Ludovic Ballouard - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Ludovic Ballouard
    Year: 2009
    Case No: 4/12
    Model Name: Upside Down "Souscription"
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. B01, 51 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Platinum LB pin buckle
    Dimensions: 41mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by fitted wooden box, outer packaging and certificate
    Literature: Ludovic Ballouard and the Upside Down are featured in Watchmakers, The Masters of Art Horology by Maxima Gallery pp. 48-57

  • Catalogue Essay

    A master watchmaker who worked with, as well as for, some of the greatest watchmakers of our time, Ballouard started creating watches under his own name in 2009. To launch his brand, Ballouard created a limited series of watches sold via subscription, where upon invitation, a client would make a down-payment that would finance the purchase of machinery and tools, enabling Ballouard to make his first pieces.

    Ballouard wanted his first watch to display time in a whimsical manner. With the Upside Down, all but one numeral on the dial are upside down at any one time. The 12 numerals are classically displayed on the dial but are placed on twelve rotating discs. When the central minute hand reaches precisely 12 o'clock, the past hour numeral instantaneously turns 180 degrees to rest upside down. Simultaneously, the current hour swivels in a blink of an eye to the right side up. The rotation of the current hour disc also reveals a dot on its outer edge that is only visible when the disc is upright, a discreet and clever detail that makes it easier for to quickly determine the current hour.

    The rotation of the two tiny hour discs take place in an instant, faster than the eye can follow. The precise, micro-mechanical ballet happens once an hour, and requires a pitch-perfect jumping mechanism as well as individual Maltese cross gears to control each rotational mechanism, ensuring perfect timekeeping during the changeover. The movement is Ballouard’s brainchild and is just as ingenious in construction as it is in displaying the time. Wanting the under-dial mechanism controlling the discs to be admired from the back, Ballouard installed the mechanism on the case-back side, avoiding the straightforward and easy route of putting it under the dial - the usual choice of a brilliant watchmaker with exacting standards. That required him to drill 12 minuscule holes through the movement plate and produce 12 tiny, but extra-long, pinions that thread through the holes to control the hour discs.

    Ballouard made just 12 Souscription watches - all in the most precious of metals, platinum - each individually numbered in a creative manner on the front and back. On the dial, the hour numeral corresponding to the limited-edition number is printed in red; in this instance, the watch is number "4". Both the case back, and more surprisingly, the crown, are hand-engraved "4/12". And to live up to its name, the edition number "4" on the case back is engraved upside down!


A unique, attractive and unusual jump hour platinum wristwatch

41mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF68,750

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020