Swiss-Spanish watchmaker Raúl Pagès was awarded the prestigious Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives at a ceremony held at the Louis Vuitton Foundation on Monday evening.
Pagès stood out from a diverse group of finalists from around the world, including nations renowned for their watchmaking heritage such as Japan, Australia, Finland, the United States, Canada, France and Switzerland. The competition was fierce, with over a thousand entries demonstrating the breadth of creativity and expertise in the field. Jean Arnault, Louis Vuitton‘s Watch Director, praised the finalists for demonstrating that watchmaking remains a dynamic and accessible craft, poised for healthy growth thanks to such talented individuals.
The awards ceremony was a testament to the passion and ingenuity that drives independent watchmakers. Pagès, in particular, has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of traditional watchmaking. His winning piece, the RP1 wristwatch, features an intricate hand-wound caliber and a pivoting detent escapement – a sophisticated mechanism traditionally reserved for marine chronometers and a hallmark of 18th-century innovation.
This 38.5 mm masterpiece is a marvel of contemporary watch design, with a regulator display that separates the hours, minutes and seconds on a beautifully understated light gray and blue dial. Pagès’ journey from restorer of high-end timepieces and collectible watchmaking creations to founder of his eponymous brand in 2012 is a story of dedication and excellence. His work with prestigious names such as Parmigiani Fleurier and Patek Philippe laid the groundwork for his innovative ventures.
The Louis Vuitton Watch Prize has provided Pagès not only with a platform to showcase his talent, but also with a significant boost for his future projects. In addition to the honor of receiving the award, Pagès will receive a spiral trophy housed in a custom-made Vuitton suitcase, a cash prize of €150,000 EUR, and a year’s mentorship from La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton.
When asked about his intentions after winning, Pagès emphasized the importance of the prize in advancing his latest endeavor, the completed RP2 model, which he described as a wristwatch with an entirely new movement.
Other participants in this edition included Andreas Strehler alongside Enrico Santoni, John-Mikaël Flaux, Simon Brette and the duo Gaël Petermann with Florian Bédat of Petermann Bédat. They presented a wide range of timepieces, from elegant wristwatches to an innovative desk clock operated by a pocket watch, and even a bee-shaped automaton.