Ludovic Ballouard Watches: The Magic of the Upside DownBack to News & Exhibitions
In 2010, an independent watchmaker, Ludovic Ballouard, showcased to the world his stunning ‘Upside Down’ watch. And in 2015, Ludovic Ballouard Watches released a limited collection consisting 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 crucial 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 had a unique mother of pearl marquetry that radiated from the center. Later models house precious stones and other natural elements, such as having an aventurine or goldstone dial. While copper creates 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 positioned at 6 o’clock. The numbers are on twelve discs surrounding the dial 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 the day while the rest turn upside down.
The Ludovic Ballouard ‘Upside Down’ Specifications
The movement of the Upside Down is patented and only found in Ludovic Ballouard watches.
Calibre LB01, not to be confused with Breitling’s caliber B01 of a 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 of 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 it absorbs the necessary amount of energy.
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 Upside Down features a patented, hand-engraved buckle for both the 750 red gold and the 950 platinum models. 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.” 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.