Five finalists and final jury announced for the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize

Journey into the world of exquisite timepieces as we present the five finalists of the inaugural Louis Vuitton Watch Prize, showcasing their groundbreaking horological artistry.
December 18, 2023
Five finalists and final jury announced for the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize
©Photo: Louis Vuitton Watch Prize

The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives, a prestigious award recognizing exceptional horological artistry, has unveiled the five finalists of its inaugural edition. This elite group of talented watchmakers demonstrated exceptional craftsmanship and innovation, and captivated the jury with their unique visions for timepieces.

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The finalists are:

  • Andreas Strehler and Enrico Santoni: A duo from Italy who created a mechanical perpetual desk calendar accompanied by a pocket watch, demonstrating their meticulous attention to detail and dedication to creating exquisite timepieces.
  • John-Mikaël Flaux: A French artisan who created a silver and gold mechanical bee automaton, a remarkable fusion of mechanics and artistry that showcases his ingenuity and creative flair.
  • Simon Brette: A French watchmaker who has unveiled an in-house caliber and complex mechanisms in his creation “Chronometre Artisans“, a true testament to his mastery of the watchmaking craft.
  • Raúl Pagès: A Spanish watchmaker who meticulously designed and crafted an ultra-rare pivoting detent escapement for his entry wristwatch, demonstrating his exceptional skill and commitment to preserving traditional watchmaking techniques.
  • Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat: A Swiss duo who created the Petermann Bédat “Chronographe rattrapante” watch, a triumph of engineering and design that has already won acclaim and the prize for best chronograph at the 2023 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Five finalists and final jury announced for the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize
The finalists of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize: Simon Brette, Raùl Pagès, John-Mikaël Flaux, Andreas Strehler and Enrico Santoni, and Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat of Petermann Bédat. ©Photo: Louis Vuitton Watch Prize

The finalists’ creations reflect the boundless creativity and innovation that characterize independent watchmaking. Their work embodies the essence of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize, which aims to nurture and celebrate the talents of today’s independent watchmakers and pave the way for future generations of horological excellence.

Five finalists and final jury announced for the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize
The innovative creations of five watchmakers vying for the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives. ©Photo: Louis Vuitton Watch Prize

As anticipation builds for the grand finale of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize, the 45-member committee responsible for selecting the inaugural winner has made its next crucial decision – the selection of the five esteemed members of the final jury. These distinguished individuals, who bring a wealth of expertise and passion to the watchmaking world, will meticulously evaluate the creations of the five finalists and ultimately determine who will be crowned the winner.

Heading this panel is Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of Asia-based multi-brand luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass. He will be joined by Carole Forestier-Kasapi, the award-winning movements director of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Tag Heuer.

Complementing this duo are Auro Montanari, a prominent watch collector, expert and author, and Singapore-based journalist Jiaxian Su, founder of digital media company Sjx Watches.

Rounding out the panel is Rexhep Rexhepi, renowned watchmaker and founder of Atelier Akrivia. Rexhepi’s dedication to traditional watchmaking techniques and relentless pursuit of excellence make him a respected voice in the industry. Founded in 2012, Atelier Akrivia holds a unique place in watchmaking history as the first to collaborate with Louis Vuitton’s watchmaking division for a limited edition of 10 timepieces. This groundbreaking partnership marked the first time that the French house had co-signed a watch, and the resulting “LVRR-01 Chronographe à sonnerie” watch was highly acclaimed, with proceeds from its sale earmarked to fund the watch prize and mentorship program.

Five finalists and final jury announced for the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize
©Photo: Louis Vuitton Watch Prize

The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize will be awarded at a gala ceremony to be held in Paris on February 6th, 2024. The winner will receive a substantial cash prize of €150,000 euros and a one-year mentorship program from La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, the watchmaking division of Louis Vuitton. This mentorship program will provide the winner with invaluable guidance and support in the further development of his or her craft and the realization of his or her watchmaking vision.

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