Louis Vuitton Escale marks 10 years with four new time-only models

July 2024

Louis Vuitton Escale marks 10 years with four new time-only models

A decade on, the collection enters the next phase through the realms of artisanal craftsmanship. The Escale Cabinet of Wonders, a trilogy of métiers d’art timepieces, was inspired by the collections of Gaston-Louis Vuitton, the third-generation patriarch of the Maison’s founding family.


ow, the Escale arrives at its next stop, exploring the panorama of timekeeping in its most fundamental configuration of hours, minutes and seconds. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Escale at Louis Vuitton, the Maison reveals the new cartography of this collection, featuring a time-only, three-hand model for the first time in a decade of Escale. The landscape of the latest Escale is characterised by highly textured and tactile surfaces, an elevated approach to case design and sophisticated finishes, while its movement comes from the rich terrain of traditional Swiss horlogerie.

Four new models define the new Escale, time-only watches that bring added dimension to the collection’s earlier scope of complicated timepieces. Two are in rose gold with textured dials, sophisticated yet discreet, an everyday companion. The other two are in platinum, further decorated with ornamental and precious stones for an exalted touch. These models introduce a profundity in design approach and reinforce the integration of the Maison’s heritage and values within the fine watchmaking collection.

Louis Vuitton’s historic and unparalleled savoir-faire in trunkmaking is the anchor point of the new Escale. As seen in other Escale models over the past decade, the lugs make continuous allusion to the iconic trunks of the Maison, resembling the angled form and riveted exterior of the brass brackets and corners that reinforce the Louis Vuitton trunks.

Louis Vuitton Escale marks 10 years with four new time-only models

These brass reinforcements are echoed on the dial, which has been completely redesigned to create new and stronger affinities between Escale and the Maison’s most famous creations. Angled and riveted markers in polished gold are hand applied at each quarter, holding together the central dial and outer minuterie. The minuterie itself is punctuated with gold studs to evoke the nails of the lozine that runs along the exterior of a Louis Vuitton trunk. A brushed finish and subtle concave camber are the final touches that give the minuterie exceptional visual texture and readability.

Accommodating this dial, exceptionally rich in detail and complexity, is no easy task. The tip of the seconds hand on all the Escale models is shaped to follow the curve of the dial, minimising the possibility of parallax error and allowing the seconds to be read with great precision. This precision is supported by the chronometer-certified cal. LFT023, whose 50-hour power reserve is assured by energy-efficient solutions such as crafting the seconds hand in titanium rather than gold. Special tools were developed to overcome the high elasticity of titanium without marking its surface, resulting in a seconds hand that is perfectly curved, which is then treated with a PVD colour process to match the gold hour and minute hands.

A new dial texture, seen in the rose-gold models, is a direct reference to the finely grained surface of the Louis Vuitton Monogram canvas. Custom dial stamps were developed and refined over several material essays in order to perfectly convey the suppleness and tactility of canvas on a metal dial. Light plays across the faceted hour indexes and along the groove dividing the central dial and the minuterie, guiding the eye over the expanse of textures and finishes.

Louis Vuitton Escale marks 10 years with four new time-only models

Just below the 12 o’clock hour marker, under the Louis Vuitton logo, is one word that encapsulates everything there is to be known about the Escale’s creative rebirth: PARIS. The home of the Maison and some of its most celebrated workshops, Paris is the greatest repository of Louis Vuitton’s savoir-faire. The reworked hands of the Escale are an immediate clin d’oeil towards the couture and leather goods domain of Louis Vuitton. Shaped like finely tapered needles, their delicate form calls to mind the intricate nature of the craft that takes place in the Maison’s specialised ateliers, while their precise lines and sharply polished facets mirror the rigour and discipline of their master artisans.

The rose-gold Escale with silvery dial comes on a calf-leather strap that draws undiluted inspiration from Louis Vuitton’s leather goods expertise. Inspired by Nomade leather, a natural leather originally introduced in 1999, the strap will gain a beautiful patina over time while losing none of its comfort and material performance, just like some of the most coveted Louis Vuitton leather products of all time. Fine yellow stitching, reminiscent of classic Louis Vuitton leather goods, outlines the shared artery of craftsmanship and hand-worked detail that animates all the creations of the Maison. In the platinum versions of the new Escale, lapidary work and gem-setting elevate the collection with rare materials and techniques.

Louis Vuitton Escale marks 10 years with four new time-only models

One model features a dial of meteorite, carefully selected to highlight the contrasting textures and natural mineral tones of this otherworldly material. Another model juxtaposes the near-fluid shine of an onyx central dial with the geometric sparkle of a bezel and case set with baguette-cut diamonds, forming an ethereal halo that draws the gaze towards the inky depths of the black dial. Both models come with white-gold hands and markers, creating a monochromatic symphony of light and shade that invite discovery and delight the eye. Each new Escale timepiece comes with an engraved serial number on a slim cartouche in contrasting gold riveted to the periphery of the transparent caseback, an allusion.

Escale is synonymous with the art of travel, the philosophy that lies at the heart of Louis Vuitton. When travel transcends its utilitarian purpose and opens the way to self-discovery, the destination is secondary and the journey itself rises to primacy. An escale is more than just another stopover — it evokes the imagination and the memory of a moment that lingers in the mind; it captures the essence of the art of travel.

Louis Vuitton Escale marks 10 years with four new time-only models

Every aspect of the redesigned Escale is infused with intention, from the play of case finishes to the curve of the sapphire crystal. An octagonal crown is topped with a dome, echoing the shape of a trunk rivet, and emblazoned with the Louis Vuitton Monogram. Fluted on alternating sides to facilitate winding and setting, the crown is seamlessly set against a satin-brushed case middle, which then gives way to hand-polished and brushed lugs with decorative rivets.

Each of these components has been conceived with contrasting finishes relative to its adjacent elements, bestowing a deliberate yet organic grace to the watch as a whole. These finishes are applied by hand, requiring a skilled touch to alternate between techniques when one surface finish transitions precisely to the next.

Balance is key when integrating a variety of textures within the 39mm confines of the case, a diameter chosen for its supreme versatility and ideal proportions relative to the wrist. The natural dynamism and human desire to find expression in motion is translated through the dome of the dial crystal, a dome which segues into the polished bezel in a single smooth curve. From the front, the curve of the crystal is barely discernible, allowing the time to be read with utmost ease and clarity. On the reverse, a sapphire crystal caseback reveals the minutely calibrated and regulated cal. LFT023 beating within.

Louis Vuitton Escale marks 10 years with four new time-only models

First introduced in the 2023 Tambour models, the cal. LFT023 is the first proprietary automatic three-hand movement designed by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton in conjunction with movement specialists Le Cercle des Horlogers. Its contemporary aesthetic emphasises the modernity of the Maison’s watchmaking vision, whilst still incorporating references to in-house patrimony with the mainspring barrel and 22K rose-gold micro-rotor, which are decorated with the motifs of Louis Vuitton.

Timekeeping performance is an essential hallmark of the cal. LFT023, with each example of this movement certified by the Geneva Observatory as a high-precision Swiss chronometer. This core value of Louis Vuitton fine watchmaking is declared at the base of the dial with the phrase “FAB. EN SUISSE” — a statement of provenance and of manufacturing integrity. Mechanically and conceptually, the new Louis Vuitton Escale is an open ticket to self-discovery. Through travel, we discover the space that is around us. Through Escale, you define the time that is yours.

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