Ludovic Ballouard was born in 1971 in Brittany, France. Already at the age of 8, he made his first mechanical watch and decided that he wanted to study watchmaking. At the age of 16, he entered the watch school and continued his studies in France, in the region of Brittany, located on the seacoast.
After studying watchmaking, Ballouard decided that he was not ready to leave for Switzerland yet, and he left watchmaking for a while and returned to his childhood hobby - aircraft collecting. However, he continued reading news about the development and release of new watch movements and models. Ballouard especially admired the Frank Muller brand. Impressed by the complicated and unique Frank Muller watches, Ludovic contacted Frank Muller and got invited to visit the company.
Ludovic still remembers the first day when he was given the task of assembling and adjusting ten chronograph movements. He had one week to complete this task, but managed to complete it much earlier. So he was hired by Frank Muller, where he worked for three years, assembling complex movements.
Ballouard’s philosophy is to live for the present and his watches reflect this by only displaying the present hour
After some time the watchmaker decided to cooperate with the independent watchmaker F.P. Journe because F.P. Journe challenged him to assemble watches from start to finish. In addition, Ludovic was fascinated by the sophisticated in-house F.P. Journe calibers. He worked with the famous independent master for seven years. However, like every talented watchmaker, Ludovic wanted to create his own movements, and the way to do that was to become independent.
In 2009, Ludovic developed his first Upside Down model, the idea of creating which was born in his head in just 15 minutes. The watchmaker created a dial where the hour numerals were placed on twelve discs which were turned upside down, while every hour one disc went right side up corresponding with the hour of the day – hence the watch's name.
The reverse side of the Upside Down watch showcases an incredibly intricate in-house jumping hour mechanism. The movement is based on a snail cam that rotates once each hour along with a set of twelve Maltese cross mechanisms linking to the small hour indicators inserted into the dial.
In 2013, Ballouard introduced a sequel to his first watch, another patented jumping hour Half Time watch. Just like the Upside Down watch lives up to its name, so does the Half Time model. The concept is similar and once again focuses on unconventional time-telling. Only this time, hour numerals are cut by two counter-rotating disks that only align correctly at 12 o’clock to display the current hour. The movement is further complicated by the fact that the minutes are indicated by a retrograde hand at the bottom of the dial.
Ludovic Ballouard is living in Switzerland and makes 12 watches per year exclusively by hand in his atelier near Geneva. Ballouard’s philosophy is to live for the present and his watches, focused on the most unusual way of reading time, reflect this by only displaying the present hour.
Auction 2023 lot:
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