Operating at 4Hz (28,800 bph) with 42 hours of power reserve, the automatic movement isn’t exactly visible through the sapphire crystal caseback window – but something is. Louis Vuitton designed the caseback to have a large black circle with the Louis Vuitton logo and a ring that is connected to the automatic rotor, which visually spins along with it. So while the black “LV” part of the caseback doesn’t move, the silver section around it that says “Louis Vuitton” and “La Fabrique du Temps” does. Again, it’s a nice playful element that I appreciate.
Also available in 18k pink gold, the Escale Time Zone 39 is 39mm wide and here, we see it in steel. Louis Vuitton did a nice job of making a relatively subdued round-cased dress watch, but with enough brand character to make it feel special. As I said, this is the closest thing to a dress watch that Louis Vuitton currently produces in my opinion. Elements like the shape of the crown are particularly cool, and the case is water-resistant to 50m. It also sits pretty low on the wrist with a thin profile (even though I wouldn’t call this an “ultra thin” case).
Color lovers get more to enjoy on the rear of the watch when noticing the bright yellow rubber lining on the inside of the gray alligator strap. It goes without saying that a Louis Vuitton strap is going to be nicely made, and I also appreciate the use of curved strap ends which fit the case in a more elegant manner. Color is really what helps define the appeal of the Escale Time Zone 39, because you simply don’t get a watch like this if you are someone with conservative tastes who shuns bright colors. If you are someone who enjoys wearing bright colors, and a lot of them, then this might just be an ideal watch for you.
Recall again that the 41mm wide version of the Escale Time Zone has just blue and white colors on the dial – which allows the same design to be a bit more conservative and 2mm larger. While I really like the colors on the 39, given that I don’t wear long sleeves very often, I prefer the 41’s size a bit more for my tastes. It’s hard to pinpoint just who Louis Vuitton has in mind as an ideal customer for a watch like this. What comes to mind are people who find a world time complication useful, but are generally bored by the designs of many of the other available world time watches. I’ll be honest that many of them bore me in ways the Escale Time Zone does not. My biggest compliment to Louis Vuitton is in just how quirky, yet practical the Escale Time Zone seems to be. It mixes a very comfortable, logical watch, with a dial that most people simply don’t expect (and I really appreciate that). It isn’t without its faults, but if you want to maximize “personality value,” are bored of other world time watches, and want an avant garde dress watch from a “famous” brand like Louis Vuitton, you can’t really go wrong with the Escale Time Zone 39.
Now for prices. Starting with the most expensive item, the 18k pink gold reference Q5EK40 version of the Louis Vuitton Escale 39 is $12,100 USD. The larger reference Q5D220 Escale Time Zone Blue 41 in steel has a retail price of $7,450 USD, and price for this reference Q5D200 Escale Time Zone 39 in steel is $7,200 USD. louisvuitton.com
>Brand: Louis Vuitton
>Model: Escale Time Zone 39 reference Q5D200
>Price: $7,200 USD
>Size: 39mm wide
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes, when wanting to appear serious and playful at the exact same time.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone with a lust for color (and name-brand luxury labels) who still wants something that can compliment and go with formal attire. Preferably someone who travels a lot and can make use of the world time complication.
>Best characteristic of watch: More conservative Louis Vuitton case makes it a very suitable dress watch (for those who like a splash of color). Dial design will not be confused for anything else out there. Competent functionality allows this Louis Vuitton world time watch to compete with the big boys with legacy movements that feature this complication. Price seems fair for what you get.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Core design makes reading the hour and minute hands a bit challenging because there is so little of them to see. Colorful dial isn’t available in the 41mm wide version of the Escale Time Zone.