Ludovic Ballouard’s complex and mesmeric methods of indicating time go beyond mere functionality - they inspire us to take a philosophical view of the importance of living in the present moment. Since founding his eponymous brand in 2009, this exciting Master Watchmaker has unleashed his creativity through the mechanical mastery of his in-house calibres and complex patented mechanisms.
With its unique hour display, the Upside Down watch demonstrates Ludovic Ballouard’s technical prowess and his ingenuity.
On a stunning black dial, a single graceful hand reaches out from the centre. It serves to indicate the minutes, in the traditional manner. However, at the dial edge, there is a conundrum. Here all twelve numerals have been placed on individual discs but only one of them is readable.
As if to encourage its wearer to ignore all but the current moment, Ludovic has created a complication which enables the numeral for the current hour to flip from its upside down position, to upright, instantaneously at the end of the 59th second of each hour. As it does so, the remaining eleven applied numerals remain in exquisite illegible disarray.
At a glance, the current hour can be easily read thanks to the use of a small dot placed on the disc of the active hour, while at the 6 o’clock location a subdial tracks the seconds.
Turn the piece over and a panorama to equal the poetic dial-side aesthetic is revealed through a sapphire crystal case back. Here, Ludovic has turned hard metal components into an alluring miniature mechanical work of art, with twelve visible Maltese Cross mechanisms, each connected to a heart-shaped cam which turns once each hour in order to turn the turn the relevant hour plate. This sends it to its immediate upright position on the dial.
The meticulously hand-finished manual winding in-house Calibre B01beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph and retains a power reserve of 40 hours.
Housed within an 18-carat red gold 41mm case with curved lugs, the Upside Down Blue/White edition is finished off with an off-centre crown, signed with the symbolic “LB” motif. It comes presented on a black hand-stitched alligator leather strap with 18-carat red gold buckle.