Raul Pagès wins the first-ever Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives

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jamie weiss

It took more than a year to prepare, but the winners of the Independent Creative Award at the inaugural Louis Vuitton Watch Awards, an initiative launched by the Maison to foster the growth of future innovation in the watchmaking industry, have been announced. Finally announced: Spanish-Swiss independent watchmaker Raul Pagès, RP1 – Regulator a Détente.

Pagès faced stiff competition, with entries from well-known independent athletes such as Petermann Beda and Simon Brett among the finalists, but the deceptively simple RP1 ultimately won the gold medal and Pagès will receive one year of private instruction from La Fabrique du Temps. Grants from Louis Vuitton and LVMH, as well as the beautiful silver trophy with the image of a balance wheel that he took home that night, were naturally in the Louis Vuitton trunk.

regulator détente case back

RP1 is deceptively simple. A hand-wound stainless steel watch with a unique construction. The watch features a bespoke caliber with a new pivot detent escapement, a type of escapement common in 19th century marine chronometers and precision pocket watches. Due to its vulnerability to shocks, it has been largely abandoned by modern watch manufacturers. However, the Pagès movement has an “anti-trip” mechanism above the balance that catches the detent in the event of an impact.

Regulation of tension-relieving exercises

“I really wanted to pay homage to the chronometers of the past and the golden age of watchmaking invention, the marine chronometer,” Pagès said of his creation. Based in the small village of Les Brenets in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Pages first honed his skills as a fine watch restorer before becoming an independent watchmaker in 2012. He only makes four watches a year and they are completely handmade from research and development. From manufacturing to assembly to finishing, his workmanship is world class, with the angles and meticulous black polish that characterize his work.

Raul Pagès

This inaugural edition of the Louis Vuitton Watch Awards received almost 1,000 entries, so Pagès’ win was certainly a hotly contested one. “Being honored by the Louis Vuitton jury” clock award “The Award for Independent Watchmakers is the ultimate recognition of my work as an independent watchmaker,” he explains. Bravo Raul, what a beautiful watch.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

jamie

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