Raúl Pagès Wins The First Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives
Supported with a grant of 150,000 Euros, Pagès will now be heading for a year-long mentorship program at La Fabrique du Temps
We got the first glimpse of Raúl Pagès visually and mechanically stunning Régulateur à Détente RP1 – months before Louis Vuitton announced its incredible initiative for up-and-coming watchmakers in 2022. On a cold, crisp morning in March, we drove up to his studio in Les Brenets – a quaint village nestled within the Jura Mountains, alongside the banks of the Doubs river that separates the border between Switzerland and France. Here, Pagès had been working single-handedly on the Régulateur à Détente RP1 – one of the rare wristwatches to be fitted with a détente escapement, a technical solution that’s often considered the ultimate achievement in chronometry.
Today, Louis Vuitton rightfully recognized Pagès’ Régulateur à Détente RP1 as the winner of its inaugural Watch Prize for Independent Creatives, which promises a grant of 150,000 Euros and a year-long mentorship at La Fabrique du Temps. “I’m very happy for Raúl. I think he totally deserves the prize and this will help shine light on his incredible efforts in creating a sophisticated and technically demanding watch that’s a modern homage to the age-old traditions in chronometry,” says Wristcheck’s Co-Founder, Austen Chu, who was appointed as one of the key members of the Committee Of Experts, who evaluated the 20 semi-finalists chosen for this contest.
Open to independent watch designers, artisans and entrepreneurs from all around the world, the first edition of the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize for Independent Creatives drew nearly 1,000 submissions. After the initial round of evaluation by the Committee Of Experts (world’s leading collectors, retailers designers, journalists and artisans), the five finalists – Simon Brette, Petermann Bédat, Raúl Pagès,John-Mikaël Flaux, Andreas Strehler – chosen by five jury members, were revealed in December last year. Led by Jury President Michael Tay, group managing director of The Hour Glass, the panel included Carole Forestier-Kasapi, movements director at TAG Heuer; pre-eminent collector and author, Auro Montanari; Rexhep Rexhepi, independent Watchmaker and founder of Atelier Akrivia; and Jiaxian Su, an independent watch specialized journalist and founder of SJX Watches.
Pagès’ was presented the award on February 6th at a special ceremony hosted by Louis Vuitton in Paris. The cocktail reception was attended by world's leading watchmaking experts and enthusiasts, including Wristcheck’s Austen Chu. The spiral-shaped silver trophy is apparently inspired by the components seen on a watch’s balance wheel. According to Louis Vuitton, the trophy’s design “is a metaphor for the ascension of independent watchmaking and is engraved with the winning watchmaker's name by a master engraver from La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton.”
One of the key initiatives led by Jean Arnault, the LV Watch Prize will be a biennial exercise to celebrate and support the rising talent in independent watchmaking. “The fact that it's modeled after the LVMH prize for fashion makes it even more exciting and it will certainly be a life-changing opportunity for all the winners in the future,” says Chu.
For more details, please visit www.louisvuittonwatchprize.com.