Ludovic Ballouard Watches: The Magic of the Upside Down

Back to News & Exhibitions

Ludovic Ballouard Watches ChicagoIn 2010, independent watchmaker, Ludovic Ballouard, showcased to the world his stunning ‘Upside Down’ watch. And in 2015, Ludovic Ballouard Watches released a limited collection that consisted of twelve watches cased in red gold and twelve watches cased in platinum.

Ballouard, a Frenchman based in Switzerland, had a successful career as a watchmaker working for other brands, including being a key part of making the F.P. Journe’s Sonnerie Souveraine, one of the most expensive watches in the world at $650,000.

But Ballouard’s mind was full of “ideas for eccentric complications.” And in December 2009, the idea for the ‘Upside Down’ piece was born. He wanted his first timepiece to remind people how important it was “to live in the moment.”

Ballouard’s ‘Upside Down’ watch is technologically brilliant with a unique yet subtle aesthetic. The original model was presented with a unique mother of pearl marquetry that radiated from the center. Later models house precious stone and other natural elements, such as having an aventurine or goldstone dial. And while copper is used to create golden flecks seen in most aventurine glass, Ballouard used cobalt to create the blue flecks in Upside Down instead of copper.

The Upside Down uses a jumping hour mechanism and has a centrally mounted minutes hand and a small seconds’ indicator that are positioned at 6 o’clock. The numbers are placed on twelve discs surrounding the dial that’s partially tucked underneath the bezel. What’s cool is that the part that for each hour there is one disc that is right-side-up with an indicator dot, corresponding to the hour of day while the rest are turned upside down.

The Ludovic Ballouard ‘Upside Down’ Specifications

The movement of the Upside Down is patented and only found in Ludovic Ballouard watches.

The ‘Upside Down’ Movement

Calibre LB01, not to be confused with Breitling’s caliber B01 of similar name. The power reserve is approximately 36 hours with a balance frequency of 21,600 BPH/3HZ. The watch also features 51 jewels and 228 components in the movement only and has a diameter: 35mm/15.5 lines.

The central wheel transfers power from the running gear of the movement. It slowly pushes back the spring-loaded lever that cocks onto a toothed ring when the necessary amount of power has been absorbed.

The Case for Ludovic Ballouard’s Upside Down

It comes in two cases: 750 red gold off-center crown and case and the 950 platinum off-center crown and case. Both dimensions are 41mm x 11mm. It is resistant to water up to 30 meters/3ATM and is hand engraved.

The Buckle

The Upside Down features a patented, hand-engraved buckle for both the 750 red gold model and the 950 platinum model. The buckle also features a hand-stitched alligator strap.

From all his interviews, you get the sense that Ludovic Ballouard is more than a luxury watchmaker. He’s innovative, humble, and enjoys life. In a 2009 interview, he told Timezone Magazine that his philosophy for his watches is, “mechanical pleasure.” And gazing at the beautiful craftsmanship of the ‘Upside Down’ today, Ballouard has not lost an ounce of his sense of pleasure. 

To learn more about Ludovic Ballouard Watches and other luxury watches, visit the luxury watch specialists at Swiss Fine Timing.