsmanship and Technical Complexity.

The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives introduces the five finalists of its first edition (in alphabetical order):

Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat of Petermann Bédat have been independent watchmakers since 2017. Inspired by the pocketwatch, the Chronographe Rattrapante bridges classic and contemporary watchmaking. Reference 2941 is a monopusher split-seconds chronograph in platinum with a jumping minute counter and an opened case back for admiring the movement’s architecture. Of their decision to participate in the Prize, the duo noted: ”This Prize gives independents watchmakers an opportunity to surpass themselves and showcase a unique savoir-faire.”

Simon Brette’s Chronometre Artisans is a neo-classical expression of watchmaking blending haute horology finishings with an in-house caliber and complex mechanisms such as manual-wind mechanical movement, an outstanding balance wheel and visible gear train. Reflecting on the challenges of his profession, the watchmaker observed: ”What makes me most proud is to have brought together and coordinated the work of exceptional French and Swiss craftsmen.”

John-Mikaël Flaux’s L’Abeille Mécanique (mechanical bee) in silver and gold is a one-of-a-kind figurative mechanism with an AB-01 movement, manual winding, dedicated key, carrousel movement and a “stinger“ poetics hours indicator. Of his decision to apply for the Prize, its inventor said: “What immediately appealed to me about this initiative was the recognition it offers to the world of independent watchmakers, and the trust it places in us.”

The RP1 - Régulateur à détente by Raúl Pagès is a manual-winding wristwatch in stainless steel with a unique construction featuring an in-house caliber fitted with the ultra-rare, pivoted detent escapement, designed and handcrafted by the watchmaker himself. Experience gained by restoring masterpieces inspired the artisan to strike out on his own: ”Independent watchmakers must be spearheads of creativity and defenders of craftsmanship,” he notes.

More ”time object” than desk clock, Andreas Strehler’s Tischkalender Sympathique is a mechanical perpetual desk calendar in gilded brass set with lapis lazuli. It is fitted with a ”master timekeeper” pocket watch in damascus steel with sapphire crystal. ”The inspiration came from the present and the past,” he explained. ”With mechanical solutions, it is possible to create new needs.”

The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives announces the jury and the shortlist

The five jury members for the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives were nominated by their peers in the Committee of Experts, all sharing the same passion for the watch industry. They are (in alphabetical order):

Carole Forestier-Kasapi, Movements director at Tag Heuer in Neuchâtel (Switzerland), and the winner of multiple awards, most recently the Gaïa Prize (2021).

Auro Montanari, pre-eminent watch collector, watchmaking expert and writer.

Rexhep Rexhepi, founder of Atelier Akrivia, independent watchmaker of traditional and contemporary timepieces.

Jiaxian Su, freelance journalist based in Singapore, specialised in watches and founder of SJX Watches.

Michael Tay, President of the jury and group managing director of The Hour Glass, a multi-brands retailer based in the Asia-Pacific.

The winner of the Louis Vuitton Prize for Independent Creatives that will be announced on February 6, 2024, will receive a year-long mentorship with our team of experts at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton in Meyrin (Switzerland), along with a financial prize.

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