To create a unique timepiece for Only Watch 2023, the celebrated Swiss independent watchmaker Ludovic Ballouard has partnered with gifted guilloche artist Brittany Nicole Cox. The result of this joint venture is a one-of-a-kind version of the signature Upside Down watch.
The Upside Down Blue Feather watch by Ludovic Ballouard and Brittany Nicole Cox offers a unique message of hope, generosity and protection, in keeping with the values of the Only Watch charity auction.
Its sapphire-blue fine silver dial has been decorated with an eye-catching hand-guilloche pattern depicting birds in flight.
This original, intricate motif – boasting a multitude of carefully-placed cuts and facets – was designed and engine-turned by Cox, who took inspiration from Emily Dickinson’s poem “Hope is the thing with feathers” to create it.
Only the present hour is displayed the right way up on the dial, encouraging us to have no regrets regarding the past and no qualms about the future.
Seattle-based Brittany Nicole Cox is an antiquarian horologist specialising in the conservation and restoration of antique automata and mechanical music objects.
One of few independent female clock- and watchmakers in the world, she is a highly skilled practitioner and teacher of engine-turned, hand-guilloche decoration. Upside Down Blue Feather is Cox’s first collaboration with a Swiss watch brand.
Ballouard chose his iconic Upside Down watch for this collaboration. Its finely decorated in-house Calibre B01 features a patented jumping-hour mechanism that uses 12 Maltese crosses to drive the rotation of 12 hour discs, which take turns to flip from upside down to right side up to indicate the current hour.
For Upside Down Blue Feather’s deep blue dial, Cox used a bespoke formula to create an eye-catching proprietary pattern depicting vertical lines of flying birds.
For this creation, she employed a straight-line guilloche machine produced in the 1930s by Swiss company Lienhard.
The resulting motif of multiple soaring birds covers the entire dial. Even the hour discs, featuring white gold applied numerals, are cut from the blued, guilloched fine silver. And in order to let Cox’s engine-turned decoration shine to the full, Ballouard has removed the small seconds indication usually found on Upside Down at 6 o’clock.
The Upside Down Blue Feather Only Watch 2023 features a 41mm platinum case. Protected by a pair of crown guards, the crown is located off centre at half past 2.
This unorthodox crown placement is actually a technical choice due to the configuration of Calibre B01. However, it also frees up space for wrist movement and is in keeping with Upside Down’s unconventional spirit.
The fully polished case is paired with a hand-stitched blue alligator strap with patented B-shaped pin buckle, also in platinum.
Model: Ludovic Ballouard x Brittany Nicole Cox for Only Watch 2023, Upside Down Blue Feather, Unique Piece
Manufacture Calibre B01
Patented jump-hour mechanism
Power reserve: 36 hours
Number of Jewels: 51
Number of components: 228
Balance frequency: 21,600vph / 3Hz
Hand-decoration including soleillage, perlage and hand-polished bevels
Hours indicated by jumping rotating disks
Material: 950 platinum
Dimensions: 41mm x 11mm
Water resistance: 30m/3atm
Sapphire crystal with interior and exterior anti-reflection coating, front and display back
Off-centred crown located at half past 2, protected by crown guards
Material: Fine silver
Hand-guilloche flying birds motif, designed and engine-turned by Brittany Nicole Cox
Colour: Sapphire blue via atomic layer deposition (ALD)
18k white gold minute hand
18k white gold applied hour numerals
Hand-stitched blue alligator strap with patented B-shaped platinum pin buckle