Think of a world time watch. What comes to mind? Most likely it’s of a serious-looking device with a map of the world on the dial, possibly with meridian lines denoting the various time zones. So when we first laid eyes on Louis Vuitton’s version, the Escale Worldtime (‘escale’ is French for ‘stopover’), we were pleasantly surprised.
In a marked departure from convention, the dial is a riot of exuberant colours and geometric shapes. At first glance you might think it’s hard to tell the time. In truth, it’s a breeze – just read off the yellow pointer for the local time, while the other time zones can be gleaned from the indications beneath the corresponding cities.
The dial is made of three individual rotating discs. The outermost one houses 24 city initials. Ideally, the position of your reference or home city should be at ‘12’, directly above the fixed yellow pointer. Meanwhile, the two inner discs, which bear the hours and minutes, are constantly rotating, the hour disc divided into day and night halves for easy reference. All adjustments are ontrolled by the single, three-position crown.
A lot of work went into the making of each dial – 50 hours alone are needed to create the colourful motifs, which are pictograms that Vuitton’s clients use to personalise their luggage. Using miniature painting techniques, artisans apply the colours one by one in tiny, successive strokes before drying their handiwork in an oven at 100ºC.
Giving life to this innovative timekeeper is an automatic LV 106 Calibre, which comprises an external base calibre with an in-house module. This is housed in a 41mm round case with lugs shaped like the support brackets found on Vuitton trunks. It’s a subtle detail that hints at the brand’s travel heritage without coming across as cloying, so kudos to the maison for that.
LOUIS VUITTON is at 2 Bayfront
Avenue #B1-38/39 & B2-36/37/37A
Crystal Pavilion North, Singapore.