Ludovic Ballouard “Upside Down” Complication Watch in Platinum

After many years working with some of the world’s greatest watchmakers – most recently with François-Paul Journe on his magnum opus Grande Sonnerie – in 2009 Ludovic Ballouard decided to become independent to develop his own horological creations. His innovative “Upside Down” heralds a completely new way to indicate the time by astonishingly rotating individual hour numbers on cue.

Ludovic Ballouard “Upside Down” Complication

While the idea of indicating the time by having the correct hour right side up, while the other 11 displayed numbers are upside down looks relatively simple, the fact that it had never been done before is a testimony to the technical difficulty of realising the complication.

When the minute hand precisely reaches the 12 o’clock position, the past hour number instantaneously turns 180 degrees upside down. Simultaneously the new hour turns right side up. The rotation of these two tiny hour disks is faster than the eye can follow, and by using Maltese crosses to control the rotation mechanisms, time-keeping precision is not affected.

Ludovic Ballouard "Upside Down" Complication WatchTechnically, the easier route would have been to place the “Upside Down” mechanism underneath the dial; however, Ludovic Ballouard believes that the owner would appreciate seeing the complexity of the complication and watching the discs rotate, so he placed the mechanism on the back. No easy task as it necessitated drilling 12 minute holes through the movement plate for the 12 tiny pinions that control the hour discs.

The platinum case is a meticulously thought-out work of art in itself. Rather than the straightforward vertical sides or slightly outward curves commonly found in timepieces, the case sides of the “Upside Down” curve slightly inwards. This design not only protects against scratches, but also offers a tactile pleasure when running a finger lightly over the unexpected line.

Ludovic Ballouard "Upside Down" Complication Watch

The platinum crown – another unusual feature of the “Upside Down” as the majority of platinum watches have white gold crowns for ease of manufacture – is protected by sleek buttresses on either side.

Technical details

Model: Ludovic Ballouard “Upside Down” Complication Watch in Platinum

Features
Manual winding mechanical movement with unique (patented)
“Upside Down” time indication and small second at 6 o’clock.

Movement
Calibre B01 / Patented “Upside Down” complication developed by Ludovic Ballouard
Manual winding
Power reserve : Approximately 40 hours
Balance frequency : 21,600 bph/3hz.
Number of jewels : 51
Number of components : 228 (movement only)
Diameter : 35mm/15.5 lignes

Functions
Hours indicated by the correct hour being right-side up, whereas all other numbers are upside down.
Minutes indicated by central blued steel hand.
Small seconds at 6 o’clock.

Case
Case and hand engraved crown in 950 platinum
Dimensions: 41mm x 11mm
Lugs: milled from solid platinum with case
Water resistance: 30 metres/3ATM

Dial & Hands
Titanium Dial & blued steel hands

Strap & Buckle
Black hand-stitched alligator with patented hand engraved 950 platinum buckle.
Travel pouch hand stitched from the same leather as the strap.

 

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