French fashion house Louis Vuitton has been making great strides in its fine watchmaking division over the last few years, and the new Voyager Skeleton is yet another strong step forward for LV’s high horology ambitions. The limited-edition Louis Vuitton Voyager Skeleton watch combines a platinum case with an open-worked automatic movement, accented with elegant touches of blue throughout the piece.
The Voyager case made its debut in 2016, and Louis Vuitton reserves it for its haute horlogerie creations. The distinct case silhouette toys with both circle and square shapes but commits to neither of them entirely. The monocoque-constructed case of the Voyager Skeleton, where the middle case and bezel are fashioned from the same block of 950 platinum, measures 41mm in width, 43.7mm diagonally, and 9mm-thick. The mix of the mirror-polished surfaces (that span from the lugs to the sides of the case) and the matte brushed surfaces (that start at the ring around the dial and spill over to the flanks of the case via steps at 3 and 9 o’clock) further accentuates the unconventional form of the case.
Housed inside the case of the Voyager Skeleton is the Caliber LV60, Louis Vuitton’s first automatic time-only skeleton movement. The movement was designed and developed by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton and manufactured in collaboration with Le Cercle des Horlogers, a Neuchâtel-based workshop. The architecture of Caliber LV60 draws inspiration from the curvy glass building of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the art museum in Paris designed by Frank Gehry.
The bridges of the movement were trimmed down as much as possible to create plenty of open spaces to allow light to penetrate through. The LV-shaped bridges are an architectural nod to the company’s logo, while the barrel ratchet wheel was formed to spell out “Louis Vuitton.” The skeletonized structure of the barrel means that it also cleverly serves as a power reserve indicator — wearers of the watch can physically see when the mainspring is loose and in need of some extra winding. For winding, Caliber LV60 depends on a tungsten micro-rotor, which is placed off-center and decorated with a white gold rhodium-plated plate complete with an LV engraving. Featuring 120 components and 29 jewels, the movement operates at a frequency of 28,800 vph and offers a 48-hour power reserve. The watch is water-resistant to 50 meters.
While there is no traditional dial, given that this is a skeletonized watch, there is a pair of blue hands at the center of the open-worked base plate, which is encircled by a blue snailed minute ring. Through the sapphire crystal, we can clearly see the LV-shaped bridges’ fine linear graining on top and the chamfered edges. Furthermore, the undersides of the bridges are sandblasted. Matching those blue details is a navy alligator leather strap fitted with a platinum ardillon buckle. The LV Voyager Skeleton also comes with an additional navy taurillon leather strap.
One of Louis Vuitton’s most minimalist watch designs to date, the Voyager Skeleton taps into that “quiet luxury” vibe that’s currently dominating the discussion in the fashion world. Sure, you can argue that skeletonized watches aren’t necessarily minimalist or quiet, but Louis Vuitton’s approach with the Voyager Skeleton certainly is more discreet than most. The platinum Louis Vuitton Voyager Skeleton (reference Q7EN1K) is limited to only 150 examples and priced at 48,000 Euros. For more information on the Louis Vuitton Voyager Skeleton watch, please visit the brand’s website.