Louis Vuitton Brand
Louis Vuitton Presents Its New Voyager Skeleton Watch
Continuing the technical expertise of open-worked movements like the Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève and the Voyager Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève, the Louis Vuitton Voyager Skeleton is a journey beyond time, an invitation to travel into the miniature world of the mechanical watch movement.
Constructed to exemplify the stylistic codes of Louis Vuitton, the Voyager Skeleton is a tangible realisation of the Maison’s design principles. The distinctive Voyager case houses a mechanical masterpiece - the LV60 - a skeletonised movement that echoes the dynamic, purposeful architecture of some of Louis Vuitton’s flagship stores and the fantastic form of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Conceived originally to be skeletonized and housed in the Voyager case, the LV60 movement is the horological equivalent of contemporary architecture. The movement bridges are essential structural components but designed to embody Louis Vuitton rather than mere functional mechanics. This transforms otherwise stationary elements into engineered forms of dynamic beauty, echoing the billowing glass structure of the Fondation Louis Vuitton designed by Frank Gehry.
The brand’s first automatic time-only skeleton movement, the LV60 calibre was designed and developed by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton and manufactured in collaboration with Neuchâtel-based workshop Le Cercle des Horlogers. Expressing the architectural beauty that is core to Louis Vuitton, the LV60 calibre is a showcase of mechanics and design – enhanced with the quintessential Louis Vuitton flair that’s embodied across its leather goods, trunks and even architecture.
All of the bridges and plates of the LV60 calibre have been artfully trimmed to the minimum required for structural integrity, a process of reduction carried out with aesthetics in mind. The LV-shaped bridges are characterised by geometric lines and distinctive linearity, while incorporating several flourishes like the rotor bridge that features a discreet Louis Vuitton Monogram. Another outstanding detail is the barrel ratchet wheel that has been boldly open-worked to spell “Louis Vuitton”.
Such careful attention to detail ensures that the face of the watch is perfectly coherent in its near-monochromatic aesthetic created by the rhodium-plated components of the movement. The mechanical components are framed by a deep blue ring for the minutes, which is complemented by a pair of blue hands for maximum legibility.
The LV60 movement is more than just a stylistic exercise. The LV-shaped bridges demand far more extensive decoration than conventional full bridges. Decorated with a fine linear graining on their top surfaces and chamfered on their edges, the bridges are sandblasted on their undersides, resulting in a flawless mechanical landscape from any perspective.
To maximise the transparency of the LV60, the calibre is equipped with a tungsten micro-rotor decorated with a white gold rhodium plated plate. The micro-rotor has been purposefully positioned off-centre to maximise the visibility of the LV-shaped bridges and mechanics within. Despite its unobtrusive size, the micro-rotor nonetheless winds the mainspring in a bidirectional way with effortless efficiency thanks to a reverser-gear winding system.
The transparency of the movement showcases the fundamental mechanics of the calibre, namely how power flows from the mainspring located at five o’clock, through the going train, culminating at the balance wheel and escapement at 12 o’clock.
Notably, the open barrel also serves as a power reserve indicator. Because it reveals the mainspring, the remaining running time can be approximated from the transparency of the mainspring: a tightly-coiled mainspring forming a solid ring indicates full wind, while loosely-arranged coils that allow the light through are a reminder to wind the watch.
The purity of platinum
Juxtaposed against the mechanical refinement of the LV60 calibre is the graceful simplicity of the Voyager watch case. First unveiled in 2016, the Voyager case is exclusive to Louis Vuitton’s haute horlogerie creations. An elegant and unique form with an instantly recognisable silhouette, the Voyager is neither circle nor square, but unquestionably Louis Vuitton.
The Voyager Skeleton makes its debut in platinum, a rare, valuable alloy that is 95% pure – hence the “Pt 950” hallmark on the case back. Prized for its bright hue that remains eternally lustrous, platinum is amongst the densest alloys used in watchmaking. Unsurprisingly, this noble metal is used solely for special timepieces at Louis Vuitton, including haute horlogerie and limited editions.
Featuring a monocoque construction where the case middle and bezel are one, the Voyager case gains nuance from its carefully-shaped front that combines sweeping curves and contrasting surface finishes – a challenge to execute in platinum as the alloy’s mechanical properties test even the most skilled artisans.
The mirror-polished surfaces flow from the lugs to the sides of the case, terminating in matte, brushed planes at three and nine o’clock that step upwards to the brushed ring surrounding the dial and downwards to the flanks of the case. The Voyager Skeleton is available in an exclusive edition, limited to 150 pieces.
Voyager Skeleton - Platinum limited edition, 150 pieces
• Platinum case with satin-finished sides and a polished top, sapphire glass
• 41 mm in width & 43.7 mm diagonally, thickness 9mm
• Blue snailed minute ring
• Self-winding mechanical skeleton manufacture movement, hours & minutes
• Caliber LV60 designed & developed by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton
• Tungsten micro-rotor decorated with a white gold rhodium-plated plate
• 120 components, 29 jewels, 48h power reserve, 4 Hz, 28,800 vph
• 50m water resistance
• “Limited edition” engraved case-back, sapphire glass
• 2 straps: navy blue, alligator leather strap and taurillon leather strap
• Platinum ardillon buckle
Reference : Q7EN1K