Earlier this week, in an attractive villa nestled within the verdant hills of the Central California coast, Louis Vuitton unveiled its newest timepiece: the Louis Vuitton x Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronograph á Sonnerie, a horological marvel made in partnership with famend watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi. It’s the primary of a collection of collaborations — 5, to be actual — that Louis Vuitton plans on creating with main impartial watchmakers over the following 5 years, and Rexhepi definitely makes for an ideal lead-off hitter. Rexhepi has been on the forefront of impartial watchmaking since he based the Geneva-based Atelier Akrivia in 2012, and his watches are celebrated for each their technical ingenuity and distinctive ending. Whereas the timepieces produced underneath the broader Akrivia label are extra avant-garde of their designs, these launched underneath Rexhepi’s eponymous assortment have a tendency in direction of extra classical stylings, and each of those aesthetics are absolutely celebrated within the double-faced chronograph structure of the LVRR-01. It’s a seamless union of the 2 Maisons’ design languages that not solely makes for a formidable watch but additionally bodes nicely for Louis Vuitton’s future collaborations.
The guiding hand behind this challenge is 24-year-old Jean Arnault, director of watches at Louis Vuitton since 2021. Don’t let his age idiot you; what Arnault lacks in years, he greater than makes up for in ambition. In his two brief years on the helm, Arnault has refocused the model’s technique to middle across the spectacular workmanship and artistry going down at La Fabrique du Temps, the unique Swiss facility the place all Louis Vuitton watches are manufactured. From the recent relaunch of the iconic Louis Vuitton Tambour watch, the revival of the Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth manufacturers, and the announcement of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives, every enterprise resolution by Arnault has been made to focus on the appreciable horological prowess that Louis Vuitton has at its disposal. The creation of the LVRR-01 continues that pattern, and given the context, the technical acumen of an impartial watchmaker like Rexhepi makes him a greater than becoming accomplice for this collaboration.
The Louis Vuitton x Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronograph á Sonnerie is predicated on a reinterpreted model of the Tambour, crafted from platinum by the legendary casemaker Jean-Pierre Hagmann. The sharply angled lugs, says Rexhepi, had been extremely tough to solder to the case, which isn’t any shock given the steel in query. The case itself measures 39.5mm large and simply barely greater than 12mm tall; not precisely svelte, however a comparatively minor concession given the inclusion of the 2 dials that give the LVRR-01 its distinct look. On the front-facing facet of the watch, the inverted caliber sits behind a smoke-tinted sapphire crystal, highlighting the chronograph mechanism, a tourbillon at 6 o’clock that rotates as soon as each 5 minutes (as in comparison with the extra typical one-minute rotation of most tourbillons), and the chiming parts of the sonnerie. Six gold cubes crammed with plique-à-jour-fired enamel function hour markers, with a glance paying homage to stained glass. These accustomed to the broader Louis Vuitton watch catalog will little doubt acknowledge the nod right here to the cubes discovered on the model’s Spin Time watches in addition to the angular crown that harkens again to the unique Tambour.
As to be anticipated from Rexhepi, the motion is immaculately hand-decorated, with ample quantities of anglage, black sharpening, and perlage all through. This facet of the dial channels the decidedly avant-garde nature of Akrivia and is signed as such, besides with one minor (main) distinction: the “V’ of Akrivia is changed with the Louis Vuitton brand, marking the primary time that the well-known LV initials have ever been mixed with some other brand. Flipping the watch to the reverse reveals a way more reserved visible presentation as compared: a shiny white grand feu enamel dial with Rexhep Rexhepi branding and two concentric tracks in blue and purple that mark the operating seconds and minutes of the chronograph, respectively. Nevertheless, the simplicity of the dial belies the distinctive sonnerie complication that sounds every passing minute that the chronograph is actuated. Needed? No. Charming? Completely.
Listening to Arnault communicate in regards to the LVRR-01, there’s no questioning his love of horology. However you’ll be able to hear an excellent deeper appreciation for the craft that feeds his ardour, a selected affinity for the type of impartial watchmaking that somebody like Rexhepi represents. “Unbiased watchmaking is all the trend at the moment,” says Arnault. “However I need that dialog to proceed for the following 10, 15, 20 years. Hopefully, we are able to use the Louis Vuitton identify to shed extra gentle on that a part of the business that, for my part, is what makes the needle transfer. The normal a part of the business has little or no soul.” He makes a easy nod in direction of the LVRR-01 watch in his arms. With a smile, he says, “These merchandise have soul.” Or because the case could also be with a timepiece that blends the designs of Louis Vuitton, Akrivia, and Rexhep Rexhepi: three souls.
The Louis Vuitton x Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronograph á Sonnerie is a restricted version of 10 items, every offered in a hand-painted Louis Vuitton trunk. Every trunk options the mixed Akrivia and Louis Vuitton brand on the skin, and inside are the signatures of the artisans liable for creating the timepiece: Rexhep Rexhepi, Jean-Pierre Hagmann, and enameler Nicolas Doublel. Pricing for the Louis Vuitton x Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronograph á Sonnerie is 450,000 CHF and for extra data, visit the Louis Vuitton website.